It is no secret that I advocate for children waiting in China, for children waiting who have unrepaired and complex congenital heart defects.
I do not advocate to ever pressure anyone into considering the adoption of a child out of guilt. I advocate for the child. Period.
I have recently had my heart broken nearly in two as I stepped out to advocate for a child waiting and fell in love with the child in the process. I did not intend for that to happen. I have advocated for many of these children and have felt love for them and an urgency to advocate and pray. I guess it is a chance one takes, but I’m not entirely sure I am willing to take that chance again.
At times, if I am being completely honest, I would like to rewind my life to the place where my eyes where shielded and my heart was guarded. But if I could even truly do that, then I would surely not be the Mommy of an amazing little girl, a little girl who is as typical as the next and happens to have complex congenital heart defects. And I would not be waiting to bring home our son, who also had unrepaired heart disease when we asked Ch*na if we could be his forever family.
Right now, I do feel beaten down and at times beaten up. I wonder why I bother to advocate when it seems so many people who’ve never known what it is like to parent a child with complex CHD want to tell me what it is like. I wonder why I stick my heart on the line as I see the files of these children and try to read between the lines and see that glimmer of courage and God-given strength that most of us don’t have … and then I am reminded why.
I KNOW the blessing of bringing home one of the children who is labeled as unadoptable, too risky, severe special needs … I KNOW because she is my daughter.
I so wish … one of my greatest wishes … is that these children who wait could be seen through the eyes of God … through His lens … by more families. While I often hear the many risks associated with these children … open-heart surgery, shortened life expectancy, undisclosed needs, learning disabilities, too time-consuming, burdensome, syndromes … I wish I heard more of the unique blessings they are … so near to the heart of God, courageous, strong, miraculous, SURVIVORS, and … simply a CHILD who needs to know the love of a family as much as the next child.
We can always come up with many reasons not to take a chance on a child whose condition is serious and severe, but we’ll never know what might be if we don’t take that step. And if we do take that step, we might just come so close to the very heart of God that we will be forever changed.
I don’t know if I’ll continue to advocate for these children. I don’t even know what to do next most days right now. I have known firsthand the unknowns of stepping out: coming to Ch*na and finding our daughter clinging to life in a hospital, finding out that our waiting son had emergency open-heart surgery in December and still feeling like we’ll never get to Ch*na to bring him home, and even allowing myself to dream that just maybe I might be blessed with an unexpected blessing in the process. I don’t know what I’ll do next, but I know that as long as these children wait I will dream and wish and pray and hope. And repeat again and again.