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A Family Delayed

foster families were advised to not let the foster kids go on leave anymore for the day, with the adoptive families, due to fear of exposure.

Conrad and I are happiest away from crowds. We don’t have a TV and we don’t keep up with the news. So the pandemic was not on my radar at all, whatsoever.

Until one morning when I found out from my social worker, during an evaluation visit for our adoption process, that the schools are shutting down, going into quarantine. The virus had spread to Romania.

Two days later I got a call that the foster families were advised to not let the foster kids go on leave anymore for the day, with the adoptive families, due to fear of exposure. 

It should have been that the people who traveled to the hot zones, are required to self-quarantine. Instead, everyone else has to take measures and remain isolated, to the best of their ability.

All of a sudden my world turned upside down and I felt such deep personal pain. Emotionally of course. All I wanted was my girls together, with us, all the time. I wish Evelyn could be isolated in our home. 

We’ve waited for so long for Evelyn, this feels cruel yet oddly familiar. Our story may seem made in heaven, beautifully perfect, but it is peppered with ache and delays. Our prayer that God would protect Evelyn and that He would soon bring her home for good – the dust hadn’t had time to settle on that prayer yet. 

We talk with Evelyn on FaceTime every day. She waits patiently one day at a time and asks every day if she can come to Cluj to be with her parents and sister. 

We miss her dearly. 

The last day we had with her was the best yet… actually, every new day we spend together we grow in closeness and familiarity. Our love grows exponentially. 

My arms remember her small frame, her lightness, her wiggling, and in my ear her sweet voice lingers.

I have been a wreck these past two days. I know she is well cared for where she is. And most likely everything will turn out well. But yet again, we have no control over our timeline, and there is a lot of uncertainty about the unfreeze of our society. Today the official state of emergency was instated by the President.

I know businesses hurt. I know initially people worried and struggled with not having enough time off to stay home with the quarantined kids. I know there are people who are suffering and are dying. And I empathize with the doctors who stretch themselves thin to serve on the battlefield of the virus. There are people in deeper pain out there than me… and yet, my turmoil is just as real. I feel torn. And I worry for how Evelyn is perceiving our absence, though we explained to her in simple terms, we’ll have to help her process further this apparent new abandonment.  

I was so furious at the hustle of everyone in the city… If this is quarantine, why are people gathering everywhere I look in passing from my car? 

Obliviousness. Selfishness? A misguided sense of invincibility? 

We are a stubborn society. Self-centered. Careless. 

But there is hope. 

I am just so sad that among other inconveniences, orphaned children who finally made it this far, have to be put on hold yet again. They don’t complain. They are at the mercy of God and His grace. 

I feel so selfish when I wallow in my personalized hurt. 

I let go and cried hot silent tears last night, just as Conrad was putting Jackie to bed. She asked him what’s wrong. He said I’m said because Ivy is not with us, and won’t be for a while. She was sad too, I know. But she told Conrad: “At least for now you still have me.” Leave it to kids to bring perspective and comfort the adults… I think of that too. We are kept busy and we enjoy our eldest daughter’s presence and company. And Jackie is quite sweet and endearing and ever maturing. This quarantine we had time to regulate and play and connect and rest well. It’s been a good season. But one does not exclude the other. I am grateful for the weeks we have had with Evelyn. 

I love Jackie and her presence in our lives. Always.

My heart aches for the distance and delay we all have to still endure. We will prevail though. And a grateful heart is a strong heart.

This post originally was written by Violeta Altmann as part of her continuing adoption story, beginning years ago. Read it again or delve deeper into her story here.

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