The entry below is an excerpt from a post I wrote last year in June for NHBO. We had received what seemed to be devastating news about our son in Henan and after processing it for a few weeks, I thought my writing it may be a help to some adoptive parents. But within an hour of it being published, I asked Stefanie to take it down. I was afraid. Afraid to admit some of the things I’d written as well as afraid I would be saying too much. There seemed to be plenty of reasons at the time to not share it. And the reasons can be summed up best in Renee’s previous, thought provoking post.
But today, nine months on the flip side of our experience, I’m back where I started. Wondering if I might encourage someone who is in the same or similar position.
what to do?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this month’s post and I have to say, questions abound in my head.
Should I put this out there?
Is this something that should only be discussed with family and close friends?
In writing this, can I truly be sensitive to the issue as well as an encouragement to others who may face similar unknowns?
I’m still working through the answers to those questions. And I’m praying for the grace to say all of this in a way that is both God honoring as well as protective of our child who is waiting in China. It’s not an easy thing to work through personally, much less putting it in print for others to read. Still, it seems like there may be families out there who need some encouragement. From one adoptive mommy to another…
But we were recently given some new information from our child’s facility that was hard to take in. Honestly, it brought me to my knees.
Many, many times, they referenced suspicions about a very serious special need. One that we had never checked “Yes” to on any application. And to be completely forthcoming, one we had discussed as being beyond our scope of care.
And it wrecked me.
I did what any other mommy would do.
I ran to get the MacBook and educate myself. Just on the chance that something was askew. I needed something. Something to give me clarity of what this could entail. Just the possibility was devastating for me.
And in that moment, taking all of this new information in, my faith wavered.
Not the faith that God had led us to this child. Or that he was ours. But that I could do this. That we could do this.
My husband came home from a meeting at work to find me on the sofa looking like a deer in headlights. We sat together. Running through the scenarios. And with tears, we talked it out. He looked at me and with a deep breath, he said, “Are you saying you want to step back?”
Everything in me screamed, “No!”
But I spoke gently to him and shook my head, no.
No, I don’t want to step back. No, I don’t want to step away either.
Neither did he.
We went back to the reports. They would have surely seen something if it had been there. Right? These questions kept me up at night. The what if’s overtook my thinking.
We’ve contacted the specialist who had helped us before we submitted our LOI. Only this time, the answers from him were different than before and we were told he couldn’t help us further.
So what are we to do?
Well, we just keep on keeping on. We sense no urgency at all to step away. We have heard no such leading from the Lord. We feel that confirmation has come many times over that we are the parents for this child.
The thing is, I know that other families deal with this. Maybe not this specifically. But a form of it. I have known two couples, I’m sure there are many more, who have found themselves “in country” and were not able to move forward for the child they were referred. My heart goes out to them. I can’t imagine their struggle. They will receive no judgement from me. None whatsoever.
I hope we won’t receive any either. Like I said, putting this out there is hard for me. But we have full confidence that we are doing the right thing. We aren’t entering into it lightly. It’s a curve ball for sure. But people hit curve balls straight out of the park all the time.
Sitting on that sofa a few weeks ago, crying with my husband, he looked at me and said, “This child is no less worthy of a family and no less wanted by us, just because there may be a need that we didn’t know about or one we wouldn’t have readily chosen. And really, if not us, who?”
I believe that is the message of No Hands But Ours.
If not us, who?
As I’ve been working through this post today, a friend from years ago, whom I only speak to once every couple of years emailed me out of the blue. And this is what it said.
Howdy! I was just reading scripture and thought of you…Proverbs 23:10-11, and it reads, “Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless for their Defender is strong; he will take up their case against you.”
Have a spectacular day!
How timely this came. The Lord IS their defender. He will take up their case. I believe, in the midst of the many unknowns, He is doing that in my heart. He is taking up our child’s case. He is acting as the Defender. He is settling my spirit and helping me to grasp the infinite beauty of stepping out in faith, trusting in what I can’t see. Knowing that He is working all things to our good and His glory.”
And here it is February, and all fears of the unknown have been allayed. All of the answers have been given. They have not only been positive, but have exceeded our greatest expectations. Five specialists have worked closely to care for our son, and each and every one are in agreement that everything is as it should be and that the suspicions in China, though seemingly valid at the time, are completely unfounded.
I’m not sure what you can take from this post that will encourage you…as you parent your child, or search for your child or consider the potential needs of a child that may be soon becoming part of your family.
But this I know, I wouldn’t change the road we’ve walked the last nine months. I learned more about the character of God, the resilience of little boys and the grace required to continue walking in faith than at any other time in my life. And when I think that I could have missed this…
and this boy because of fear of the unknown or that the things we were told didn’t line up with my plan, I feel sick to my stomach.
Because this little prince, he’s the stuff of dreams.