Friday, November 19, 2010

Why I was sent to Africa #2.

As you remember, yesterday I posted part one of why I went to Africa. Read that here. I've been putting off talking about it to everyone just because and I even forgot about it for a while. I have to talk about it. I have to tell it. So here's part two. (Also if you didn't read part 1, part 2 won't make any sense. Just FYI. =])

The purpose of my trip was so that I could see how these kids are a family. These forty-some orphans live in a two bedroom house and sleep at least two to a bed. Many of them have grown up together. They have been together for years. They are a family.

And with that, I knew that I would never adopt Roza.

I knew it wasn't something God was saying, like, "Wait, because you're only 22 and you only have 30 dollars to your name and you need to spend time with your new husband." (30 dollars is a bit excessive. It's more like 20. Just kidding. But seriously. I need a pay check sometime in this decade.)

It was more like, "You can't have her. She has a family. And it's not the family you have. But this is where she belongs."

And I lost it. I was so, so angry. I always wondered how we would take just one kid. We knew them all but we would be like, "Sorry. Roza is our favorite. We like you guys, too, we just like her more. I'm sure you'll find forever families someday....good luck with that by the way." Uhhh??? No. That was really the only thing that was holding me back. That if Mr. Ethiopian President had come to me and asked me if I could adopt Roza right this second, I would have said, only if those other kids can have homes, too.

But I was so mad. How can living in a space for not forty people who shower once a week and who eat meat twice a year and who change their clothes once a week and who only get new shoes when we come be better than living here? How is it FREAKING FAIR that I have a house that is plenty big for 3 or 4 people and I have clothes that could give me a clean pair for at least a month if not two? How is that fair? How come I get a hot shower multiple times a day and fresh, cold, clean water whenever I feel like taking a drink? Why do I have a freezer full of meat and a fridge full of 49 different foods? How. Is. That. Fair. ?????

I was so irritated that I just wanted to go home. I didn't know why I had come if I was just going to find out that I couldn't bring her home. Not next year, not in two years, never. And I didn't know why I had come. I know I've probably said that 50 times in this post but I really want to reiterate that point. I love Africa. So much. For a long time I've wanted to move there. Live there. Screw this freedom and fast food crap. Clean water? Hot showers? Blah. Let me move to Africa. And there I was sitting in my hotel room, sulking, pissed off at everyone for no reason, and wishing I hadn't come. I was listening to Evan talk about the next time "we" came and all I could think was, "We? There is not going to be a 'we' next time. You can go. I'm not coming back." Seriously. I was having that hard of a time dealing with this. And coupled with a few other problems which are not important. And those thoughts and feelings were not me.

I finally realized that it wasn't God keeping them there to spite me. He had given them a safe place to live. Shelter. Food. Clean water. Showers. Appropriate adults to educate them. He had given them the essentials to survive. Everything else is just icing on the cake. You can eat cake without the icing. It just sometimes tastes better with it. But you'll survive without it.

And so I spent most of my 15 days at New Hope confused and upset. I mostly stapplegunned myself to Evan's side because when Roza was with us, it was almost like we were a family.

I still wanted to pretend. Even though I knew it would never be a reality.

Evan and I talked about it halfway through the trip. And we came up with a solution. I can't remember now, but I think that he might have even brought it up to me. We decided that if we can't bring them home now, or even in the near future, we can support them through college. How great would it be to help them get to America, go to school, and for us to help them? Whether or not that will be financially or supporting them with a house to live in, we want to be there.

It's not the same. I understand that. It breaks my heart that I will not bring home that beautiful little girl. But at the same time, I hope that a door opens when it's time for her to go to college. I hope that her English will be good enough and I hope that she'll want to come here. That she'll want to become educated and then go back and help her people. And we'll be there with her every step of the way.

We also realize how silly it sounds that we, at 22-years-old, would be adopted parents to an 8-ish-year-old. "Hi, I'm 21, these are my parents. They're 35." It would be weird. But it doesn't really matter. I'm so thankful that I have hopes and dreams and aspirations for my life at such a young age.

I'm still trying to work through this. It might sound funny that this is such a big deal to me. It's not like we had the adoption papers in hand and were going to pick her up. But that's what it feels like.

So, for now, we'll just pray that we'll get a chance to bring home another baby someday. And Roza and Derartu in the future.


2 loves:

  1. Larissa, I love your blogs. You have a very beautiful heart and it's amazing to hear how much you love those kids and Africa. You and Evan are great people, and if your blog doesn't show that, your actions will :)

    Love you guys.

  2. Love... thats all... I understand you more now I think. Thank you for sharing your heart...

    And I read all of your long blogs too :D