saying yes to complex conditions

February 20, 2014 complex medical, Family Stories, Rebecca, Urogenital System 7 Comments

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

7 responses to “saying yes to complex conditions”

  1. Caroline Singleton says:

    Hi Rebecca,
    Your little daughter is lovely! Recently I read the book about Robin and Joyce and their Hope Healing Home. I saw on the blog link that your son is from Langfang SWI. I have two daughters from there- both with the “Dang” surname as well. They were adopted before the orphanage was moved to the new building. I have pictures of the babies of early ’09… but I think your son is younger than that. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you so much, Caroline. She is a gift from God. Yes, Eli is from Langfang. Interesting about the surname. Its meaning just makes me sad for all of them, but they are so loved and named now, aren’t they? Unfortunately, he was born in 2010, so he wouldn’t be in the photos. Thanks so much for offering though.

  2. My oldest daughter has anal rectal malformations as a result obgyn issues as well. She had 12 fingers at birth, an eye tumor and the malformations as well. We adopted her at 12 and by divine care she never knew there was anything wrong with her. Home now 7 years she is doing well. We have had many surgeries, colostomies, restructuring, etc We had not idea that she had any medial needs at adoption–sort of a surprise but we are so happy that we said yes! Blessings to you for this article, Sheila Temple author of Chines Take Out : An Adoption Memoir (Tate) #fourless #lovethroughmanysurgeries #manyquestions

  3. Heather Knowles says:

    After 3 birth daughters we were led by God to adopt from China, and 3.5 years later held a tiny delayed 14-month-old girl in our arms. We prayed and worked with her, and now aged 13 years she is still tiny, but has been classed as gifted, especially in music and art. 2 years after adopting daughter ‘number 4’ we felt led to ‘go again’, so we restarted the process, and 3 years later held in our arms daughter ‘number 5’, who appeared to have met her developmental milestones at 11 months old. She is now aged 8. She has a very serious, life threatening allergy to dairy products and derivitives, has been diagnosed with Dorsal Stream Syndrome (which has a detrimental effect on maturity, handling of emotions and behaviour)and suffers from a condition which makes her very long sighted, with extreme astigmatism and with very limited peripheral vision. If we had known how much each of our ‘China Princesses’ would demand of us and our other children, would we have gone ahead with the adoptions? You bet we would! Our lives are so much richer with our two youngest – and we wouldn’t change our decisions for anything. We were led to these two gorgeous girls, and Father God has provided everything we could need, and so much more.

  4. Thank you so much Rebecca for sharing how God’s plan combined our faith trumps reasoning. We are just starting the adoption process and have been so overwhelmed with all the special needs we see. Next week will be the 3 year anniversary of our 12 yr old son being healed in heaven after an 18 mth battle with a brain tumor. We have found our selves tip toeing around what we think our family can handle due to the pain our journey caused us but God already knows the path and has already equipped us. That you for reminding me EVERYTHING rides on faith and not what this world defines as common sense. God bless!

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