Thursday, February 12, 2009

An Explanation

As of today, days after our original deadline of Feb. 9, we still have not received the necessary paperwork back from the government. Therefore according to one of our original fleece, God did not allow the paperwork to be completed by the deadline.

From the beginning we asked that IGAO interview other families while we were seeking God's Will of our adopting Misha. We wanted Misha to be given every opportunity before his time ran out. As the deadline approached, it became clear to us that Misha didn't really want to be a part of our family. Therefore we made the decision to release him before more of our donors money had been unnecessarily spent.

As I've mentioned before, Misha did many things in the orphanage that he was clearly told would not be allowed in our home. The first week with us, we sat him down with Google Translate and told him that alcohol, smoking, pornographic movies, and rock music were not things he could have in our home. We asked him if he wanted us to get the organization to find him another family. He told us that he wanted to stay in our family and that he could give those things up.

Parenting biological children is difficult within itself, but guiding a child who comes with tremendous baggage really begins to take its toll on a family. Add to those stresses, long hospital stays, discovering my only sibling had cancer, a mother with Alzheimer's, and is it any wonder that when we went for our adoption physicals my blood pressure was dangerously high. My doctor told Philip that the stress I was under was not good for me and that he highly recommended that we not pursue the adoption.

We were haunted with thoughts of what would happen to Misha should he not be adopted by us. Many sources had told us that because of the severity of his handicaps it would be very difficult for him to be adopted if we didn't do this. We began crying out to God for answers.

Misha began challenging our rules and refusing to obey. Through a Russian interpreter, we had it explained to him that it wasn't up to him to question our standards but to decide if he could obey them. It was made clear to him that if he could not obey, he would not be allowed to stay in our family. Once again he said that he would try, but daily he continued to challenged us. This bothered us because we were only weeks away from the adoption being completed. One would think, that he would want to be on his best behavior. Then the day came when he set his will completely against my authority and refused to obey. I gently reminded him of the consequences and gave him time to reconsider, yet an hour later he still refused to submit. He then proceeded to tell us that he hated our stupid rules.

Philip and I have never desired to force our standards on another person. We have patiently tried to help a child that does not know what good is. Yet, we also have other children we must consider. We have dedicated our lives to protecting our children from influences that would lead them away from God. We do not feel that letting Misha go means that we have abandoned him. Actually, he is the one who made the decision. It is he that has rejected us.

We have begun the process of returning the money donated for Misha's adoption. Money sent to IGAO is beyond our control and therefore is non-refundable. Money collected on the "Chip In"was placed in a special Paypal account for Misha and Paypal allows a 60 day refund without penalty. When we realized that the adoption wasn't going to take place we immediately credited those accounts that fell within 60 days so that we could keep from incurring more loss. We also returned any checks that we were still holding that hadn't been deposited. As it stands, we have all but about $3,000 that we can immediately return to our donors. The remaining $3,000 will need to be sent in increments over the next few months.

IGAO has pleaded with us to give them your names and information so that they can contact you directly, but we do not feel at liberty to do this.

For the moment, Misha still abides in our home as we wait for necessary paperwork to be completed in transferring him. As a family, we are trying to make our remaining time with him as memorable as possible. Please pray for us because this has become very difficult.

When Satan is so hard at work to destroy, we believe the body of Christ needs to fall more heavily upon their knees. It is clear that he is working mighty hard to keep something wonderful from happening. The marvelous news is that he has already been defeated. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

Even though he has been defeated we Christians still have a human responsibility in our daily actions. Simple losses of integrity can leave the testimony of God's children blemished before the world. Philip and I believe that God has placed us in this position of humility and failure for a purpose. We have wondered if that purpose could simply be a test of our integrity. Ananias and Sapphira lied to the holy Spirit and tried to cheat God and his people. They were destroyed. Philip and I do not want to make the same mistake. We desire that God be glorified even in the middle of this messy situation. We joyfully surrender our losses for the sake of His glory.

Thank you all again for the beautiful testimony you each have been.

We love you dearly,
Philip and Melissa


Laurel said...

My heart breaks for you and your family. I can't imagine the pain you all must be going through.

I believe you have definitely made the right decision. You could not keep him, if he could not submit to your authority. He is not a little child, that has time to learn to submit. He is an almost grown teen, who is very set in his ways.

While it deeply saddens me that he would request a non-Christian family ... I KNOW that the Lord placed him in your home for a purpose, and that you have all planted Good Seed in his heart. We will pray that, in time, someone will come along to water that seed, and that Misha will, one day, come to know the Lord as his personal savior.

I hope this new family is ready for what they are getting. This is NOT going to be easy, even if they don't have the strong family guidelines that you hold (just as we, too, have firm family guidelines).

Blessings to you, my friend. Wishing I were there to give you a hug and a shoulder to lean on.


Kari:) said...

Melissa, you do not know me, but I know the family that desires to adopt Misha. They have adopted 3 older children & are INCREDIBLY dedicated to the Lord & their children. They are my heroes. Their deep passionate love for Christ has guided them throughout the years of parenting five of the most amazing children!! God continues to crack open their hearts and dedication to children in need. They have STRONG family values. They honor each one of their children's uniqueness...they are each individual treasures.

One of the most important lessons I've learned as an adoptive & safety are vital to the survival of the adopted child. Misha would feel safe, secure & loved in this family.
The challenges that come with building love & safety will be met with unconditional commitment.
Raising biological children or adoptive children is NOT easy (as Laurel mentioned) Its a daily challenge & only by the grace of God do we make it!!!

I think what makes me so sad reading your post "An Explanation" Its feels like you're verifying the wrong belief he has in his heart that love is conditional & can be taken away. I'm not judging you for giving him back, but I pray that he understands its not his fault. He's not capable of making a "choice" He's never known a mom or dad's love. Misha would have no training or capability to understand how to love.
He can not obey rules with respect, trust, or feel safe...he has never known these qualities. He is broken inside & out. There can be no love without trust.
We will pray fervently for God's protection over Misha.
We are praying the family that desires to bring Misha home will be able to raise the large amount of cover all his expenses in a VERY short period of time.
This adoption will NOT be possible without the contributions from donations.
Please pray for miracles for Misha.

Melissa said...

I have to be honest and say that IGAO has not been our "best friend" through this process. We have been misinformed and mistreated at times. We did not feel that we could, in good conscience, pass the money we had collected on to IGAO. Instead, we instructed our donors to visit the IGAO website for information about this other family and their chances of adopting Misha. But you will notice that the IGAO website does not mention anything about this other family. They just have a message directed toward us. I have told IGAO that this is not the proper way to encourage donors, but it may help if you point this out to them as well.
Philip Johnson

Kari:) said...

Philip & Melissa,
Thank you for sharing. We obviously understand there are two sides to this situation.
I certainly hope it was communicated that I don't judge or blame your family.
Misha is hurting & desperately needs a miracle in his life.
We commit to praying for everyone involved!!