It’s official! Today we finalized CaiQun’s adoption, and Matt and I legally became her parents 🙂
We had a quick lunch (snacks in our hotel room) before heading out to Luoyang to apply for her passport. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive from here to there, and the sights of the drive had a significant effect on both Matt and me. We talk about the gap between the rich and the poor, between the 1% and the rest of us, in America – and that gap is real (and, I believe, problematic). But that’s nothing compared to what we saw today. We drove from our nice hotel with its luxurious daily breakfast spreads through a commercial area of Zhengzhou, through some not-quite-as-nice areas of Zhengzhou, through clusters of apartment buildings and factories, past nuclear power plants, through large areas of farmland being worked by hand, past what seem to be homes carved into the face of rock bluffs, past homes seemingly thrown together out of scrap materials, and past the stores and hotels and parks and people of the city of Luoyang.
And through all of those different arenas, we wondered…where might CaiQun’s birth mother be? We’ll probably never know, and that’s a profound loss for our little girl. Adoption is beautiful, and it is a picture of redemption, but it is born out of terrible suffering and loss.
After spending quite a while at the office to apply for CaiQun’s passport (the computer system at the office was having some issues), we were able to make a brief visit to her orphanage. It was…well, an orphanage. Our visit itself was rushed, and I don’t feel like I’ve had adequate time to think about what exactly I want to say about it, so for now, I’ll be brief and general – I believe that God designed children to grow and be raised in families, loved and cared for, taught throughout their days, encouraged, disciplined, and guided through their young lives. Orphanages are not designed to do those things, and even the best orphanage is a far cry from a loving family. Orphanages are, at their core, warehouses for people. God did not design human beings to live this way. Friends, please get involved with organizations seeking to preserve and re-unite families, and please adopt some children or support someone who is doing so – for real – I mean you.
Our next few days should be a lot more laid back than what we’ve been experiencing up until this point. No more early wake-up times for official appointments, no more rushing around to eat snacks for lunch in the hotel room while I pack up bags for our next outing, at least for the next few days. We’re just here waiting for paperwork to be processed. We’re looking forward to reading some books, playing with stacking cups, maybe some sister bath time and/or pool time, and most of all, more getting to know one another and building relationships.
The free internet here at the hotel is pretty slow tonight, and wordpress isn’t letting me upload photos, so you’re left with a fairly boring post today – sorry. I think Matt’s put up a few sweet photos on Facebook, so feel free to check his page there (or check his blog – he’s been posting at least as often as I have been these days), and I’ll hopefully be back with more words and pictures tomorrow.