The New Normal

25 Feb

The world can only stand still for so long.

Until recently, normalcy ceased to exist in our lives. Days blended together, indiscernible from the last because each brought the exact same routine. Wake up, check no less than ten foreign newspapers for signs of hope, write or call a political figure, check email repeatedly for news from our agency or the Department of State, seek comfort from those in our exact situation, convince ourselves that tomorrow will bring good news, sleep very little. Repeat.

Gradually over the last month, we’ve willed ourselves to return to a new sense of normal. The world had to start spinning again. Our new normal is a little like running on generator power. Socially we’re still unplugged so we can devote that energy to important things like being productive at work. So if we aren’t the best at returning calls or emails, please forgive us, we’re trying.

There’s also a new feeling that comes with this new normal, guilt.

It visits when we find ourselves laughing at something on TV or considering going out to eat. It visits when we sit down to a balanced meal, step outside for fresh air, or put fresh clean clothes on each morning. It visits any time we’re doing something Ava doesn’t have the privilege of enjoying. It makes us feel like we’ve somehow forgotten about her or given up. (It’s obviously a tricky and emotional place to be, please know we are seeking help to navigate and understand it.)

News from Ava’s country has slowed to a trickle and updates from the Department of State have become increasingly discouraging. The simple fact is this ban is a law. Unlike in the past when Ava’s country has just “closed” to adoptions, this is binding. It can only be repealed or amended by politicians who have shown no concern for the ban’s effect on their youngest citizens. (A glimpse into their thought process here.) More concerning is the change in political climate in Ava’s country, which by all accounts from our friends there, is an indication of what to expect in the years to come.

With that said, we know both sides are still talking. Though Ava’s country continues to stand by the decision of their Supreme Court (families who passed court before the ban can continue), we find some comfort in knowing the topic is still being broached. Our agency, the only one in country who deals solely with special needs adoptions, is also keeping their office open as long as they have the funds to do so in the hopes something will turn around. Many, many others have already shut their doors.

Families in Ava’s country are being offered more money to adopt and increased sums to adopt children with disabilities. While “taking care of their own” is an admirable goal, the path to societal change is long and twisted. It requires more than monetary incentives to find homes for more than 100,000 orphans. Our constant prayer and plea is for Ava’s country to realize that these children deserve a future that they are easily decades away from providing, particularly for children with disabilities. An entire generation of children is poised to fall through the cracks of a broken system.

That is the fear we live with daily. As hope dwindles and we hang on to its last thread, what will happen to our girl if we aren’t able to bring her home? That reality is something we are just beginning to experience and the pain is not our own. We’re experiencing it for Ava, knowing too well the future she may face and praying she feels the peace and comfort of God’s love daily.

That is honestly all we can do as we face each day, one at a time, in this new normal.

2 Responses to “The New Normal”

  1. Terry C Grimm February 25, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    Kristen and Andy,
    My heart weeps for you being held in this place of yearning and yet not knowing what will happen. I will lift you up in prayer daily knowing of God’s love for you.

  2. Rachael Klopfer February 26, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

    Still on the sidelines…still a part of your village…still lifting the three of you up in prayer. This post was hard to read. Thinking of you guys and desperately hoping that things change. Please know what an inspiration you have been to me…I will never forget Ava. <3

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