The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.
-Buechner

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We Are.

Makeda's been sucking her thumb as per usual. Most days I don't mind. I know it's something she'll likely continue to do for some time and it's the one of the few things she brings with her from Ethiopia. It's part of what has made her, her. The necessity to self-sooth was developed, I suspect, very early on. And, while I sometimes glance over and think how sad it is that she still does this, I also know it's partially habit. Oh yeah, and she's a baby...it's what a lot of them do.

But today it just got on my nerves. There was a lot of spit and drooling (perhaps another tooth? it has been a couple days since the sixth cut through) and the noises were gross. And I was a bit short tempered. Tired. And a couple times I pulled it out, as I just couldn't handle the noise.

I digress.

This will be redundant for some...perhaps many.

A couple weeks ago when I traveled to the Island we made a quick detour on the way to our final destination. We stopped in at Choices so the incredible women who supported us throughout our journey could meet the little girl they helped bring home. It was a 'can't miss' situation.

While there, we talked briefly about the Hope non-bankruptcy, bankruptcy. A local BC agency closing it's doors after 25 years and having to close their doors on 180 families. Gut-wrenching. Perhaps, the silver lining (if there is any and if we can in fact give it that kind of status) is that this agency wasn't one who dealt with too many international countries. They weren't a facilitator of sorts, such as Imagine was or CAFAC. Doesn't make it any better. Tragically, some families using the services of Hope have already seen and had to live through the nightmare of the Imagine bankruptcy.


The only other agency in Canada who facilitates adoptions through Ethiopia...as well as many other countries.

CAFAC. Who has been known as a reputable agency for the last 17 years and who has helped create over 700 families, and who is currently working with such a sheer volume of families in all stages of the process that the thought of closing it's doors in two days sickens me. CAFAC...struck by the slowed pace of international adoptions and the financial implications thereof.

This is a tragedy of which nothing compares. And as thousands did on our behalf, it is now our turn to return what may seem like a measly favour but is, in reality huge.*

The Unknown: we've lived it.

Yet, the difference is this agency was, is, and continues to do all it can to keep itself afloat. Monies are all still in trust (novel huh?!). Staff were sadly, though pro-actively let go. Families received communication of problems.

I sent an email to a some family members and close friends tonight, sharing some of the details. It didn't cut too deep until I gave it some real thought. And, until I received an email reminding me of how blessed and lucky Makeda is.

But that's the thing.

It's us.

We are the ones who are blessed, changed, better, our family is complete because of her.

And I can't imagine not having her. I can't imagine being so close yet losing her. I can't imagine our family without her.

I can't imagine.

My heart breaks for those families who's futures are uncertain. Those families who tonight must live the horrific roller coaster on the cusp of the end. Those families who wonder, after waiting for three or more years if their family will ever be created or completed. Those families who just don't know.

International adoption. It's always been said that it's not for the faint of heart. But this is unjust. And in this situation it's at the fault of no one. Systems slowed and more paperwork required (I think of Ethiopia specifically) to protect the innocence of children. Bar none, this is at the crux of it all. The safety, well-being, health, care, protection (!) of orphans. And yet, because of this we now see Ethiopian adoptions taking 5-7 years...thousands of (more) dollars...and it still isn't enough for agencies to remain viable.

And, while families are left in the lurch and suffer emotionally, (financially), immensely, it's not the families who suffer ultimately is it.

It's the orphan. Each. Innocent. Child.

Tonight, as Makeda sucked her thumb through the teething slobber that was her mouth, I could do nothing but pick her up and hold her tight.

We are so very blessed. I won't ever take it...take her...for granted.

--

*PLEASE, do at least one of these things tomorrow.

#1 Call a reporter in Manitoba and tell them why it's a tragedy if CAFAC goes
under/ceases operations.

#2 Call Minister Jennifer Howard's offices 204-945-4173 (ministry) 204-946-0272
(constituency) to voice your support for CAFAC and to encourage the ministry to
allow for interim funidng and fee increases.

#3 if you can't call, email your concerns to the minister:
minfsl(at)leg.gov.mb.ca

3 comments:

Cori said...

Thank you for your thoughtful blog entry. We are a CAFAC family waiting for a referral. Yesterday, I found the news of CAFAC’s impending bankruptcy harder to take than a miscarriage. At least with the miscarriage, we felt that we had other options. Now, we feel like we have no options left… and the older child that we were going to adopt will remain institutionalized. I feel like throwing up and crawling into bed and not getting out anytime soon.

Sarah said...

This is the best post I have read about what is happening with CAFAC. You are a gifted writer Ashleigh and thank you for sharing. I called and emailed today in support of these families and hope others did the same.

Erin Redick said...

Heartbreaking. I can't imagine....wish there was something we could do from the States. Can't help but think there has to be a solution in this mess somewhere.