Sunday, September 22, 2013

Our Terror Is Ours Alone

We carried him out three years ago today.

September 22, 2010

I will never forget that day as long as I live.

Not because it was Aaron's Gotcha Day.

But because of the terror I felt as we waited for hour upon hour for the last papers to be signed and for Aaron to finally become our son in both word and deed.

We arrived at the institute fresh from an amazing trip where we had had the privilege of walking the corridors of Aaron's babyhouse.  We arrived with the images of his first home forever implanted in our minds. We arrived at the green, forbidding gates with memories of the open arms and warm hugs we had received just the day before.  Where tears of joy had been shed and pictures had been taken.  We arrived with our eyes wide open as we saw the mental institute in stark contrast against the safe rooms of Aaron's babyhouse. 

We arrived expecting to sign a few papers, to be given the traditional tour of Aaron's rooms, to be given words of encouragement and joy as we carried him out of there forever.
It was a hard day.

It carried with it none of the romance that so many have when they first carry their child out from the gates.

We were told to sit and wait in the gazebo while the papers were signed. 
At first we sat and hummed a merry tune.
But then music from the building where papers were to be signed began to crash into our happy little tune.
It was loud and overwhelming.
We stopped singing and sat and listened.  The beat of its drum brought terror to our hearts.
Voices raised.  Clashed.  Yells. 
People began running in and out of the buildings.
No one wanted to look in our direction.
We sat.
In terror.
Not for one hour.  Not for two.  Not for three hours.  We sat for almost four hours listening to the crashing of the cymbals in the building next door.
We sat as darkness swirled around our hearts.  We didn't understand.  We weren't prepared. 
A few times our facilitator would come sit with us.  Try to extend comfort.  But then the music would start inside the building and she would rush back inside to try to get it back under control.
They didn't want to let him go.
They didn't want to let him go.
We sat in terror and wondered.  Wondered.  Would we be allowed to carry our son out of the gates.
Finally.  Finally.  They signed the papers because they had no choice.
But they slammed the door when it came to allowing us to see his bed.  His room.  Where his toothbrush hung on the wall.
We were given a few minutes to ask questions.
Questions that were asked under the watchful, oppressive presence of the director.
Questions that were answered by a nervous caretaker - afraid she would give away dark secrets.
We were off balance and unable to formulate our thoughts.
We had so many questions but most were left unspoken.  We couldn't think.  We just wanted them to bring our son so we could leave.  Flee.
They examined the clothes we brought. 
Sniffed at them.  Jacket?  Socks?  Underwear?  I showed them each piece.
They took them from us.  Cold.  Hard.
We waited.  Waited.
Finally our son.

She didn't want to let him go.
The director.
She was afraid.
She was afraid that we would harm him.
Hurt him.
They didn't believe that we wanted him as our beloved son.  They believed the worst.   That we would sell him.  Use his body for parts.  Mistreat him.  Abuse him.
What we heard as anger was really fear.
What we believed was hatred was really terror.
She let me take her picture with him.
And then after we put him in the car and started to drive away she stood outside the gates and wept.  She wept as we drove away.  Tears pouring down her face.
I will never ever forget looking back and seeing her standing there.
Lost.  Afraid.
Not believing.
Nine months later when the Hartmans walked through those green gates and met her she shared. Confessed.  Admitted her fear.  Her terror.  They gave her pictures.  Presents.  Words of encouragement that their Vanya was thriving.  Her weeping became rejoicing.  Her Vanya was safe.
A few months ago when the Marrs walked through those same green gates they carried more pictures.  More testimony that he was growing and learning. 
She no longer fears adoption.
She is no longer as afraid.
The families that are coming behind us are coming with testimonies and stories and pictures that give her hope for her boys.  A future.  A life outside the gates. 
Our terror is ours alone.
Our memories of that day are not the same memories that the Hartmans and Marrs share.
The hours we sat inside that gazebo holding hands and praying and shaking with fear are over.  God is doing a new thing in that institute.  The director knows that we are the ones supporting the ministry team going in.  She knows we are behind the purchase of air conditioners and heaters.  She knows we are behind the purchase of diapers and medicine and medical supplies.  She knows we care.   She knows we have rallied people across the world to care. 
Pearson.  Grady.  Porter.  Dagmar.
30520132428  30520133224 Porter 2013 30520133548
She willingly allowed their pictures to be taken.  She agreed to get them listed.  She is open to having them adopted.
It is not a walk in the park there but God has made a way and the process is smoother.  Easier.
They need families.
They need Gotcha Days.
Today is Aaron's.
September 22, 2010 - September 22, 2013.
They need Gotcha Days too.


