Today, on Orphan Sunday, we celebrate the fact that Archie is our son and brother. That he is home with us where he belongs. I tell him every single day, multiple times, "I am so happy you are mine." And I am. So happy that he's mine. I am so thankful that, against a lot of odds, and criticism, and struggle, we followed the bumpy path that God had laid out for us to go and get our son.
But on this day, more than anything, my heart aches. For all of Archie's friends who we left behind. I don't talk much about them. I don't talk much about the things we saw while we were at his orphanage. I don't talk about it because it hurts.
While we were on our first trip to meet Archie, our visits took place in the "Day Center". It was a part of the orphanage that just a handful of the kids got to go to. Kind of a little school. It was clean, well kept, and was staffed with some incredibly loving women. It was by far the nicest part of the orphanage.
We were asked at one point if we would like to see the rest of the orphanage. Joey was an immediate "yes". I was a most definite "no". Knowing that in just a few short days we would be leaving Archie behind for God only knew how long, I could not bring myself to go and see what was behind those concrete walls.
Joey went. And came back a mess. I asked him not to tell me anything. But I knew that what he had seen had shook him to his core. I knew that it was painful.
During our visit, we spent a lot of time with many of Archie's best friends. Kids that he had grown up with. And we fell in love with them. We became particularly attached to a couple of them, which only made things harder. I push their faces out of my mind as often as possible, in a selfish attempt to preserve my sanity. But there are many nights I lie in bed and cry thinking about them. Wondering if they got enough food that day. If their medical needs were being met. If anyone hugged them, or even touched them at all. And knowing that most of them, inevitably, will never know the love of a family.
The orphan crisis is huge, people. So big that it feels overwhelming. It feels like there is nothing any one person can do to even make a dent. And it exists all over the world. In Archie's tiny hometown of Buzovgrad, Bulgaria, and right here in the United States. But you CAN make a difference. Adoption is not the only answer. There are so many ways to get involved. And EVERYONE can do SOMETHING.
Lots of Love!