In just a few short weeks, 19 days to be exact, a 4 year old little boy with dark brown hair and black eyes will stand in front of me. He will call me Mama. I will call him my son. Our lives will be forever changed. Just as it is when any child enters into a family, biologically or through adoption. Your heart grows and you can never go back to the “before”. You now know a secret love shared by mothers around the world.
Our journey to Xin began 7 years ago when my husband and I felt God calling us to adopt. We had 2 healthy biological children, a boy and a girl. We were in our late thirties and life was “smooth sailing”. We prayed about it for 2 years until finally we got the courage to step out of our comfort zone and proceed with adoption. We were very clear about what we wanted on our application – female, less than 12 months, healthy. As I was checking over our completed home study one day, a phrase caught my eye and brought me quickly to the phone to call our social worker. “What was this?” I asked “It states we will accept a child with minor/correctable issues! We said healthy!” She assured me that the wording in the home study had to be such that if the child had an illness or minor “issue” when we signed the papers they could not deny us the child. Basically it was for our protection. I double checked this point with our agency. Now I know you are probably thinking – how far out of your comfort zone is a healthy, cute, baby girl? Well, at the time it was. July 22, 2007 our daughter Jaida entered into my heart in Nanchang, China. Amazing! Incredible! Joyful! I could go on but you get the point.
We weren’t home 3 months when the familiar tug at my heart began. I said nothing, thinking this was just an after-adoption high. The tug grew stronger and in a different direction. I pushed it aside. God did not let up! I finally told my husband one night, “I feel God is asking us to adopt again.” As if this was not enough to knock him off his feet, I continued, “I think he wants us to adopt through the Waiting Child Program.” Thus the discussing and praying began. This time it only took us a few months to take the leap of faith and go further out of our comfort zone. We jumped in and it felt good! We filled out our application, praying carefully about what we would include on it. Our parameters were much wider this time as we knew God had another “perfect” child planned for our family. About 2 months into the paper chase God showed us our child, a little boy, born February 1st 2006 with a hole in his heart and a cleft lip and palate. The file was reviewed and medical documents discussed. We accepted his referral and waited for all the approvals to come in.
Now we are just a few weeks away from holding this precious child in our arms. I am prepared for the transition to be difficult. He is 4 and we are taking him away from everything he has ever known. I am quite honestly, scared. The language barrier will be huge, as will the speech issues that go along with a cleft child. These things we know. The things unknown…] they scare me more. Hearing… will he have issues with that? Some cleft children do. His heart… is it ok or will he need more surgery? Then there is the possibility of a particular syndrome that can be associated with these 2 birth defects. That scares me the most. I REALLY liked my comfort zone! It was so cozy and easy there! Can I go back to it? Oh, no! That’s right, my heart…. it has already fallen in love with this child and it will grow even more when he is actually in my arms! Not only will my heart grow, but I will grow. My husband will grow. Our children will grow.
I am looking forward to parenting this “special” child God has picked out just for us. It may not be easy, and at times, it may be down- right hard. But he is my son. And, God is good and He is faithful and He will equip when He calls. If you are sitting in your “comfy chair” but feeling a tug towards Waiting Children please consider it. It is ok to be afraid. But please, don’t let fear stop you from experiencing that wonderful joy of loving a child. Your heart is waiting to be filled as is the heart of a child!