I remember looking at pictures of children and wondering if they were mine. I knew God wanted us to adopt a child. I knew He had a specific child for us. Every time I would look at a picture of a waiting child, I would ask myself, “Are you mine?”
God, how will I know my child from all of the others?
Will you give me a sign?
Where is my daughter?
What if I don’t find her in time?
Is she mine because you created her to be mine or because I chose her?
In the quiet, so many questions would flood my mind. Sometimes I felt as if all of my fears and unanswered questions would crush me. Adoption had been my idea, not my husband’s – he was counting on me. He trusted me to lead the way through the adoption process. So what if this doesn’t end well?
Adoption sounded like such a great idea until my husband finally said yes. I knew God was calling us to adopt. But once my husband agreed to move forward, I became tortured by my own fear and doubt.
That is, until a friend sent me a picture. I knew she was mine from the first moment I saw her. In one of the pictures she was sucking on her top lip just like my youngest son, Ben, did as a baby. We decided to contact the agency representing her to view her file. We knew she would have a special need because she was a special focus child from China. Her file stated her needs as transposition of the great arteries, pulmonary stenosis, and a repaired VSD.
I did not know what any of that meant.
But I did know was that this was our daughter.
I began to search different medical sites. We also reached out to our brother-in-law who is a pediatric cardiologist. He explained to us how a normal heart works. Then, he explained each of our daughter’s defects and the possible complications they could cause. The VSD was a hole in her heart that was repaired. But transposition of the great arteries is a major defect. In a normal heart the right side pumps blood to the lungs and the left side pumps blood to the rest of the body. Our daughter’s heart is reversed, which causes a shortage of oxygen in the blood flowing from the heart to the rest of the body.
Sometimes doctors recommend a surgery called the double switch to repair hearts with this defect. The surgery is risky and must be done on a healthy heart. Another possible outcome would be the need for a heart transplant. The older a child with this defect gets, the more her risk of having problems rises.
If we moved forward with this adoption, we needed to understand that our daughter might not live past her teenage years.
That is a pretty scary thought.
Our perspective was and continues to be that no one knows how long they will be on this earth. A person can be perfectly healthy today but not tomorrow. We chose to trust in God and His plan for our family. We believed that He loves Lily and planned for her to be part of our family. We knew this was our daughter and we decided to pursue her. Our adoption process moved quickly and God was so faithful to us.
On Monday April 17, 2017 we celebrated the one year anniversary of Lily’s Gotcha Day! Lily has fit into our family seamlessly. We prepared ourselves and our three bio kids for the worst case scenarios. We are so thankful that we have been fortunate and have not walked through any of them.
Lily’s heart may work the opposite of most, but her heart is strong and working well right now. She takes a daily medication and an antibiotic before seeing the dentist. Other than that, she is a normal three year old.
We are so thankful to have the opportunity to shower our daughter, Lily, with love. She brings energy and so much joy to our family!
And we choose to trust God with all of our days no matter what challenges may lay ahead.
– guest post by Brandy
I think we have an author in our mists. Well said Brandy. Very inspiring. I had no idea about Lilly’s heart issue could get worse. You are amazing.
Our son has a very similar diagnosis, and we walked the same mental path when considering him. Thank you for sharing. We hope for the same thing–as much time together as possible. We head to Boston Children’s Hospital this June for surgery. Blessings!
I love you and your faithfulness to God’s calling on your heart. You have been an amazing inspiration to me. You are a great mom and Lily is amazing!
Beautifully written, Brandy. You have an amazing heart. So happy you found Lily and prayers that she continues to be healthy!