Monday, May 6, 2013

April 23rd

Oh, my.  Oh, Lord – You are too good to us.  Your works are wonderful!  Truly, You know the plans you have for us!


I NEVER expected this to happen so quickly and as easily as it did.  Let me tell the wonderful story….

One week ago today (April 16th),  my car was in the shop for some minor repairs and routine maintenance. My husband was taking that day (a Tuesday) off instead of his usual Monday due to some schedule changes, so he picked me up from work, took me to a doctor appointment for a manipulation on my neck and upper back, then drove us to pick up my car and get some dinner.  On the way to the auto shop, I checked my e-mail on my phone and saw that we had a message in our private online adoption “portal” with the subject title “Waiting Child”.  This intrigued me…What about a waiting child, I wondered?  It was hard to wait to get home and see the actual message. 

When I was able to access it, this is what I read:
“Hi D and K,
We received a new referral through our partner in Hong Kong, and thought of your family. I wondered if you may want to take a look? If so, I am posting [child’s] referral here, [your social worker] is aware of this as well. Let me know your thoughts.”

Then I looked at the child study.  This is a more in-depth summary of a child than you would find in a photolisting, but not a complete medical report.  In this case, I learned this child’s gender, birthdate, medical diagnoses, and birth family background.  We didn’t have a preference on the gender.  I did review the birth family background, but honestly, it doesn’t have any bearing on our decision to consider a particular child or not.  The list of medical diagnoses was tricky – Hong Kong uses lots of British English medical terms that are tricky to ‘translate’, so there were several things we were unsure about, but we weren’t alarmed by any of the medical information.  The birth date was significant – I’ll get to that in a bit.

After taking a couple days to research things to the best of our ability, I called our doctor’s office to make an appointment to discuss this child’s file on Thursday (the 18th). 

We met with our doctor on Monday the 22nd and were encouraged.  Lots of the things we couldn’t figure out were not a big deal, just variations of normal.  He did say that this little guy looks “syndromic’, meaning he has the look and several anomalies that point to a possible genetic disorder.  I felt compelled to move forward. 

My husband kept asking me if I was ‘sure’.  I couldn’t say a certain ‘yes’.  I mean, it seems that in my (overly-realistic?  pessimistic?) mind that I can never give a certain answer.  There is always a shred of doubt that holds me back.  It was there when I chose a college, when I declared a major both times, on my wedding day, with job changes, etc.  And that ever-present little shred of doubt was still there, even though I wanted so badly to leap forward shouting, “Yes!”  We decided it would be wise to sleep on it at least one night before contacting our agency with an answer.

The next morning (Tuesday the 23rd), I awoke at 5 a.m. thanks to our very active sump pump.  I had fallen asleep thinking about this child, and my thought was, “I want to say yes.”
I shared that with my husband when I arrived home from work, and he agreed.  We sent our agency the glorious message, “We would like to proceed!”

Our little one is a boy, just over a year old.  We are awaiting our USCIS approval so we can send in our dossier.  Our estimated time from dossier submission to being formally matched is 2-4 months (he is not "officially" ours until then), and we will travel 7-12 months after that.  Urgh – more waiting!  It is going to be so hard to know he is growing without us.  Ideally, we’d travel in January.  I am going to pray that we travel by early March at the latest, as that would save us the hassle and fee to update our home study.

And his birthdate…I just cannot go without mentioning this vignette that demonstrates how my God does all things well.  I had often heard from adoptive mamas that there was some special ESP about the day their child was born.  I basically considered that to be an exaggeration.  But God! 

The day our child was born, I was despairing.  I had been having a very strange period that week.  It came on time, but was extremely light and remained that way for 4-5 days.  I was going crazy wondering if it was implantation bleeding from a pregnancy.  I both did and didn’t want to be pregnant. I wanted to be a mother in whatever way God saw fit to answer my prayers, but I was also so sure we were going to adopt at that point.  I knew if I was pregnant, I would need to grieve again, this time for the adopted child we wouldn’t have at the time.  I went back and forth all week, debating to test or not to test, wondering what to pray for, struggling between hope and dread for conception and adoption alike.  I got two hours of sleep a night for three days straight and ended up leaving work early on that third day because I felt terrible, but picking up a pregnancy test on my way home.

I tested the next morning.  Negative.  And I wept for both relief and sorrow, pain and peace.  I both thanked God and was angry at him.  My full flow, of course, began later that day (and continued for 8 days afterward)….

…and halfway around the world, our son was born.

Oh Lord.  Who knows what He was trying to do with that lining up of events.  Perhaps it was a final test of my faith in the midst of infertility, or to prepare my heart for the rocky road of international adoption, or simply to strengthen me.  One thing is certain – He worked out for the best and for His glory.

As all great gifts from heaven do.