In The Midst of Chaos

December 21, 2009 hypoplasia of the corpus callosum, Nicole B. 9 Comments

**I wrote this blog post prior to leaving for China to get our new daughter Ava. This topic weighed heavily on my heart. I hope that it speaks immediately to whoever needs it.**

Recently there has been a lot of talk about the d-word. The big yucky word that no adoptive parent or professional wants to have to speak about: DISRUPTION. Recently I heard about 3 separate adoption disruptions which occurred just a few days after each family received their child in China. To hear about this was heartbreaking. And although we have never actually disrupted an adoption in China, we have walked through the chaos of receiving a child so sick, so grossly delayed, so not what we expected, so far from what we wanted…. that it was pure absolute gut-wrenching agony and chaos.

And that chaos immediately leads you to a state of panic where fear takes over and you question everything you were sure of just 24 hours BEFORE meeting this child.

And then you speak to yourself in absolute statements:

I can’t parent him.
His needs are too much.
His needs are overwhelming.
His care will tear our family apart.
This is not what we signed up for.

And you’re confused because just the day before you were floating on a cloud of anxious excitement dreaming about Gotcha Day. And now you are wondering how the heck we got to “this place”.

And then the guilt takes over:
I thought I was more loving.
I thought I could handle anything.
I thought I could parent any child placed before me.

I suck.

And then back to here again:
I can’t parent him.
His needs are too much.
His needs are overwhelming.
His care will tear our family apart.
This is not what we signed up for.

And please believe me that I am not making light of this at all. This is truth. This is what happened to us. But somewhere in the 2nd round of “I can’t parent him”, God took a hold of me. And I let Him. He reminded me that He doesn’t make mistakes. He is not surprised or perplexed. God ordained that specific boy to be our son.

But GOD, did you see how he is acting? Did you see his delays? Did you see how sick he is and how he can’t even sit up? These aren’t “normal delays” God. It is clear there are many many things wrong with him and we…. Ok…. I can’t handle it. I can’t parent him. I can’t.”

And at that moment it was clear to me that I had a very serious decision to make.

I could stand in front of my husband, my guide and the Civil Affairs office and tell everyone how my heart and mind were feeling. How this was impossible. How his needs were far beyond anything we could deal with. And looking at Luke, all of these thoughts and feelings would have been accepted and validated by the guide and the Civil Affairs office. He WAS delayed. He WAS neglected. There were obviously many other things wrong with him. But there was that constant voice of God whispering to me. Whispering how this adoption was not a mistake. How this boy was a part of our family.

And I responded to God: “This is going to be a huge sacrifice for us God. A huge sacrifice for ME God and I don’t know what the heck I am doing! I’m not the person you *think* I am.“ And that’s the moment when He gently reminded me that this whole thing wasn’t about ME. It was about Luke. And most of all…it was about God.

On May 22, 2008 we signed the official paperwork in China to adopt our son Luke.

I firmly believe that the only reason that we came home with Luke was…. our belief in God. Because mentally and emotionally I was so stunned, so angry, so upset that I was not in the game. It is our belief that God doesn’t make mistakes. That He wants to bless us but it’s not about it being EASY or COMFORTABLE. It’s sometimes hard and painful. And this was painful. Lots of painful.

Anyone following Luke’s story on our family blog knows that after 2.5 years of searching for a diagnosis, we finally received it. Luke has an Intellectual Disability. This was our worst case scenario that has become reality. And even in my mind when I rewind to those painful days standing in the Civil Affairs office feeling conflicted, angry, resentful, deceived, hurt and sad…. even knowing what I know now…. I would STILL make the same choice over again.

Was it easy? No.
Was it scary? Yes.
Was I still conflicted in China even after we adopted him? Yes.
Was I sure we made the right decision months later? No.
But we did.
And our God walked us through it. And He is still walking us through it.

All this is just to say that I know how hard it is to come to this crossroads…to have to make the hard decision whether to disrupt an adoption in China. I am just putting our story out there. Our chaos, our experience, our lives… so that if 1 person reads this and then experiences the questions, the confusion and the pain…. maybe that person can feel that they are not alone, that their feelings are validated and most of all that God is there to be the guide.

9 responses to “In The Midst of Chaos”

  1. Chris says:

    Wow, beautifully written from the heart!!
    What a great testimony!!

    I love how you point out that it wasn't about you, but about Luke. AND, that this adoption was not a mistake….it was grandly orchestrated by God, Himself!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Tara Anderson says:

    Nicole, as always you've written a beautiful post straight from the heart! Even as I think about the condition God has called us to, I'm so full of "I can't…but…it will be hard" type excuses. You've reassured me the key is holding fast to the knowledge that GOD doesn't make mistakes! Thank you so much for sharing your story and offering encouragement to others! You are a blessing, and I'm so happy that you've now added Ava to your family!!!!

  3. candice says:

    I have never commented on here before, but just had to say THANK YOU for writing this and for being bold in saying the hard things. What a beautiful surrender to the Lord…

  4. Wife of the Pres. says:

    Thanks for sharing. AND speaking the truth. Somebody (maybe many somebodies) needs to read this Nicole. I am going to link it from my blog just to point people here if they are not already over here! Everyone adopting from China needs to read this, from anywhere really.

  5. Tracey says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! I had a hard time in China because our son didn't want me…only my husband. He threw horrible tantrums & had night terrors! It was a VERY stressful trip & there were many times I would lock myself in the hotel bathroom & just cry & ask God why? I wanted to get on a plane & go back home…I didn't want to do it. Now it has been almost a year since we adopted our son & I thank God every day for him. He loves his momma, but I just had to trust that God loved all of us & wanted our son to be a part of our family. I am so glad that you listened to God!

  6. Cara says:

    Great post! Although we haven't had medical issues with our son, we have had attachment issues. Your post reflects my heart. God did not make a mistake by calling us to this adoption and although at times I question why, we will trust God a day at a time. Thank you, and the Lord will bless your faithfulness!

  7. Stefanie says:

    I've never endured what you did with Luke, but your words made me feel like I was there with you! I can't imagine what courage and faith it must have taken to not walk away.
    Thank you so much for your transparency, Nicole! There is so much to learn from others who have gone before us.
    Big hugs 🙂

  8. Michelle says:

    Wow – a beautiful recollection of the challenges you faced, and probably continue to face, as a family. This should be a "must read" for everyone in the process of adopting. Often it takes a huge leap of faith, but God will be faithful.

  9. Kris says:

    this is the hardest i've cried reading this (well known) story.

    you simply will never, never cease to inspire me Nicole. always… YOU more than anyone i've met in this "on line" world, bring me closer and closer to the essence of God.

    how very very blessed i am by these words, and by your friendship.

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