Checking off medical conditions that we would accept on our agency’s medical checklist, and not checking those we wouldn’t accept, was among the hardest tasks of our adoption process. Our human side wanted to maintain our comfortable life, and longed for easy. In our hearts though, we knew that God’s plans are always much higher than ours, usually pushing us beyond the borders of our comfort.
Last February, a friend advocated for a little girl with colorectal malformation in the care of Love Without Boundaries. The post said she needed long term care and the love of a family to survive. We see lots of pictures of children needing families, but this face was different. I loved her before reading it to the end, though her condition was far more complicated than what we had said yes to on our checklist. Heart immediately went before reason.
Thankfully, this February that little girl is our daughter, Evelyn. The expanse of an ocean, and the governments of two nations, were no obstacle for God. After praying and fighting for her file, there it was, on hold for us. A cute picture is easy for the eyes, but receiving a medical file is hard on the heart. The reality was that Evelyn’s file was hard, her needs complex. Many families had dropped her file. Our pediatrician’s advice was to “let someone with more money adopt her”. Again, our human side told us that saying yes made no sense. The world would agree. Sometimes though, God calls us to say yes, even when that yes terrifies us.
Evelyn had several infections, hospital stays and life-saving surgeries in China. Just before travel, her Love Without Boundaries healing home provided a list of medical supplies that we’d need. As I logged onto a medical supply website for the first time, my utter weakness, lack of knowledge and fears swelled to the surface. That night, with tears rolling down my cheeks, I sat at my kitchen table ordering supplies I could hardly spell. I had to say yes again, to life as we knew it released, to letting go of the security of control. A few weeks later, we stepped on a China bound plane with another yes. Yes to a big leap of faith, and yes to a little girl who just needed us to care, love and be teachable.
Now home from China, with hospital stays, a surgery and long list of medical evaluations behind and before us, we are so thankful that we said that weak yes. It was all God needed. He has gone before us every step of the way, providing mentor families, information just when needed, financial provision, medical miracles and a developing medical team. Those cried over medical supplies and her “complex” needs don’t seem scary anymore. Now we’re just in love with a little girl. We’ll take the rest as it comes, trusting for provision step by step.
Some of the files that we as adoptive parents hold in our hands to prayerfully consider are just impossible by the world’s standards. They are complex and beyond what we think we can handle. The truth is that if God brings it to you, He’s already gone before you. He’ll give you just what you need to handle each day, each appointment, each step, and each surgery, with our weakness replaced by His strength. Then, we’ll stand back and watch as chapters filled with miracles are written into our children’s stories. Sometimes we just need to say that scary, tear-filled yes.
If you are considering a child with a complex issues, please contact mothers who have gone before you. Our family would love to answer your questions and tell you more specifically about Evie’s prognosis and care.
~Guest post by Rebecca
Ana is on Across the World Adoptions designated list. She is currently in the care of Maria’s House of Hope. She had surgery for meningocele and hydrocephalus done by a team from a childrens hospital in Pennsylvania. Following surgery for spina bifida, she has no sensation in her legs but her arms are strong. She has quick reactions, recognizes many people, asks for hugs, and is an active, extroverted child. She likes to talk, play with toys, watch TV and play with a cell phone. She is a gentle soul who does not cry except when she is hungry or thirsty. Email Pam Thomas or call 845-641-3963 for more info! She has a $2000 grant for qualifying families.
Chelsea is a strong and open girl who was found at a station gate in November 2009. She was born February of 2009. Upon admission into the care center, Chelsea was noted to be weak and thin with rapid breath and a feeble cry and to have a sacrococcygeal bulge. In March of 2011 she was hospitalized due to an increase in size of this bulge, and an MRI confirmed diagnoses of spina bifida and hydrocephalus. At that time she received a shunt and repair of the lumbosacral meningomyelocele and has made great physical strides since, soon after being able to sit up and stand. An imaging test done in November 2011 had normal findings of the heart, lungs, and diaphragm. She is still noted to have low weight and development, and in January 2012 Chelsea was reported to be 78cm tall and weight of 10kg. Chelsea needs a family of her own, could that family be yours?
Aponi was born March of 2012 with a spinal myelomeningocele that ruptured. It is remarkable that she lived through that, which says so much about her ability to fight. She is a beautiful girl about to celebrate her second birthday, she always has a ready smile. She can raise her head with arms supported against the floor, can reach toys beside her, grasp ring toys with sound and shake them, giggles when hears rattle sound, tear a paper fast. She has no feelings of her lower limbs, soft of her body. She has consciousness to turn over, can turn over under help, seeing toys she likes, she would support by her arms, kick her legs, centered of abdomen, loved when the caretaker clap her hands for encouragement. She has mild hydrocephalus. Aponi is assigned to Children’s House International.
For more information on beginning the adoption journey, contact the NHBO Advocacy Team.