Imagine wanting to be a parent more than anything in the world. Think about the excitement of the prospect of holding this beautiful brand new baby in your arms. Feel the heartbreak as you watch every month pass by with nothing. Doctors wanting to cut you open just to look under the hood. More doctors wanting to put you on a medication that you have heard horror stories about. Picture the light at the end of the tunnel when you hear an unmistakable calling to find your child in a foreign country. Joy at the thought that God didn't really leave you out on the whole parenting thing. That He had other plans for you. That you are supposed to take a different trip to the same place.
An overwhelming fear washes over you as you stare at an ominous stack of papers. You must answer questions about the most intimate details of your life. You must complete reams of paperwork just to be considered to be a parent. Background checks, finger prints, medical exams. You start to question why is it that you are on this journey.
A day comes when you see something that looks like hope. It is disguised as a photo of a little boy. The most beautiful child you have ever seen in your life. Big brown eyes stare at you through the photo. This is your child. He lives 1/2 a world away.
With trepidation you board a plane. You fly across an ocean to meet a little boy that the Lord has led you to. It is amazing. Your can't imagine that you could feel so much love for any one person. He is perfect. Perfect face, healthy, 10 fingers, 10 toes. You know because you count them over and over. You hug him and hold him and tell him over and over that you love him and that he is your son.
Then there comes the day. The day you hand him to a woman. God how you wish you didn't have to do that. How you wish that you didn't have to say goodbye. You wish that this was the moment that was going to be forever. That you could whisk him away from this place, but no. You kiss him one last time. You tell him one last time that you love him and that mommy will be back soon to get you. And you walk away.
You board that plane again. Flying back across the ocean you wonder again why you were picked to take this trip.
Before you left you thought it would only be a short time before you got back on that plane to run back to your son. Imagine the discouragement when the person helping you breaks the bad news that she needs one piece of paper for you to go back. The horror as you read that yet another woman has killed her child, a child that she got from your son's country. Feel the outrage that this woman sparks as her actions not only end an innocent life, but stop you and everyone else from bringing their children home.
The days pass by. They become weeks and then months. You have nothing more than photos to look at. The photos are everywhere. In your home, at work, you carry them with you everywhere.
Imagine that a foreign government has complete control over your child. They refuse to send you updates on your child. You have no clue if he is alright. Has he been ill? Is he walking? How much does he weigh? Are you still able to go back to get him?
Four months later there is news. The foreign government is going to investigate every agency. They are going to make the determination if your agency is good or not. With bated breath you wait. Two weeks later there is good news. Your agency is good. The government says they will give you the paper soon.
In the mean time you watch your friends give birth to their children. You watch other mothers travel to pick up their children. All the while you sit and wait with no word. Milestones pass. Birthdays, holidays. Events that you were sure you would have your child for.
People ask why you can't just go back and get him. They ask what is taking so long. They ask, when are you going back. All you can answer is I don't know. Over and over again, I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.
On the outside you show a brave face. You smile and know people ask because they care. On the inside you are secretly withering away. With every I don't know your heart breaks a little more for the boy you said good bye to.
More months go by. It is eight months now. Eight months with no word. No hope. Other agencies are getting the paper. Other children are coming home. If you don't hear anything by first thing in the morning then you have to claw your way through another day of waiting. They are on the other side of the world and sleep soundly while you try to manage another day with the brave face.
Your only solace comes in the form of the others. Those stuck just like you. People who have become like family. People who have looked into their children's eyes and had to say good bye, mommy will be back for you soon.
You start everyday with hope and watch it turn to despair, all the while putting on the brave face.
Imagine that this is your world.