Friday, February 18, 2011

Hope for the Helpless

I recently was reading the annual report from the agency that made it possible for us to bring Lucy home (Families Thru International Adoption).  There are no other words to describe the current state of international adoption than discouraging, bleak….and sad.  Not only is overall international adoption down 15% from 2009, the trend is expected to get worse, and key legislation that was hoped to pass this year did not.  Since Lucy has come home, China has only moved through 2 months of applications.   

Anyone familiar with the adoption world knows about The Hague Treaty, a law that passed mid-way through our process; its intention was to help decrease child trafficking as well as provide more oversight and streamlining of adoption regulations.  The unintended consequence of this bureaucratic monstrosity is that many children remain orphaned and abandoned around the world, with less and less hope of them finding their forever families. Speculation is that the intent is to marginalize if not eliminate international adoption all together.  For the life of me, I can’t make sense of all of this.  How is it that we as a country, and a world, cannot find a way to take care of these children?
After reading these updates, I spent some time thinking about all the people out there waiting for their child to come home, all those children who simply want to be loved and united with a family, and those who have had to give up on their hopes of adopting internationally.  My heart aches for them. Mostly, I contemplated the blessing of Lucy.  How is it that we got through all of this in just the nick of time?  How is it that we were fortunate, and so many others have not been?  When answers escape me, as so many do right now, I know I simply must defer to God and have faith in His infinite wisdom.  I will choose to hold on to hope and prayer, believing that it will render goodness amidst all this discouragement. 

Lucy received a few more hugs than usual today.  And God received a lot of prayers of thanks, for He has given us the greatest blessing of our lives.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Year of the Rabbit

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, February 3rd marked the beginning of the new year:  The Year of the Rabbit.  The rabbit is the fourth of twelve animals associated with the Chinese calendar.  Those who are born this year (attention:  Baby Buzzelli!) are said to be sensitive, ambitious and trustworthy. (For those who are curious, Lucy was born in the Year of the Rat.  The traits associated with this year are:  creative, ambitious and hardworking.)  In honor of Lucy's heritage and this great Chinese celebration, I tried my hand at a new Chinese dish:
After some minor modifications to suit our personal tastes, it turned out delicious! 
So, for those of you who are looking for change in this next year, eat a kumquat!  Kumquats are believed to bring luck and renewed hope to those who eat them.  And from all of us at the Barnes' household, enjoy The Year of the Rabbit!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lucy's Lesson

Even when you are sick (with a cold) and tired (from not sleeping from the cold) and restless (from seemingly endless winter weather) and worried (from Lucy's continued growth issues) can still wear a smile.  Yesterday Lucy got a hold of some "happy face sticks" (stickers), as she affectionately calls them.  Before I knew it she had strategically placed them all over herself:  her hands, her feet, her pockets, her pants, her shirt, even her cheek!  Throughout the day they naturally kept falling off, only to be found in random places... a sweet and gentle reminder from Lucy that whatever is going on, keep smiling.  
By the end of the day, one lone purple sticker remained on her hand, saying to both of, for this too shall pass.