This was a searing question in my mind as we began to think about home studies and dossiers and traveling abroad to bring home 2 young girls. This question hadn't really been answered as far as I could tell. The girls had been interviewed from the orphanage for a hosting program, not for adoption. Many children who are hosted do get adopted by their hosting families, but I've read the profiles of some kids who wanted to come and enjoy America for 5 weeks but they had no interest in being adopted and made that clear in their interviews. Granted, these were older, teen-aged children, but I want to know for sure that we are pursuing children who actually want a family. Because of HIV, it was decided that she could not travel for the hosting program but they did allow the profile of her and Karina to be posted in hopes of finding a family for them. But is this what they really wanted?
I wanted to make sure and wrote to the adoption agency lady with whom we are working and asked her for more information about the girls: How did she acquire HIV? What medicines is she taking? How long have they been at the orphanage? How did they come to be there? And then the final, big question: Do we know for sure that they even want to be adopted?
Her response was: "Are you kidding? :) They will want to be adopted!!!"
I wrote back: "There have been some situations where kids changed their minds when local authorities scared them by telling them that they were just wanted for body parts and how horrible America would be. I just want to make sure that they are aware that they are wanted and that they will be willing to have their whole world changed…."
She then wrote back: "If the director and the orphanage personnel support adoptions, then they will not change their minds. And because of the HIV, I am very sure that they will be encouraged to go to American where she can be treated. The orphanage personnel and director will support them in being adopted, I am so sure of this; it's not a normal situation, everyone there will understand that this is their perfect chance and encourage them to grab ahold with both hands."
"I am so sure of this...This is their perfect chance...grab ahold with both hands." These words were so encouraging to me! My heart was settled and we are going with the assumption that they will want to join our family. I have been given the go-ahead to send something back to them via children from their orphanage who will be here for hosting. We will send a photo album for them each with pictures of our family and a letter saying that we wanted to host them and are sorry that they couldn't travel but that we really want to meet them one day soon. We can also send something small, like a necklace for them each. We cannot come right out and say that we want to adopt them, in case something goes terribly wrong. We don't want to break their hearts. But we can start letting them know who we are so that we will not be complete strangers when we meet them.
An interesting little tidbit: when I was asking about what kind of gift to send, I asked about a stuffed animal, like this one, with their names on them. I thought they might love how soft and cuddle they are and they could have something to snuggle with at night. But the staff there believe that stuffed animals carry germs and so wouldn't allow the girls to have them. I had never thought of that being something that would be a problem! So keep that in mind if you want to send gifts to orphanages...
I am so excited to know that they will be "meeting" us soon through pictures we will send. I so want them to be looking forward to meeting us in person just as we are looking forward to meeting them! Just one more thing for which we must trust God: that He will prepare their hearts to receive us as parents...