The Terminal Child

March 6, 2012 heart defect, Sonia, Tetralogy of Fallot 11 Comments

I still don’t really know how we got here.

I still don’t understand why that label


Didn’t make me turn away from him.

I knew.


And the fact that he hadn’t been given much time left on this earth somehow didn’t frighten me.
It made me sad, certainly.
For him, for us.
But fear?

And it has gotten me thinking.
Thinking about how I wish I were
braver the first time around.

Why is it when we were filling out that SN checklist for our first adoptions did the scary stuff
scare me?

Where was my faith?
Where was my hope?
Where was my optimism?

Don’t know.

But what I do know is that Joshua has forever changed me.

I think when we all begin this process of adoption
and we are drowning in paperwork
and excitement
and fear
and anticipation
it is so incredibly easy to get caught up in the diagnosis of these kids that we lose sight of the child behind that diagnosis

especially one like Joshua’s


The diagnosis seems to define this vast sea of children waiting for a home.


This is what we are given.
And if we’re honest, it’s what we all tend to look for.
Give me the facts.
Just the facts ma’am.

But the striking thing is,
is that they are so much more than an age, or a gender or a diagnosis.
They are a child.

Joshua is not

Pulmonary Atresia & Tetralogy of Fallot, Terminal, as he paperwork stated.

He’s Joshua
and he’s funny
and cute
and smart
and he loves Star Wars
and his sense of sarcasm matches mine exactly

And if he has taught me anything it is this

Dying kids need families too.

Because you know what?

You never know.

And in 20 days this

can turn into this

and now this.

So if you are looking for another kiddo to add to your family
someone to love
someone to do life with

let me encourage you
fear not.

There is a child out there with a terminal diagnosis that would just love to call you Mama
regardless of how many days, weeks, months or years they have on this earth.

Give them a chance
Give them hope
Give them l.o.v.e.
They need it.
They need YOU.


Sonia is a Jesus lovin’ Air Force wife and mother of 7 sons: 2 teens, 2 twins, and 3 boys adopted from China in 8 months. Her hobbies include cooking, eating, blogging and reading DIY manuals on how to install urinals in all of her bathrooms.

11 responses to “The Terminal Child”

  1. Aus says:

    Wow – you have the heart of a warrior – and the Faith of a saint – the passion of a poet – and the wisdom of an “old soul”…you must be a Mom (in the fullest sense of that word!)

    Thanks for “getting it”….

  2. Kam says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. What a beautiful little boy. We lost our son who had ToF last fall. And many people have looked at us like we are nuts for choosing another “heart” child. Even though our new son isn’t “terminal”…they think we are crazy. But yours is the same conviction we had. Many of these kids greatest need {besides Jesus!} is not just a family…but to LIVE! And when we chose our Seth, we knew that he may go to Heaven before we went to China. Still, he was ours. So we said “YES!” and he met Jesus as a beloved SON instead of an orphan. My heart aches for him but I know that he is perfect now.

    Thanks so much for sharing this! Amen and amen!

  3. Eileen says:

    What a beautiful boy! I’m so glad he has a loving family. In that last photo, he looks like the picture of health. I hope that lasts for a good long time!

  4. LOVE this post….

  5. Leslie says:

    I {HEART} this post.

    We have brought home two girls with “terminal” labels. And you know, their lives don’t look terminal at all from where I sit.

    When we stepped out for our newest little girl, another family had already submitted LOI and retracted it b/c they couldn’t accept her possible diagnosis of “inoperable” and the unknowns.

    I hate to say it but their loss is our gain. I can’t imagine her not being here and today is 1 MONTH since her adoption was finalized in China.

    She is so full of life. How long will she or her big sister be here? I don’t know. But last time I checked, NONE OF US can answer that question. So for us, it isn’t a part of the deciding equation.

    So many kids wait with complex CHD and I think people are really missing out when they won’t even consider it. Just my 2 cents!

  6. Jill says:

    wow. Thank you for sharing that. My husband and I have spoken about being open to the possibility of “terminal” next time…and I know it’s right. Thanks for sharing your story.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Love, love, love this!!

  8. Christy says:

    Awesome! Thanks! Praying for all of your boys and you! 🙂

  9. nohandsbutours says:

    Thank you so much, Sonia, for sharing your heart for the ‘terminal’ child. I think it’s something that, as parents. we all think we simply can’t handle… but clearly God has provided the tools to not only handle it, but handle it with grace and beauty 🙂
    So happy to have you here on No Hands But Ours!

  10. Kristi says:

    What an amazing post!

  11. Laine Ferrill says:

    This post is so full of TRUTH! THANK YOU!
    I’ve heard it said, “If God tells you to do something, but you’re too scared, just ‘DO IT AFRAID!”
    Our little “terminal’ guy is trucking along after being home 2 years. God knows the number of all of our days. We just must obey and serve Him until He calls us Home! What a joy and a privilege!
    Your Joshua is a sunshine!

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