• Erica Rosi Tham

13. Gaining Strength While Adoption is on Hold

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

Last night, I had a vague dream about watching news flashes from around the world and a sense of disturbance chilling my nerves … and I woke up, struck with the realization that this time my dream was not unreal.

A gathering with relatives during our last trip to Shillong.

My husband and I have worked hard for months to adopt children from India. Now that dream is on hold while we watch and wait and learn about the lockdown in India through my husband’s family. They live in Shillong and belong to a tribal people who live in large family groups. Many of the aunts, uncles and grandparents we visit regularly could be at risk if the virus reaches their city.

As news spreads about the virus hitting various institutions, from hospitals to nursing homes to prisons, I fear it will hit the orphanages as well, and even though children have proved less susceptible, orphanages house many kids with underlying medical issues.

These are very tough times.

The world has changed utterly. Rather than going to our offices, we are working from home if we are fortunate enough to have work that can done online. Rather than concerning ourselves with issues related to our own countries, we are watching as a single virus moves across the world in waves of infection. Rather than planning for the coming months, we are just waiting to see when this virus will end and what ramifications it will have.

And there have been good changes. I teach English classes online, and many of my students have told me that they are treasuring their close relationships, getting irritable far less often than before. The drastic reduction in pollutants is also a stunning illustration of our ability to reduce our harmful impacts on the environment, if we choose.

Yet when I search my heart, there is only one force in my life that has not changed at all, and that is God. God is with us, as always.

I think it is helpful simply to hold the truth of this in our minds and hearts while our world passes through this tumultuous time.

St. Thomas's Cathedral in Chennai, India.

One of the hardest aspects of adopting kids is the necessity of completing complicated, ongoing paperwork without a guarantee of passing the home study process and without knowing which kids you might adopt. I hope that in the future the requirements will lessen, so that more people feel comfortable adopting; yet at the present time, we can only pause to reflect on the process and on our hopes for a better world.

The choices made by those around us are always uncertain. The future is always uncertain. And yet, we do not have to live with uncertainty.

We can choose to be still and listen.

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