If you have been around me for any length of time, it is highly likely that you have heard me mention that I want to adopt a little girl with pigtails from China.
It is very important that you note I said "with pigtails". Those cute little faces with pigtails in their hair absolutely melt me.
If you have walked the streets of China with me, it is highly likely that you have heard my exclamations over the cuteness of all the little girls with pigtails.
If you were on a team visiting China with me, you have in your possession a journal with a drawing made by me of a cute little girl with pigtails. It's not a good drawing by any means, but does express my heart :-)
I guess you can say I am sort of obsessed. I don't even know when it started, but there has just been a desire in my heart for I don't know how long to adopt a little girl (with pigtails) from China.
So all that to say - adoption and the desire to adopt someday has been on my heart for a long time. But this past week, it has definitely reached new heights.
Never before had I realized that the need for families willing to adopt could be so directly linked to rescuing young people from human trafficking. My eyes have definitely been opened ... and flooded with tears.
I guess it all started through the wonderful Calvaresi family and the precious little girl that they recently adopted from Serbia. You can learn more about this family here. I had heard Kaci mention that if they had not adopted, their precious little Serbian girl could have possibly grown up to be a victim of trafficking...but the realization of the issue just did not fully register ... yet.
The other day, Kaci posted this blogpost and told the story of a girl named Julianna, whose fate could soon find her as a victim of human trafficking. According to this website, Julianna was listed in urgent need of adoption, stating "She is at extreme risk as human traffickers have already been following her knowing she will be shortly released from the orphanage to the streets, waiting for their opportunity. She must be adopted to be saved from that life, the orphanage staff is very concerned for her well being and she is naturally very scared as well." Upon reading that, it started to sink in, but I had no idea the emotion that was to come.
As I stated in this blogpost, I have been reading the book Not For Sale by David Batstone. This book is good ... I mean sooo good. Read it!
Yesterday I was reading about the sex syndicate in Europe and there was a portion when it spoke to the issue of orphans. There are so many orphans in Eastern Europe that the orphanages can't handle the numbers, so what happens is that once an orphan turns 16 or 17, they are no longer able to live in the orphanage. The traffickers know this and they wait ready to take advantage of these teenagers. As I read about it I got this picture in my head of them waiting around like lions ready to pounce as soon as one walked out the door of the orphanage. It absolutely broke me.
I cried ... and cried ... and then sent an email to my friend Kaci. Kaci had written me earlier about her blogpost and this very issue. As I typed into that email with tears streaming down my face, I saw the words "build a rescued family" go across the screen. It was really just a sentence typed in an email that I did really even give too much thought to, but to see those words in black and white really hit something in my heart.
I want to "build a rescued family". I don't really even know what that means, but I do know that there are children - teenagers out there who not only desire a family, they are in desperate need of one or they might find themselves in captivity.
I was thinking this morning of the job I used to have directing the Inasmuch child sponsorship program. This program raised support for orphanages through sponsorship of the children in the orphanage.
Everyday I looked at pictures of children in Guatemala, Brazil, Korea, and Albania. As I have been reading this book talking about the issues of human trafficking I have read mention of Shkoder and Tirana ... and I know those names. Those are the two cities in Albania were the orphanages supported through Inasmuch were. Shkoder was an orphanage for younger children and Tirana was an orphanage for older children.
I literally can't put words to the feeling of realizing that some of those children that I looked at everyday could now be victims of human trafficking. At that point in my life, when I wrote newsletters and yearly updates about them, I honestly had no clue what the future could hold for them. It is a very sobering thought.
I simply have to end this blogpost on a positive note, so I leave you with good news.
Remember, Julianna. God has been so faithful and is already moving to bring her into a family. Check out Kaci's post here. God is so good and is about the business of setting the captives free ... and guarding the free from captivity.
Ever think about adoption? What about adopting a teenager and rescuing them from a possible life of servitude? I know I hope to ... someday.