what is real family?

No pictures today. Sorry I just don’t have the energy, but instead we posted a new video on youtube.com/igoac. And I am working on some good Sam video, but I actually lost the one I had been working on. Sorry. Now on to some thoughts and a story.

Sam is one of 13 cute, awesome little kids in his class. They are mostly boys with a few girls mixed in. They come from all kinds of backgrounds and have been there for different periods of time. Sometimes new people come in, and other people leave. They have several different caretakers who rotate shifts. There are probably about 6 of them, so they see a lot of different people. But for these little people, this is their family.

These are the people they live with day in and day out. These are their brothers and sisters. These are their parents. These are the people they are comfortable with and the people they recognize. While we believe that we are doing a good thing by bringing Sam into our family, and we also believe that every one of these little people need families, there is something hard and painful about them leaving their home and their family.

When they leave here, everything they know disappears, everything. While the lives they move on to may be better in many ways, nothing is familiar or comfortable, nothing. I can’t imagine what it would be like to leave everything that gives me any level of comfort and have no one ask me if I would like to do that or not. Ultimately these little guys may not know what’s best for them, being around 2 years old, but being adopted is in may ways painful for them.

It’s painful for their adoptive families in many ways, too. It’s hard. It’s inconvenient. It’s uncomfortable to live in Kazakhstan for 2 months. It’s expensive. It’s freaking cold for two Texas people. And we thank God for all of it and pray with all our hearts that God would speak to more families and that more families would respond and answer the call to adopt. Because there’s another thing about it: it is absolutely not about us.

In many ways it’s about these kids and about hope and relief. But more than that, as we have said from the very beginning, while Sam was still a stack of paper called a dossier, while he was still an agency application, it was always about the gospel. It was always about Jesus because everything is always about Jesus. As we were reminded very painfully and clearly and beautifully our first week here, it was always about 2 Timothy 1:9: “…God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace.”

Now, the story you’ve all ben waiting for:
Sam has a litle friend in his class, one of the 13, named Matisse. That is his name given to him by his parents who are French. He is a cool little guy and is very active and very happy. His favorite word is”tata,” which means “look!” And he is always pointing at something. We have noticed that every time we come to pick Sam up, if he is not already pretty close to the door or if he doesn’t notice us, his little friend Matisse gets very excited, starts making all kinds of noise and runs over to Sam and starts patting him and making sure he knows that we are there. He knows instantly that we are there to see Sam, and he is very excited for Sam that we are there. It’s so cool. These guys are family.

And no news on anything else yet. Just visiting the boy and waiting. Thank you for walking the long, hard, refining, beautiful, inspiring road with us.

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8 responses to “what is real family?

  • debie

    You guys are very encouraging in so many ways, but recently adoption has been in my heart more than ever… There is just something about adopting that just gives me this warm feeling like a need in the world… I am so proud and there is no way you guys are alone in this, we are all praying for Sam to come home….We love you guys.

  • Emily Martin

    Beautiful. It has been amazing to watch your journey and see such a clear reflection of the Gospel. We love you guys and we’re praying for you!

    Charity, I like your mom’s idea to bring a whole plane-full of kids back…I just want to hug them all and take them home with me.

  • Tammy

    Oh heavens. This is amazing. Thank you for sharing your heart and what God is teaching you… all the while, He is also teaching me. It makes my heart SO happy to see you play with your little boy and see him so happy! I loved seeing how when you came into that room, he was like, “Forget this! My mommy and daddy are here! See ya!” 🙂 You both are making incredible parents… but we knew that already. Praying for you. – Tammy

  • Jamie

    Adoption has taught me more about Christ’s love than any other event in my life. Perfect, unearned grace.

    Our two months in Kaz (and the preceding year) were truly a transformational journey. I love reading about how God is teaching you!!!

    And, yes, adoption is a story of loss and redemption. There is no redemption without loss… but it makes the joy so much more profound

  • My friends in Kazakhstan + family « kyle and ashli

    […] My friends in Kazakhstan + family By ashli Aaron and Charity, telling their story about their Sam, have put some words to our feelings on our Sam’s current family. Read What is a Real Family? […]

  • Lou Ann

    You mentioned how EVERYTHING is new for these children when they are adopted. But that is beauty of the way of Kazakh adoptions. The required two week bonding period in the child’s “home” helps them see the new parents as acceptable (the bonding is required by national Kazakhs as well when they are adopting.) Then the new parents continue to visit the child until the courts say yes. If the family is very fortunate than one or both of the parents can stay and continue to see the child everyday. That way when he/she leaves the baby house and his old home for the last time, it isn’t as traumatic as it would otherwise be. I was so blessed to be able to stay the full 2 months it took to make my Kazakh daughter legally mine and I know that’s what made our transition into a “real family” so much easier than it would have been adopting from any other country. Once we left the baby house and she started experiencing the real world she knew that I was now the person to care for her and not some stranger whose arms I was thrust into. I am so very grateful to the Kazakh government for the difficult, frustrating, clearly caring way they require strangers from a foreign land to adopt their children without parents.

    Thank you for spreading the word that a family is people that choose to be together and how they make that choice is all that separates one kind of family from another. And their are so many children that need someone to make the choice to be their family. Enjoy the rest of your Kazakh adoption adventure.

    Lou Ann, mom to almost 3 year old Lexie from Aktau

  • rayna

    this post was very touching! we are currently in the paperchasing stage of adopting from kazakstan. i want to run and get those little guys you talk about! but i know god has a plan for us. thank you for allowing me to join you on your journey!

  • Angela

    Thanks for the new video. I wish I could bing all of those little boys home with me. Honestly, it is hard to watch. Love you guys.

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