I have always been comfortable not "fitting in"...in fact, it feels more comfortable to me to be on the outside than to be part of a group. But, sometimes, even loners need love and support...especially when taking a huge leap of faith such as pursuing an international adoption. Doing something different than the majority, I am finding out, brings out people's true colors. We have received support and love from people we barely know and that has brought us such joy! On the flip side, we have received judgment and criticism from people that we have invested a lot in emotionally. We have been slapped in the face with "let's take care of our own" philosophies from dyed in the wool Christians. We have heard "I just don't understand" so many times it makes me a little sick to my stomach. Quite frankly, I don't need you to understand. I need you to respect, though. I need you to love and support. I need you to make room for the fact that everyone feels called to a different path. I need you to understand that, when I look at pictures of orphans, I see my children's faces. I see YOUR children's faces. I need you to consider the possibility that we have not taken this on lightly, or glibly. I need you to think about the fact that every issue, every problem, every difficulty about adoption that you feel the need to point out to me...I have already considered. I have already worried about. I need you to realize that I am scared, but I am willing. I am overwhelmed by paperwork but I am also overwhelmed by God's faithfulness. I would love for you to understand that everyday I have to put my faith and my trust and my life fully in God's hands in order to keep walking down this path. And I want you to know that, even though your criticisms may break my heart, I know with unwavering certainty, that my heart is in the right place. You can say to me that you don't understand, but I also don't understand you. I don't understand how anyone can fail to be moved by the crisis of orphans. I don't understand how you can see their faces, hear their stories, know how many are suffering and not be moved to act. The difference is, I believe that everyone is called to a different path and I have room in my heart and in my head for you to be different than me. You want to understand? Watch this video. I have posted it before but it is worth watching again. It is worth watching a hundred times over. If you truly want to understand how a mother's heart or a father's heart for the orphan feels, then watch this video and try to comprehend that this is how I feel. This is the level of urgency that drives me to fill out the ridiculous reams of paperwork and to drive 5 hours to be fingerprinted and to give more than I ever thought I could...and then give some more. And in going forward let's all try to be kinder, try to be gentler and try to be more open to the differences that define us.