Children of Dreams
By Lorilyn Roberts
As we stood in the doorway, the room appeared very dark. We were motioned in and I found an empty seat several feet from the door. As I waited for my eyes to adjust, I gazed through the window. The Himalayan Mountains in the distance seemed to symbolize the huge hurdle in front of me in the guise of this official.
Manisha sat beside me. One exposed light bulb with wires crisscrossing the ceiling provided the only lighting. Old wooden chairs lined the bare walls. I felt like I was starring in a movie as I sat in the dusty, dingy office of the CDO of Dolakha, Nepal.
A man in his early 30’s, the CDO was dressed in a green suit with a pointed little cap on top of his head. It was hard to comprehend how a man on the other side of the world could have such incredible control over my destiny except God had given him that authority.
My thoughts flashed back momentarily to all that preceded this defining moment in my life. As a child my parents told me I was born under a cloud. My husband chided me, “Is this another one of your sad stories?”
“I don’t love you anymore,” my partner spitefully responded one night after I presented him with evidence that he was seeing another woman. I remembered the wine bottles and cheese that I uncovered in the garbage after being away for a few days visiting my family.
I replayed scenes of the long hours I worked as a court reporter putting him through medical school. I recalled the night he contacted the police after I confronted him in his office at the hospital. Two weeks after our divorce was final, the other woman gave birth to his child. I was devastated and hurt. Only a loving God could help me to recover and begin a new life in Him. Would God give me a chance to redeem the years the locusts had eaten?
A few years after my divorce, I received a letter from World Vision, an evangelical organization that sponsors children in Third World countries. The beginning of the letter, dated February 13, 1993, read: “Over 150 million children worldwide are trapped by hunger, sickness, poverty, and neglect.” I took the letter and put it on my refrigerator. Someday, I thought, I am going to adopt a child from another country. How and when, only God knew.
The letter ended with the quote from Proverbs 13:12 (LB): “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy.”
I looked at Manisha and reflected on what the future would hold. With her piercing, dark brown eyes focused on me, she spoke softly in clear English, “I love you.”
I responded back, “I love you, too.”
I did not know how she could have uttered those words because she could not speak English. I thought about what the Bible said concerning speaking in tongues and wondered if I had witnessed another one of God’s miracles. Whether I could explain it or not, it gave me the assurance I needed over the next few days that God was in control.
As we sat and waited, there was a lot of talk in Nepali.
The CDO asked Ankit a few questions as various men walked in and out handing him papers to sign.
He continued to pour over my documents and after awhile looked up and asked, “You’re not forty?”
“No,” I said, “but I’m almost forty.”
“It’s the law you must be forty.” He gave a cursory glance through the rest of my papers. He and Ankit exchanged a flurry of words in Nepali. Some elderly men sitting in the room stared at me. I had the feeling that Ankit was talking about my infertility. I felt exposed that such personal information was being bantered about. I saw worry in Ankit’s eyes and knew my hopes of becoming a mother were precariously in limbo.
Ankit and the CDO continued to talk for a while longer. I went and sat by him hoping for some reassurance. More old men came in and the CDO turned his attention to other matters. About this time, Manisha’s father, not happy with the sudden turn of events, took Manisha outside and I could hear her running up and down the wooden planks.
Ankit said to me in a whisper, “The CDO said he cannot approve your adoption because you’re not forty, and he has to abide by the law. He is putting in a call to the legal office in Kathmandu to see if they will give him permission but they won’t do it. We will have to go ourselves and meet with the Home Minister after we get back to Kathmandu.”
We continued to wait for a long time for the phone call. Finally the phone rang and the CDO talked loudly on the phone. When he got off, they discussed the call. I could tell it wasn’t good.
Ankit shook his head indicating that he could not get permission to sign my paperwork.
“I wish I could do your adoption, but I can’t,” the CDO told me in broken English.
I knew it wasn’t his fault. He had tried. I had known before I came to Nepal about the age forty rule, but what difference did it make in my case because I couldn’t get pregnant? Written laws prohibiting a child from having a home, a future, and a hope—why, God?
Manisha was an orphan; her mother had died when she was a baby, and her father couldn’t support her. He didn’t want to support her. Girls were considered a liability in Hindu culture and without her birthmother, the life she faced was one of destitution and death.
This road seemed so familiar to me. I had walked it before, more than once; loss, separation, and abandonment. I cried out, “Not here, Lord, not in Nepal. A three-year-old orphan girl needs a chance to know You.”
Lorilyn Roberts is a Christian author who writes children's picture books, adult nonfiction, memoirs, and a young adult Christian fantasy series, Seventh Dimension. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama, which included international study in Israel and England. She received her Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Perelandra College and is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature. Lorilyn is the founder of the John 316 Marketing Network, a network of Christian authors who are passionate about promoting books with a Christian worldview.
To learn more about Lorilyn, please visit her website at LorilynRoberts.com or blog at http://lorilynroberts.blogspot.com. You can also follow her on twitter at http://twitter.com/lorilynroberts
Children of Dreams is being showcased by the John 3:16 Marketing Network as part of their August Book Launch Event. Be sure to visit John 3:16 Marketing for a chance to win a Kindle, a $25 gift card and a $10 Starbucks card, as well as purchase Children of Dreams.