Below are a series of photos which the Lord allowed me to take during a Christmas open house that Anna and Aaron hosted during my recent visit.
As darkness descended that evening, the Christmas tree grew magical in its glow. I took advantage of the lighting to capture some pictures of our granddaughter, Brielle, in the embrace of her Aunt Arianna with her husband, Eric, beside them (Aaron's sister and brother-in-law). The pair are renowned for doting on their little niece.
You may very well be wondering what these pictures have to do with the title of this post. What do photos of Brielle in her aunt and uncle's arms have to do with orphans and politics?
The connection is this: the longer Mr. Beaver and I parent the more clearly we "get" that every child was built by God to need affection and encouragement. Our granddaughter is blessed to be receiving this kind of lavish love, not only from her parents but also from extended family.
In contrast, we're parenting nine children who grew up without even receiving minimal attention for much of their lives. They were neglected and often abandoned for long periods of time. Initially, they lived in broken homes... homes so broken that they were eventually pulled out and placed in orphanages. While there, they received good physical care, but their dedicated caretakers simply could not give so many children under their care the nurture that the children's God-given nature requires. They needed to be in loving families!
And now a large number of institutionalized children in Russia who could get that care through adoption are at risk of being denied. Within the past couple of weeks a battle has been brewing between America and Russia over a number of issues. In response to a bill passed in the US Congress, both houses of the Russian parliament (the Duma) quickly and overwhelmingly passed a bill that includes a ban on American adoption of Russian children. That bill now simply awaits President Putin's signature to become law.
In the end, this measure would prevent the adoption of children who will almost certainly remain in institutions until they age out and face the harsh reality of life with out the support of family. Statistics document that nearly all of these children will be at grave risk for crime and suicide.
Things look bleak.
But we're not giving up, and we're not giving in. Our desire to become the parents of the "Fab Four" has not diminished in the least. We love them. Therefore, we're continuing to fulfill document requests that came in before all this developed. Why are we bothering when things look hopeless? We're not facing this battle to adopt alone. God is with us. God is for them. And we're beseeching Him to intervene. He has declared Himself to be the Father of the Fatherless. He is Almighty. And He says over and over in His word that He will not tolerate the oppression of orphans. Our faith is in Him. We believe He will bring a solution to a situation that looks impossible.
Please pray. As important as our four are, they're only four out of untold thousands. This is about countless children who are more vulnerable than most of us can even imagine. Please pray!
There are Americans ready and willing to lavish affection on orphaned Russian children--to treasure and cherish them, just like Brielle's Uncle Eric is doing for her here. Please pray they get the chance!