Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Perry Mason, Part One (In which Sir Perry takes the field and victory is in doubt)

Original Post Date:  Friday, 10 September 2010

Aaron Vanya Nalle won a victory yesterday. He is an orphan no more.

Aaron’s victory was a direct result of the many prayers lifted up to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. A lot of these prayers went up on Wednesday before court, and even on Thursday during court, when most of the people who knew of this need should have been sleeping. But there were also many other prayers, prayers from a year ago or two years ago. The prayers may have even begun at Aaron’s birth, when his birth parents looked down at his poor bent body in the hospital bassinet. I can imagine their despair as they wondered how they would care for such a child without financial support. With everyone advising them to give him up, I can imagine that they wept bitterly, cried out to God and made the most heart-wrenching decision two parents could ever make. They walked away from their child, grieving and wondering what would become of him. They signed away their parental rights and tried to put the whole thing behind them. I pray that somehow they may be comforted. We don’t know if they will ever hear that Aaron found a family, and it’s not our place to pursue the matter.

The prayers that began at his birth continued when he landed in a baby house orphanage. The caretakers there obviously came to love our little guy, or he would never have learned to laugh and smile. They provided surgery to try to correct his crooked little feet. They taught him to walk and to talk. They tended him when he fell and fed and clothed him. And they grieved and worried as his fifth birthday approached, which would mean the end of his time with them and a transfer to a home for mentally disabled older boys. Almost no one escapes from these homes.

Although Aaron was available for adoption all through his time at the baby house, his file went to the bottom of the stack as other children came and went. But through God’s grace, the director at his baby house learned about Reece’s Rainbow. After more prayers, along with phone calls and emails, a certain dusty file rose to the top of the stack, and dear Aaron became the first in his baby house to be listed for adoption on Reece’s Rainbow. But no one stepped forward. Despite everyone’s best efforts to keep him from being transferred, time ran out on him. Aaron went to a mental institute for older boys. Even then, the prayers of his caretakers covered him as they said goodbye.

There are many institutes in this country, and a lot of them are closed to adoptions. By God’s grace, Aaron went to one with a director who was willing to allow adoptions, although no one had ever wanted any of the boys under her care. Aaron’s adoption was unlikely, but still not impossible. Because of the urgency of his situation, Reece’s Rainbow did all it could to raise awareness for this one little boy. Hundreds of people saw his picture, prayed for him and even considered opening their homes for him. In December, a big-hearted college girl in New York fell in love with him and made him her battle cry. And God in His mercy heard.

All of this was through the prayers of the saints. And even though he was abandoned at birth, we marvel that he has never been without love. Two of Aaron’s caretakers rode to court with us yesterday, one to testify and one to look after him during the hearing. The looks of tenderness and love on both of their faces speak volumes to this Mama’s heart. Even through this last year, when hope seemed lost, he was never unloved. God has been at work in his life from the beginning.

To God be the glory.

(Rob writing)

We now begin a multi-part drama that will relate some of the gory details of our tribulations in court. DON'T TAKE THIS TOO SERIOUSLY, because most adoptive families won’t go through this. We only ended up in this particular court because of bureaucratic problems in our little village, and we’re pretty sure the legal team will assiduously avoid this court in the future.

Our drama begins...

Criminal attorney Perry Mason (aka Rob) and his attorney wife Julia are taking a break from their successful and celebrated law practice (!) in order to adopt a disabled orphan child from Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, they have encountered a hostile judge who doesn’t trust their motives. On the appointed day, Perry and Julia step purposefully into the courtroom with justice on their side and the prayers of thousands at their backs.

After 15 minutes of the usual skull-crushing drudgery (names and addresses of those present, applicable law codes and so on), the judge begins to grill Perry.

Judge: Please explain your reasons for wanting to adopt a sick child.

Perry: All of my life I have cared for disabled and orphan children. I volunteered to help disabled children in college. Since before I met my wife, and continuing to today, I have sent money every month to sponsor poor children. It is in my nature to want to help them.

Three years ago my wife traveled to India to help her dear friend adopt a disabled orphan child. It was a beautiful experience. Before the adoption, this little girl had nothing: no parents, no opportunities, no future. After the adoption, she had love, a home of her own, opportunities for education, and the hope of a bright future. We began to think about opening our own home to another such orphan.

Judge: How will you communicate with the child when you don’t know his language?

Perry: We have several options for translation. We have two friends at home who speak his language and are available to translate by telephone if necessary. Through the internet, we have computer translation programs that we can use. At the hospital where he will receive medical care, the staff will provide free translation services if necessary. Finally, we have made an effort to learn some phrases in his language to help us deal with his immediate needs.

Judge (pouncing): I want to hear this.

Perry (in broken language): Greetings, Vanya. How are you doing? Do you want a drink? Do you want food? Do you want sleep? Do you want salt, pepper, butter, milk? Potatoes?

The courtroom fills with quiet laughter. Perry assumes that the spectators are laughing indulgently at the touching appearance of the child on his lap. Later, to his horror, he discovers that they are laughing at his clumsy use of the language. Never again will he trust those ham-handed computer translation programs.

Judge: It seems to me that if you loved the child, you would learn his language.

Perry: Your honor, we learned as much as we could in the brief time we had…

Judge: You had a year.

(Perry wants to say that the study of this language usually takes college students four years, and even then most would not be sufficiently conversant to manage a hearing in a foreign court. Sensing that this is pointless, he tries another tactic.)

Perry: We know of many Americans who have successfully adopted from this country. Those children have all learned English. It takes time and some trouble, but they do learn.

Judge: How will he play with other children when he does not know their language?

Perry: He will learn English from his brothers even more than from us as they play together.

Judge: Don’t you think he will be traumatized by this move to a country where no one knows his language?

Perry: He has bonded with us. He will not feel traumatized as long as we are there to comfort him. The boy’s needs are simple. His mother knows his needs before he even asks. His primary language will be English, and he will learn.

After the translation, Perry adds: And it would be far more traumatic for him to spend the rest of his life in an institution, with no parents and no opportunities, than to live for a short time among people who do not understand his language.

With this last, Perry feels that he has struck a blow for the first time today. But the adoption still stands on a knife’s edge, and can fall either way. Will Perry and Julia win the day with the Lord’s help? Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow to find out.

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