First of all, Jimmy and I were blown away by the encouragement and support we received after my last post. The Holy Spirit prompted my to share this journey publicly, and I'm so glad that I listened because those of you who commented have given us so much insightful input, and some of you provided trains of thought that we'd never even considered. Thank you for your honesty, and for understanding how incredibly difficult this is. We are in a much more peaceful place now.
This was one of the messages that hit me the most, sent by someone who I've never met, but gave us so much to think about from a different perspective:
"My heart is telling me that God sent you the MRI. It was His way of giving you a heads up that perhaps this little girl belongs with another family for whatever reason. Perhaps there is another child that is meant to be your son or daughter and that will never be if you harbor guilt for saying no and decide to proceed. There are many more ways I can try to express what I am saying, but I think the true test is are you strong enough to say "no" because you need to do what is best for your entire family? I think your child is out there waiting for you to find them and you should proceed in doing that without any guilt or worries what others may thing. That is the real and true unknown."
So, this is where we're at...
We are trying to use both our hearts and our heads in this decision. One of the "conditions" that Jimmy and I agreed to in this fourth adoption, is that we will try--to the best of our ability--to add another member to our family whose medical issues and needs are not so severe that they might take time and energy away from our other two children. We are aware that there are many unknowns in the adoption process in general, and that it is--by nature--a leap of faith, but we also realize that we must go into this with our eyes open. When you adopt a child with medical conditions, you complete a checklist of conditions that are acceptable within your family, and honestly--for whatever reason--neurological issues have never been on our radar.
I know, to some, that "criteria" may seem shallow--or perhaps heartless--but the truth is that we are somewhat old and we don't have much in the way of financial resources. And if you don't know us personally or aren't familiar with our family's adoption journeys, special needs and unknowns aren't new to us. Two of our sons came home with medical conditions, and one of those sons, who had congenital heart disease, now resides in Heaven. He was a gift from God, and we were blessed to have him in our lives for four months. Daniel will live forever in our hearts. Our profound loss, I'm sure, is subconsciously adding to the emotional conflict that's taking place within us.
Since we already love this child, this little beauty half a world away, and we do believe that the Lord has placed her in our hearts for a reason, we are not ready to close the door with this new diagnosis. Several of you suggested that we get the actual MRI for this child, rather than relying on the report of the MRI. Some have asked, "Are you sure that is her MRI?" Good question. We are not sure of anything. And if it is her MRI, was it read correctly? And translated accurately?
We have now officially requested the actual MRI of her brain, and we have also offered to pay for a new MRI, if that's an available option. Even if we decide that her diagnosis is more than we can handle, we are hopeful that this information will help the family who's destined to find her, if it's not us.
All we can do now is wait. The brutal truth is that, if we are unable to get our hands on this piece of the puzzle, I fear that we will be unable to proceed with all the current unknowns. It breaks my heart to say that, but we have to remain faithful in God's plan, either way.
On the back of my book, With an Open Heart, I have written this, "What happens when you have one plan, and God has another? Do you still believe?"
If this precious child is meant to be in another family that's better served to care for her, then we have to accept that, and yes...we will still believe and we will continue to trust in God's plan. But we will still love her.
Having said that, we are not ready to give up HOPE that she is our daughter.
Please keep praying for our baby and for discernment. Your prayers will be treasured.