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The Truth of the Matter…

February 9, 2012

The truth of the matter is that I never wanted to leave home.  The truth of the matter is I have never considered adoption.  In fact, I told my friend one time that I thought there was something wrong with me because I didn’t get emotional at the pictures of the children like other people do.  I remember someone saying before we left that they would have a hard time seeing all these faces and not come back with a child… and I thought… ‘well I won’t have that problem.’  Back at home I taught elementary for 2 years and decided that that wasn’t the job for me.  The kids drove me nuts!  …But soon after we got here, I found that I very much liked being with the children.  And I even thought on more than one occasion that I could actually picture raising the little girl Angel as my own.  But almost as quickly as that thought came in, I would shove it back out.  And I set my mind on helping my friends from the states adopt her.  And I never once mentioned to John my feeling that maybe we could be her parents because I just didn’t want to pursue that direction.  But he and I were both in agreement that Angel needed to come stay with us until our friends could take her so that she could eat regularly, and we could de-worm her or check out why her stomach pokes out a little funny, and get the lice out of her hair, and take her to the dentist…

We went to see a lawyer yesterday and found out all we could on what our friends would need to do, which basically boils down to them going through a 2 yr bonding period, that can be accumulated, but a total of 2 yrs physically together, nonetheless.  Then we asked if we could adopt her for them since we are already here and introduce her to them regularly through skype and then sign her over to them once we got to the states.  He basically laughed and said no that would not be possible… We figured it was worth a shot.  Any how, it got down to what would it take for us to adopt her?  Result… a little longer here and 80,000 pisos, as long as we get a signed affidavit from the father.  In U.S. dollars 80,000 pisos is about $2,000…  During the meeting we both looked at each other like what exactly are we saying here.  But without a word we both pursued the idea.

Now let’s get back to what I was saying about the truth of the matter…  I didn’t ever want to leave home but I did for many reasons…  One, I realized that life isn’t about me and I didn’t want to live the safest life possible and not live boldly for Christ, when He has done so much for me.  Also He showed me.  I asked Him to show me and He showed me.  It’s as simple as that.  I had the choice to make and how could I shut the open door when He had so plainly answered my prayers.   And one thing that I found is that it was so easy.  I don’t mean easy mentally, but easy, as in once we walked through the open door, another one flew wide open and all we had to do was take each step forward.  But literally, everything fell perfectly into place once we were willing.  Now that I have left my home, I find that it’s okay… that leaning on God gets you places you never imagined or thought possible…

The Next day…

We went to the Barangay Captain with Belinda because the Grandmother/caretaker had pulled Angel out of school because she (the Grandmother) wasn’t following the rules and got mad that she was confronted about it.  Belinda had had enough and brought the authorities into the matter for Angel’s sake.  We went there just as bystanders really,  but the first words out of the Grandmother’s mouth before she even sat down was that she wanted us to have Angel.  This was translated to us.  She said she has five grandchildren to feed and she can’t feed them all.  Basically she is very old and can barely feed herself.  The father is crazy and she doesn’t know what will become of them once she is gone.  We also found out that there were 10 of them in all and that 4 have died.  One was the mentally challenged 13 yr old I think I mentioned a long time ago.  She was raped and killed.  Then there was the baby who was about 6 or 8 months who died  most likely from being malnourished.  There was a boy about 11 and I am not sure what happened to him.  And then a girl around the age that Angel is now that drowned in a hole that they had dug for trash.  There is an older brother that was beaten and attacked by the father who ran up to Belinda and Ed’s house a few years back and they treated him for a concussion. Angel is the only girl left and we knew that she needs out and she needs out soon.  And here they were giving her to us.  In that moment we couldn’t say no.  Again we just looked at each other and agreed with our eyes.  Now by this time, the father, who really has the legal right in all of this, was brought there by the Barangay Captain’s people and he willingly signed her over on a document with witnesses, which stated, “I give my child to John and Mandi Wilson.”  He actually can’t read or write so they had to note that they read it to him and he left his thumb print for a signature.  The next step was to get her registered.  The Philippines had no record of this child even existing, so we spent the rest of the day finding witnesses of her birth, getting signature after signature from people…. and… we had to bring the father with us.  Knowing all the things he had done, I sat next to him trying not to judge, and also pleading the blood of Jesus over me for protection from the evil he possessed.  He did not like to be touched and just acted very oddly.  I kept thinking about what my friend had told me when Bin Laden was killed.  Even though he was a mass murderer and had done such horrible things, she said her soul did not rejoice that he was burning in hell… that he needed saving too.  That thought stayed with me… that this man needed saving too…  and it gave me peace.  It took all that day and the next morning to acquire all signatures and complete the paperwork, but it has been done and they will release the certificate of birth on February 14th.

