I've been struggling for days to come up with a blog post to convey my thoughts and feelings of the past week. I kind of wish I could pay someone to write it for me...I have a few bloggers in mind who are so eloquent they make me cry...far too often! But I'll do my best.
As I wrote in an earlier post, we did not receive a referral off of December's new shared list. Several days after the release of that list, I came across the information of a little boy who was on that list but not matched with a family yet. I inquired of our agency and was then sent his file to review. My heart was not prepared for the gravity of this knowledge: real information about a baby boy, his name, his province, his medical need, his feeding schedule, the fact that he was found wrapped in a red blanket. I didn't even look at his photos, thinking that I would surely lose all objectivity if I did. I confess that my pursuit of this information was ill-timed and unilaterally decided; hence my husband and I had a very emotionally difficult Christmas weekend. We decided, however, to continue to seek answers and give prayerful consideration to adopting this little boy.
Surprisingly, I was able to get some feedback from a handful of doctors throughout the holiday weekend and in the days following; I am incredibly thankful to the men and women who made time to weigh in, at no cost to us.
A week had passed since we were given this child's file, and still we did not have the answers we felt we needed to make a decision either way. Our hearts were open, but doubt and concern persisted. I continued to make phone calls, hoping to find the right specialist to review this file, and yes, hoping to avoid paying a high fee for this service. We knew we were taking a risk in not locking in the file. This past Monday I talked to one of the China team from our adoption agency who agreed to try to obtain some medical updates on the child.
Several times in recent days I have stated: If someone simply announced to us--'This one is your son!'--we would love him wholeheartedly, no regrets, and would provide him with whatever care he may need. But the choosing...that's difficult for me. Because of the complexity of this child's file (or perhaps, the complexity of my own emotions and thoughts?), I can hardly imagine having a mere 24 hours in which to make such a life-changing decision! I know some who would have readily taken this leap of faith. We just weren't there yet...that's the honest truth.
On Thursday morning I received an email from our agency staff telling me she had obtained updates (I assume answers to questions I had asked)...but that she could no longer find the boy's name on the shared list. Did I know if he had found a family? she asked me. I responded, saying no, I knew nothing...to please let me know if his name happened to pop up again...otherwise, we would consider this a clear answer to our prayers for direction.
So that's it then. I have not heard from her again, and I expect that I will not. After a fairly painful weekend, literally hours and hours of research, and a dozen+ emails sent to doctors as well as total strangers who have adopted children with this same special need, I am coming to a new place of peace and trust in God's perfect leadership, especially in regards to our adoption. We had been asking Him to speak "loud and clear" about our adopting this particular child, and we fully expected Him to do so, even through a closed door. It is our sincere desire that this lovely boy finds his forever family; we hope he already has.
My husband and I have recovered from our conflict, by the way. Our marriage is growing stronger through this adoption process, though there is a very real enemy who, I believe, opposes anything that has to do with love or adoption or obedience (or joy, or truth, etc....you get my point). We have felt this opposition strongly, but we are not unaware of his schemes.
That brings me to some good news: on Christmas Eve, right in the midst of our emotional brouhaha, I opened the mail to find a letter containing a check--a grant that we had applied for! It's as if God was saying to us, "I see you now, right in the middle of your emotion; I understand that you are doing a new and difficult thing. Please be assured that I love you. Your obedience pleases me greatly. I will continue to provide for you and will bring you great blessing and joy through this adoption."
So there you have it. I'm sure there is much more I could say, more emotion I could plumb the depths of. The truth is, I'm ready to move on, though grateful for the work the Lord has done in my heart (and in my marriage) through this process. We now eagerly await the referral of the son He has perfectly chosen for our family, and we pray that we will have the grace and wisdom to make that decision quickly with peace and much joy.