Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It Ain't Over 'til It's Over

I wrote this a few days ago and have been waiting to post it . . . because there is good news at the end.
A few days ago we were visited by our foster son's adoptive mother. You might recall that I said it was "all but a done deal." No such joy now. Yesterday we got a call from the adoption agency rep. She said, "Brace yourself. You're not going to believe this." The adoption was off. Why was it off? Because the adoptive mother's parents threatened to disown her and her family if she adopted an African-American child.

I could scarcely believe what I was hearing. Here was a family who had pursued an international adoption for four or five years. They had a heart for adoption. The mother came and visited with us and absolutely fell in love with R. The children in the family had already made signs to welcome their new brother home. And then the grandparents threatened them because R is black.

I have no criticism for the family who wanted to adopt him. I do not know the dynamics of their extended family. I only know that they are heartbroken. Some might say they should just go ahead with the adoption and let the grandparents disown them. I can't make that call from the information I have. There is too much I don't know. Certainly, the relationship with parents and grandparents is important. And also certainly, the coldness R would feel over the years from those grandparents would be a burden to him, and to the family.

I can only say that it takes a small, crabbed person to despise a child because of the color of his skin.

Think what that means to their grandchildren. "Sorry, kids. But we won't speak to you again if you allow a black child into your family. No, we've never met him. We just don't like the color of his skin." This coercion, this emotional blackmail, will poison that relationship. What a legacy to leave your grandkids.

Nobody with an ounce of humanity could look at R, spend half a day with him, and see him as anything other than a beautiful, loving, bright child who needs only a good home to help him grow into a man. But, of course, they don't want to see him as a child. They don't want to see him at all.

So, now the agency starts over, looking for another permanent family for R. Fortunately, he is too young to know what has been happening. He only knows that he is with people who love him right now. I pray he is much older before he learns how small some people are.

We ask your prayers. Please pray that a family is found soon for him. Pray also for those who thought he was going to be part of their family, and those who have denied him that blessing. And pray for me. I am having a hard time letting go of my anger. And that is not how it should be.

And now for the good news. There is another family who wants to adopt R. They have been waiting over a year for a child, and will be making a trip here the week after Christmas. So the roller coaster clanks its way back to the top of the hill. Pray that this ride ends successfully.