Next Step…

I was so torn.  I now believed that God intended her for us.  Did He?  Am I discerning my feelings correctly?  Why are John and I, who never considered the idea, now thinking and hoping that we can raise this precious little girl as our own?  How on Earth could that first crazy idea of keeping her in our care and then giving her away even cross our minds?  She would never understand.  She would be taken away from everything she knows and understands, only for that to happen again?  No way!  Now how do I tell my friends?  What could I possibly say?  They have been praying for her?  Hoping for her?  Looking in to how to get her, mainly through us.  The more I questioned God, the more I felt like this was His will…

A Decision To Make…

We had so many things to think about…  Mainly we tried to focus on what was best for Angel.  We had the chance to get her out, and we were taking it.  I just couldn’t get around keeping her here with us, which would be such a change in her life, and then, only to do it again…  She would feel unwanted and like nothing was stable.  I just couldn’t do that.  And somehow both John and I were on the same wavelength with this, even though it came out of the blue.  Also, we could get her and take her home to the U.S. sooner because all this time we have spent here already, knowing her, can be used toward the bonding period… including the time back in June.  And there is no way around the bonding period time.  That is a law they stick by because they feel like they are protecting their children that way.  When our friends had looked into it they were told that it was a 3 yr bonding period.  And if they went through an agency they would have to be given a child that is in the system at an orphanage.  And if someone were to come here, which they would have to, and for a very long time, to try to adopt her, her desperate family would very likely try to use her as a bargaining tool.  Every way we turned just didn’t seem feasible for any one but us and we were willing…

Telling The Kids…

We told the kids what we were thinking about doing and asked what they thought.  Riley, our 13 yr old son said that he would rather have her as a little sister than not.  Kendall, our 11 yr old daughter, was overjoyed at the idea.  Liam, our 7 yr old son, said that he wanted to but it would be weird.  And Neely, our 4 yr old daughter said, “Momma, can I have Jessame and Jonahrie too?” … two of her other classmates.  She is such a nut.  😉

Adopting An Angel…

We met with the lawyer again and decided to go ahead with what we felt in our heart and he said okay you will need… and he started listing things like our marriage license and birth certificates and so on.  And then he said, oh and I’m sorry but I was mistaken, it is not a 2 yr bonding period but 3…  But by now, our hearts were set and there was no turning back.  Three yrs it is, well minus the time we already have under our belt.  Now do I really want to stay here for that much longer?  No.  I don’t… to be perfectly honest I don’t.  But I am willing.  We all are if that’s what it takes.  There are so many unknowns and thoughts and fears that run in and out of my mind.  And then I think about Moses.  When he was wandering with the people in the wilderness, God gave them food.  They were only to gather enough for each day, and they were to rely on Him, not gathering more but trusting that each day He would provide.  I think that must have been  hard because I find myself often worrying about tomorrow.  I want to know, to plan, to gather up enough ‘manna’ for tomorrow too.  But God always provided for His people and He still continues to provide for His people.  So I find comfort in that story, in the truth of it…

