2/20/13

A prayer for the youngest orphans

This post is part of my lenten series: 40 prayers for Russia's orphans.  Won't you join us in lifting up some of the most vulnerable children in our world today? 

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Day 7

 When John and I had our court date in Moscow, our session was delayed by about half an hour. During that time, we sat in a waiting area and talked to the court translator who obviously knew we were nervous and helped calm us down by making conversation.

Part of that conversation was about the state of adoptions in Russia. What she told us was very interesting and helped explain why no one had already scooped up our little man. I mean, you've seen him right? Who could resist??

What she told us was that in Russia adoption is not as "normal" as it is in the US. She said typically (not always, but typically) if a couple is infertile and decide to adopt, they will adopt an infant and go to extreme lengths to hide the adoption. The mother will fake a pregnancy and go to monthly obstetrician appointments. When they baby is due, the adoptive mother will go to the hospital and her doctor will keep here there for a day or two to fake labor and delivery. Then the family will go home with their new child, never letting anyone know the truth.

Sometimes an older infant will be adopted and it is not unheard of for a family to move to a new city and cut ties with old friends and relations, in order to pretend that the child is a birth child and not an adopted child.

Obviously the culture in Russia is very different than ours and although I don't agree with the way they do things, I will not pass judgement.  I can only imagine how hard it is on both birth and adoptive parents to live like that. And actually, I bet the culture was very similar in the US not that many years ago. We are so blessed to live in a country and in an age when adoption is not only accepted, but celebrated.

Today our prayer is for those youngest orphans.

Praying that a new day will dawn in the world of domestic Russian adoption.
Heavenly father,

For those of us who have grown up in a culture of tolerance, it is hard to imagine a place where the gift of adoption is looked upon so poorly. Today we pray for the youngest orphans in Russia.

First of all, we thank you for those orphans who have been adopted into loving families and escaped the hard life of living alone in the world. At the same time, we pray that their families would be moved to be honest with these children about their pasts. Even when adopted from infancy, we know these children suffer a loss and they deserve to know their own stories.

We pray for adoptive parents in Russia. They are the ones who will change the culture and the face of adoption in their country. Give them courage and grace. Bless them as they enter their journeys and give them wisdom to walk them according to your will.

We pray that as US and other international adoptions are banned from Russia, that Russians themselves would learn to celebrate the gift of adoption. That more children would find families in their own countries and grow up with the gifts of knowing and appreciating the best their culture has to offer.

Where secrecy and pain exists, break down the walls. Break down the barriers that prevent adoption of babies in Russia. May the acceptance of infant adoption be the first step for that country to grow to love adoption of children all ages and all abilities.

We pray these things knowing that you hear us and that you are able to do what we ask.

Amen.

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