On July 10 (my mom's birthday), God shared that I would be with Sofia for her birthday in August. I didn't know what that meant but I surely hoped that meant we were finishing court very soon. Unfortunately, a few days later I found out that nine months after NOC and five months after our case had been filed in the court system, we were back at square one. Our agency shared that our case hadn't even been heard in the courts yet and I was devastated with this news. Our sweet girl had been waiting years and she had to wait even longer. I was in a deep depression for a long time after that. A sort of darkness engulfed me as I pleaded with God to just let her come home quickly and yet my prayers went unanswered. God said, Not Yet. I ached for our precious girl to know that we were fighting for her and we wanted her to be home so badly and yet it was all out of our hands.
That's the part of adoption that really stinks; feeling totally and completely helpless. That's the part of adoption where one should place their trust in God and know He's holding those little loves in His perfect hands. I didn't do so well with surrendering that part to Him but I do believe He used my stubbornness for good. He used it to fuel a fire that would enable me to do whatever it took to get Sofia home (more to come on that later).
On August 20 I left for India to visit Sofia and try to get her case moving along. I am so thankful she lived in a Christian orphanage! Bethel has a community college, nursing school, elementary school, girls and boys home (for children whose parents can't afford to raise them), and some other things I'm sure I've missed all on 120 acres. It's such a remarkable place! I was able to see where she went to school, meet her friends and care takers, and basically see how she had lived for the last five years. She was SO loved there and I'm eternally grateful for that. The first few days were sweet as we played together and learned more about one another. By the middle of the week, her attitude had shifted. We found that the other kids were jealous and being mean to Sofie. Understandably, kids are kids and these precious ones had good reason to be envious. I came in bringing goodies for all of them, taking time to paint, color, build with play-doh, blow bubbles, throw balls, paint fingernails, gobble down candy and fruit snacks but I was Sofia's mama, not theirs. Talk about feeling WRECKED - many of those little loves had no Mama coming for them and yet I hurt knowing they took out their heart ache on sweet Sofie, who felt stuck in the middle I am sure.
Her birthday went something like this -- just an excerpt from a Facebook post on our adoption page.
"Yesterday was a very long day. 😥 we took all ten baby home kids to the zoo. Sofie wouldn't sit by me on the bus. The nannies kept making her sit by me and she cried the most pitiful cry. When we got to the zoo they were making her hold my hand and she didn't want to.
They pulled her to the side and told her I came all the way to see her and she should be nice. I DID NOT want her to at all feel obligated. Finally Sofie told them some other kids at the baby home told her I was taking her away and they were happy she was leaving and they wouldn't have to go to school with them anymore. They had been teasing her and laughing when she cried. 😢The nannies told her not to listen to them and she seemed better for a few minutes. I just hate her birthday was like that. It was supposed to be a happy day. We have tried to do things with all the kids everyday.. chalk, bubbles, coloring, stickers to help keep from just showering our kids with attention and prizes but still they re hurting kids that need love. It just makes me sad for Sofie that she's being teased because they are jealous. During her party she got upset again. I then got upset after her party fiasco. I told them a small cake with her friends was fine. Half the village came. She got upset again. She didn't want to be near me. When the party was over I told the director we were going to a hotel tomorrow since its probably best for Sofie. I started crying (again) and at exact moment a thunder storm blew up and the power went off. It was like the party from hell. She left quickly I didn't even give her the gift which I ended up scaling back so she wouldn't be bullied even more. 😟 It breaks my heart that we don't know what those kids are telling her. Pray for our sweet girl!"
The next two days I gave her some space and just played with all the babies. When it was time for me to leave, she seemed almost relieved that I was finally leaving and NOT taking her with me. ;) Bless her sweet bones! Knowing she was loved and not wanting to come home with me, made it easier to leave. On August 28 I boarded a plane to go home without my little love but I was more determined than ever to get her HOME FOREVER!