The first 24 hours…

When we drove back from the lawyers, we saw Angel sitting by the road like she was waiting for something.  We stopped and told her hello and then we proceeded home but got no further than 20 feet before we turned back around to get her.  We had planned on doing it after we got the legal document signed.  But it just seemed odd for her to be sitting there like that, like she was waiting for us.   Although, when we went back, we didn’t see her and we kept on to the grandmother’s house.  Belinda told her that we were ready to take Angel and they called for her but they did not know where she was.  The daughter-in-law went to look for her but came up empty handed.  Then the grandmother went searching and up came Angel running to us with a smile.  By this time, a crowd had gathered and the whole village already knew why we were there.  The word had spread and children were everywhere.  She got in the car with us with nothing but the tattered, dirty clothes she had on her back.  She didn’t smell too good, so when we got to the house, I heated some water on the stove and got her into a big wash pan for a bath.  I washed her hair with lice shampoo, got her dressed and went outside so I could see her hair better when I brushed it.  We had a girl here who is 9 and speaks English very well.  She would translate for us.  And oh my, when I combed through her hair, there were so many lice, some dead, and some not, and I was squishing them one by one.  The 9 yr old was helping me and saying, “Oh there are so many!”  Angel would pick them off of the white towel we had on her and hand them to me.  At one point I did stop and think,… ‘This is absolutely nuts!’…  After we were at it for a while, I could tell she was rather tired of it all and I wasn’t seeing anymore.  So I fixed her hair and let her run and play.  Neely, of course had to have a bath and wanted me to pick through her hair as well.  So I obliged.  Angel came in and out of the house, looking in every corner and under the bed.  She went around the outside of the house curiously checking everything out.  She mostly wore a smile.  She went to the restroom, which she calls a CR.  She left and the 9 yr old said, “I will show her how to flush.”  She brought Angel back in and demonstrated and the next time Angel went, she flushed and came out with a huge smile.  I made spam and rice for dinner and she likes hers with banana ketchup.  She saw Kendall brushing her teeth and said “toothbrush,” with a smile.  So I gave her one and she brushed her teeth too.  I wanted to wash her hair again before she went to sleep but felt like I could do a better job if she lied on the kitchen counter with her hair in the sink.  So I had Neely do it first.  Angel smiled when I was washing Neely’s hair, and said, “Me next.”   I washed it thoroughly, but all the eggs were impossible to get out.  Hopefully, the shampoo killed the eggs.  She went to bed fairly easily and slept through the night without a peep.  The next morning was Sunday, so we got her all prettied up in a dress.  I fixed her and Neely’s hair the same and painted their nails.  Things were going well until Grandma knocked on the door and walked right in with a bag full of Angel’s school clothes.  She sat down and started speaking to me in Tagalog and I told her I didn’t understand.  Then I got on my shoes and told her, “Let’s go to the church.”  On our way their the 9 yr old girl, that was with me the day before, had been in there when the grandma was speaking, and she told me on our way to church that the grandmother was asking for money.  We were warned that this would happen but that we couldn’t start giving them anything because they would want more and more and see us as a bargaining tool.  Belinda said that if help came, it could be through them but not from us.  I agree… we can’t start doing that.

John preached the Sunday sermon and I did children’s church for my age group.  Everything went well and Neely and Angel gave me their colored worksheets, and I immediately knew I needed to hang onto it, for her scrap book one day.  I have already taken pictures for her, of her relatives and her home.  I have written stories I was told like what her nickname was because it was what her mother craved while she was in her womb.  Bura… a shell…  😉  After church we went in Belinda’s car to town to bond, so we went to CSI and McDonalds.  That was her first time to go to McDonalds.  That was her first time to ever be in a car for that matter, well 2nd if you count when we picked her up from the village and drove the 20 feet up the hill to our home.  She can pack away the food and eats like there’s no tomorrow.  When about 4:00 rolled around, I told John.  Well we’ve officially had her for 24 hours.  He smiled and said that is a good name for a blog post… the first 24 hours  😉

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2012 2:52 pm

    Oh, God Bless you! I had tears from start to finish. Amazing. I think this little girl was waiting on you all of her life! Post pictures of Miss Angel soon, and please know I’m praying for you all, the village and especially the innocent children you speak of.

  2. February 9, 2012 4:46 pm

    This was beautiful. I’m speechless. 🙂 What a roller coaster of emotions and yet He has strengthened you and helped you. Is 41:10
    Thank you for sharing. Praying for you and your family.

  3. February 9, 2012 10:00 pm

    You just never know what God has in store. You have been blessed with an Angel. How wonderful. I know she will be loved and taken care off and she will give you so much in return. God Bless all of you. Hello to everyone.

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