Well we finally got to meet Duncan, face to face. We meaning me, Cathy, the interpreter, the assistant orphanage director, the lawyer, the social worker, and his school principal. Seven adults and I quiet sixteen year old boy with the weight of his future riding on his shoulders. It has to be overwhelming to walk into a room full of adults that are all there to try and convince you to pick up your life and move to America with this family you only just met.
Can any of you imagine making that kind of decision at 16?
He did not say much during this visit as most of the adults from his world did all the talking. Some asked questions of Cathy and me, but much of it sounded like a lecture aimed at him. There were a couple of times where I wanted to jump up and yell "STOP", just leave the boy alone to weigh his options. He is a bright and intelligent boy and knows what is on the line and he is carefully weighing his options. However, there are a number of forces at work in his life that run counter to our efforts.
The older boys in his group constantly tell him that Americans adopt foreign kids in order to kill them and sell their organs. I know from where you sit that sounds like a complete whopper, but to these kids it is reality, they believe that it happens. What is more concerning is that several of the adult caregivers not only propagate these lies but embellish them in an effort to keep the kids for fear of losing their jobs. If all the kids get adopted, what would they do? It is easy to judge them, but to be honest how often do we act in ways that are self serving, without concern for what would truly benefit another person, and often without all the facts. These people have never been to American and their only perspective is from the media when something horrific happens and that helps to shape a distorted image of our society.
Duncan is going to have to make a decision very soon. Please pray for him! We are asking God to grant him wisdom, clarity of thought, peace, and that the voices of influence be silent. He needs to make this decision not his friends, teachers or even us.
Will we be disappointed if he says no? Absolutely. In fact, brokenhearted would be a much more accurate answer. But we take great comfort in knowing that we are not in control and are commanded to be obedient, regardless of the outcome. We get in trouble when we try to write the end of the story, an ending that only God knows.
We will get to meet with him with only the interpreter tomorrow. I know it will be much better.