By 7 I was on Facebook. A friend posted the link to another friend's blog. My heart was written out:
"In my heart I know that she will forever and ever say yes to us; we are her people.
But I know that she can say yes to us and still simultaneously say no to adoption. Because saying yes to us isn’t just saying yes to us. It’s saying yes to a new culture. It’s saying yes to a new language. It’s saying yes to a new school. And it’s saying goodbye to some very precious people who have cared for her in the midst of her own gigantic waves. And goodbye to friends and school and language and a culture she very much loves.
When I think about her saying yes to us but no to adoption, I get scared. That fear, it paralyzes me momentarily, and it knocks the wind out of me. It makes me turn inward and silences me. It makes me rethink pouring out more and more and more of myself."
I live in daily, hourly, constant fear of both the yes and the no. She is suddenly clearly aware of the many sides of the "yes". She's scared of the language change. Yesterday she suggested that she could finish school at home and then be adopted, which I had to say wasn't allowed. She loves us, but that's not the whole question she's being asked. We love her, but that's not the whole question we're being asked, either.
This week, another friend in this process had her potential adoptive girls (yes, two) both state quite certainly that they would not say yes if asked, and not to invest any more time into their adoption. While heartbreaking, it was an honest conversation that allowed them to re-prioritize their resources to better support the girls into the future in a way that honors their choices. I see this. I wonder.
Other friends have completed their adoptions of teenagers. Some are going (at least to my eye) smoothly. The kids are adjusting and are as reasonably happy as your average teenager tends to be. Others are struggling mightily with the many challenges that come with such a huge change. I see this. I wonder.
I have considered asking her (with the help of a skilled translator with social work training) what her thoughts are, but honestly I don't know what it would change. If she says yes, then of course we continue. It may provide more peace for our hearts, refocus us all, but not change the steps. And I worry it will make her feel obligated to something she may be questioning and later regret. I want this to be a free choice for her, without guilt or pressure or implied debt. And a no? What would a "no" right now mean? Does a "no" right now--when she's the most scared, when she's most homesick for her friends and ability to communicate freely, most frustrated with her lack of language progress during a long stay--really represent a long-term choice? If she said "no" this week, I don't think I could accept it. I think we'd still have to go in August and let her choose "no" again, after a week back in her reality. And even if that's a no, after only one week back in that reality when she's in the honeymoon of easy conversation and beloved friends, I think we'd have to continue. We have to keep that door open for her until the last chance for a "yes" has been given. Because a "no" for her is a "no" forever. US immigration laws will not allow her to say "yes" to us or anyone else later.
And so we keep looking at our bank accounts and trying to figure out how to hold doors open. We write out longer grocery lists to set the house up for my parents who will be watching the three ring circus. We pray and pray and pray and pray. We ask you to keep her and us in your thoughts and prayers as we all wrestle with what it means to be saying "yes."