WE NEED TO RAISE:  $16,700.00

WE HAVE RAISED:  $12,172.00

(This includes the money for the Tam's that is over and above the matching grant.  It does NOT include the hundreds of dollars that has been donated to the Hortons, Taylors, Unroes and Grace Knuth)

WE STILL NEED:  $6,347.00

 Renee and Steve Tam - 3,000 matching grant - Raised $4,819.00 FULLY FUNDED!!!

Breaking it Down...
Carla and Paul Dobrovits - 2,500 matching grant - Raised $1868.00
Janice and Tim Rowe - 3,700 matching grant - Raised $1,932.00
 Val and Bill Deutsch - 2,500 matching grant - Raised $2,209.00

PORTER - $1,000 + 1,000 matching grant   - Raised $117.00  NO DONATIONS YESTERDAY
 BRENTON - 1,000 matching grant - Raised $806.00
DAGMAR - $1,000 + 1,000 matching grant - Raised $104.00
PEARSON - $1,000 + 1,000 matching grant  - Raised $140.00 NO DONATIONS YESTERDAY
GRADY - $1,000 + 1,000 matching grant  - Raised $177.00

The Heroes of this Symphony....THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Jacquelyn, Tiny, Andi, Cathy, Cathleen, Arnie, Kenlyn, Andrea, Jennifer, Robin, Kim, Guy, Nicole, Christina, Gentry, Theresa, Cortney, Pamela, Laura, Tiffany, Holly, Amanda,  Rebecca, Penney, Sherry, Cheryl, Nancy, Samm, Hannah, Alex, Susan, Jennifer, Amy, Jamie, Leah, Victoria, Debbie, Pam, Robin, Kathryn, Lisa, Tina, Carolyn, Pam, Nicole, Annette, Ivy, Stori, Deanna, Hansini, Elizabeth, Michelle, Trish, Neil, Christine, Katherine, Jennifer, Renee, Janice, Carla, Amy, Frankie, Brooke, Tanna, Christina, Elizabeth, Brooke, Jessica, Christine, Sonja, Sara, Edith, Beth, Beth Ann, Missy, Csilla, Sue, Jessica, Nancy, Tracy, Andrew, Kim, Emily, Kim, Molly, Trina, Katrina, Tea, Constance, Rosie, Amy,  Christina, Mama, Andrea, Cindy, Martha, Emily, Erin, Robin, Laura, CareB, Salem, Frankie, Kayla, Coll, Heather, Elizabeth, Jamie, Carrs, Lynette, Deborah, Cheryl, Lisa, Amanda



  1. Hello! Your September Symphony has been so beautiful to follow! God has really gifted you with your words, I love how you've related adoption to music :) This morning we donated $100 to each of the three families who haven't yet met their grants (Rowes, Dobrovits, Duetsch Families).

    Thanks for using your position and talent to spread the word about these precious children.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the feelings of injustice when we think of where so many of our kids are/have been. And we forget that a lot of times, on the other side, there are often people who do care about these kids too, who are doing the best they can with what they're given to work with. I'm thankful that this Director has had a change of heart and pray that slowly but surely this change will happen all throughout EE . ~Brooke K.

  3. Donated $100 to the Rowe family.

  4. Thank you for showing us "that side of the green gates." It made me want to weep, feeling the agony and weight the director must have shouldered. I'm glad she was brave; brave enough to move into a place she feared. Thank you, Lord.

  5. Sept 22 is a beautiful gotcha day! The first day of autumn... Congratulations, Aaron.
    I am praising God that he used you to open the gates.

  6. Thank you for your persistence to help these children find their forever homes. Tonight I donated $10 to Dagmar, $10 to Pearson, and $10 to Porter. I shared each of their pages on twitter as well (Tweeted x3). I hope this helps to bring these precious children home to a place of nonjudgmental unconditional love! Amy Truluck

  7. Julia, I just donated to Grace's giveaway for Tony too. Thanks, Nicole Niemiec

  8. I really love this post. It echoes what I felt - that the orphanage staff really did care about our children. I remember Zhenya's caregiver crying as she wrapped the scarf around his head. That's why I often send photos and updates. I want everyone who knew them to know they are doing well.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!