October 20, 2008 Family Stories, heart defect 0 Comments

by Denise, mom to Maggie from China with Ventricular Septal Defect

Let me start at the beginning. My dream of adopting from China goes back many years, but unfortunately, my husband did not feel that this was the plan for our family. We were blessed with four wonderful boys, but my longing for a daughter was so strong and had been ever since I was a little girl. Every time I would see an Asian girl, my heart would melt and I longed to have one of my own. I can’t really explain the feeling, but it was as if God was stirring this desire in my heart, but He was saying to wait. I knew without a doubt that God would have to speak to my husband’s heart also if it was His will for us to adopt.

Fast forward two years and friends of our adopted a toddler from China. She was two years old at the time and they found her on a waiting child list. She had a very minor need that was correctable with one surgery. So I immediately knew that God had to be bringing this back to me through our friends. My husband just shook his head and would tell me how crazy I was. Wasn’t our life full enough with the 4 children we already had?

It was a year later that I felt such a strong pulling from the Holy Spirit to adopt, that I asked my husband if he had honestly been praying about this. I just knew that God would not stop tugging at my heart unless He wanted this to happen. My husband admitted that no, he hadn’t truly prayed, but vowed to do so from that point on. Well God’s plan finally began to unravel as He spoke to my husband and we decided together to go forward and adopt a child. I have to say that we researched other countries because of the long anticipated wait for a girl from China, but every turn took us back to China…so the paperchasing began.

Now, all along I knew that we should apply for our agencies waiting child list, but I waited a few months to let Jeff in on that one! He was hesitant only because he didn’t want us to do this only because it would be faster than the “normal” route. I assured him that I was at peace with this, knowing that we could change the life of a child no matter what their need. Ultimately we realized that because we had been blessed with four healthy children, surely we could help a child who happened to need some medical intervention. So the question, why special needs became, why not special needs? I had also read about so called “healthy” children who came home with many health concerns, so were we really assured a healthy child in the end anyway? And the fact that we were open to an older child also played into the equation.

All that being said, when we received the special needs list to look over and then had to “choose” those needs that we were willing to accept, well…that was hard. To have always prayed for healthy children and then to pray about what medical conditions would be acceptable to you, you really need to pray for God’s direction. We really stretched ourselves and put down many needs, having assurance that the decisions we were making would lead us to our little girl.

It is funny, because our agency kept telling us that because the waiting families list was growing rapidly we would probably just wait until we received a non special needs referral (a wait that was looking to grow to 3-4 years or longer). I never believed that, and knew in my heart that our Maggie was coming from the waiting child list. I even felt in my heart that she was already born and just waiting for us. Many people thought I was crazy for sure, but it was God again giving me his peace and assurance that we were on the correct path to our daughter.

We were logged in on July 17, 2007 and a few months later were elated and shocked to receive Maggie’s referral. She was becoming paper ready at the exact time that we were paperchasing with our agency…God did know what He was doing after all!

When we were logged into China’s system this past July (2007), we knew that our wait could be as long as 3 years for a non special needs referral, and probably a year or two before we were referred a child from our agencies waiting child program. Either way, we knew that God was in control.

As mentioned before, I felt in my heart that Maggie was a waiting child and that she was already born.

So in October when we received an e mail from our agency that a new list had arrived, I was slightly hopeful, but since it was only the second list that had come since we had joined, I was not optimistic.

I remember the day so clearly…it was October 8th at 4pm and I was making Chicken and Dumplings on the stove. One of my sons was doing his homework at the kitchen counter and I answered the phone. It was my family coordinator and my heart instantly skipped a beat, “Are you calling me with a referral?” When she replied that yes, they had a little girl that she wanted to talk to me about. In shock I listened and heard her name for the first time…Gou Si Zhong. As I tried to comprehend what was really happening, my son was looking at me with a stunned look on his face.

I called Jeff and we all gathered around the computer to see her picture together for the first time. No pictures of this of course, because again, we were so stunned. As we scrolled down and saw her beautiful face, I instantly broke down in tears. I knew instantly that she was the one God had given us.

Now, while this was a magical moment, then we had to come back to reality and discuss her needs. She has a repaired heart defect (VSD), and she was possibly Hep B positive. The second one was the need that we were unsure about as first. This was a need that I had researched but Jeff was hesitant about. Her tests had a question mark by them as inconclusive. So there was a chance that she may be a carrier.

For those that have seen a picture and fallen in love with that child, you will understand that the next few days were rough. We consulted doctors and prayed a lot. Both doctors I spoke with had concerns over her small size (failure to thrive)and lack of follow up after her surgery. One doctor felt she was not a carrier, but the other wasn’t so sure. Her paperwork also stated that her foster mom would carry her because she would run out of breath quickly. I was in a place that I trusted that God would not offer us a child we were not supposed to have. I mean, this was a Christian agency who prayed over each child and which family would be best for them. Jeff, the more pragmatic of the two of us, felt that my emotions were too involved.

So I prayed some more and asked close friends to do the same. One evening I just felt this peace come over me, and God whispered to me, “Trust me.” And I was ready to accept whatever Jeff decided. This wasn’t a decision to be taken lightly like deciding what color we were going to paint the living room…we both needed to be in unity. Just as God has done when we were praying about adoption.

The next morning Jeff came to me and said that she was our daughter and we would take care of her, no matter what she needed. I get emotional when I think of that moment…we had a daughter, my dreams were coming true! He did make me promise that I would not go crazy researching her needs and worrying about what might or might not be wrong with her. I gladly agreed and have to say that I really didn’t do that, and just began to pray for her safety and protection until we could go and get her.

Fast forward a month or so later when we received updated blood work which confirmed that she was not a Hep B carri

er, that she had the disease, but was in recovery. We were so excited, but again reserved because we didn’t think that we could trust any blood work until we had it done here in the U.S.

Well, as I said in the title, I feel that Maggie’s story has come full circle. There is more to the story that I want to journal about, but for today I want to share that after seeing 3 doctors in the past 2 weeks, not only is her heart perfect, but blood tests here reveal that she is cured of the Heb B! They are all amazed at how well she is doing in all areas.

God had a plan for Maggie and I am so thankful that we were obedient to His call. If we hadn’t answered, someone else may have received the blessing meant for us. So, I encourage anyone reading this to listen when God calls and be prepared for a huge blessing!

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

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