Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Laying it down.

I'm sharing this publicly because I really feel like we need your faithful prayers. If you haven't read it already, I'll ask that you take a moment to read the post before this one, so that you are caught up.

Just a few days after my last post about our daughter, we received some news that would change everything. Well, almost everything...

Our baby girl's primary medical diagnosis, all along, has been a somewhat "treatable" bone disorder generally caused by a Vitamin D deficiency. She was also noted to have developmental delays that had no tangible explanation. We thought her inability to speak and her late walking were all side effects from rickets and life in the orphanage, and we were ready to deal with it. 

Last week, we received an update containing the most beautiful photo of her, and the wonderful news that our match had been pre-approved. Reason to celebrate.

But along with the photo, we also received an alarming MRI report that had surfaced out of nowhere. It was from an MRI of her brain that had been taken when she was one-year old, and it indicated that she has a very serious brain abnormality--one that is not likely treatable. I felt the walls crashing down around me.

As you might imagine, Jimmy and I were devastated. My tears flowed for two days. We felt so helpless about all of this. This match felt so right, and it felt so good. I mean, I just wrote my last blog post about how much we love this child, and do you recall this mighty quote given by a friend?

"I think that it is perfectly normal to have fear, even when the child is meant to be yours. But courage is not the absence of fear, it is action in the face of it. Anything that might come up that you weren't expecting, well, you will rise up to meet that challenge and it will feel like a privilege to do it because you love her."

And do you recall my response?

"And each day, as we've looked at our baby's precious face, we've realized that we do love her, and we simply can't afford to be afraid of the unknown. Or we might just miss the blessing of a lifetime."

So...what has changed? We still love her, and we still might miss the blessing of a lifetime if we say no to this precious child who has already found a place in our hearts.

Do you have any idea how difficult this is? If I were carrying this child in my belly, would I deny her a chance at life? NO...I wouldn't. So, now, because we've received this new information about her, we're contemplating whether to accept her or not?  My heart aches right now...

Jimmy's reminded me that we can still love her, even if she's meant to be in another family. But I still feel like she's meant to be in ours. As I type this, tears stream down my cheeks. This is a painful process.

We've already had two trusted medical professionals indicate that her condition is "not good." And the more I learn about this diagnosis, and all that the unknowns "could" mean for her future, it sometimes makes me want to curl up into a little ball, and I feel certain that we are in no way equipped to handle her needs. But then each day brings a new feeling of hope. This week, I am trying to get this MRI report to some pediatric neurologists for review, and we will remain hopeful for something...some shred of evidence that this isn't as serious as it seems.

Will she be our daughter? I don't think we're prepared to answer that yet. I hate that we are fearful. I hate that I have written a book about listening to the Holy Spirit and leaping in faith, and now we are the ones who are afraid to dive in with both feet. I feel like our faith is being tested, and we're not passing the test right now.

I hope that you won't pass judgment against us, whichever path we choose to take. We are human. It has been a difficult week, and this is not a comfortable place to be. We have two children who we need to consider in all of this, too.

Please pray for our baby girl. Please pray for our discernment.

I know the sun will still shine, but I will grieve the loss of this child in our family should we choose not to adopt her. I am laying this burden at the foot of the cross, and I have to remain faithful that God will show us the way.


Rita Buettner said...

Oh, Lisa. We are united with you in prayer. What a difficult, difficult situation. Lots of love and hugs and prayers heading your way as you and Jimmy find your way on this journey.

asian~treasures said...

Praying...for clarity, for wisdom & for peace in your decision.

It's hard...it stinks. We've walked that path~~said no to a referral who was placed in HER family.

Nancy G said...

Lisa, I am so sorry you are struggling but please know my heart and prayers are with you and whatever decision you choose will be the right one for your family. Love and hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

Lisa my thought always goes back to this if you go for it God will provide BUT I say at the same time... one day when you are both old or gone where does that leave her? In a home? In a facility? The fear is once the parents are gone what becomes of the child and then if she requires so much time for care will it affect the other two? Those are some logical reasons why one may not pursue this. On the other hand you would be amazing and have great support I'm sure if you choose her. Follow your heart aand what is best for your other two children. They come before all else. Do what's best for THEM. When your gone one day they will remain siblings to take care of each other.

Amy said...

Oh Lisa! I'm so sorry you are in this difficult position. Before we were matched with our Milo, we had to turn down a potential referral. He was the most beautiful child I've seen (even rivaling Milo, which is hard to do!), but he had a devastating heart condition. We had a couple doctors review his file, all of whom agreed he would need a transplant. And even with this, he already had a lot of damage done to his body, and may not be able to survive long. A lot of unknowns obviously. Ultimately, we opted to turn the referral down…. we felt that our first priority was to the daughter we already had, until another child joined our family. And we decided we didn't want to put our family through such stress and possible devastation. I still cry for that little boy, he holds a piece of my heart even though I never met him. It was the hardest decision of my life.

I will be thinking of you & praying for you.
Sending love & {{{hugs}}}.

Anonymous said...

We don't actually know one another, but I came across your blog. I am sorry this is happening. I think when we adopt, there's a part of us who, while loving the child or children as our own, want to rescue them from the possibilities of what may happen to them as they get older. There's nothing wrong with that. But it sometimes may cause us to forget our limits and how it impacts the whole family, not just the child. And there's nothing wrong with having limits. Don't feel guilty about that. The right thing and the easy thing are rarely - if ever - the same. Wishing you peace and good vibes.

Ann said...

Oh Lisa, my heart is praying for you right now. I have been in that situation and I know that anguish! I compared it to being asked to have an abortion I loved my child so much. And yet I was so fearful for all the same reasons you are. We decided to bring her home despite our fear and she ended up being fine--not having the terrible diagnosis she had been given. The reason we ended up bringing her home was because we finally realized we could live with her potential diagnosis MORE than we could live with knowing she would never have a family. And then it happened AGAIN with our most recent adoption. And her reality is much worse than her diagnosis. She may never be independent. I thought when we were in China and saw the reality that we had made the wrong decision. But now, one year later I am so, so grateful we didn't give into our fears. She is fearfully and wonderfully made! She is the sweetest child I have ever known! I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I had to live knowing that maybe she had never received a family (and she had been waiting for 4 years so I doubt it).
I share this just to share out story and in no way to tell you what is right or wrong for your family. Only you can know that. I am here to support you whatever your decision. Prayers and hugs dear friend!

Anonymous said...

Sending you prayers.. What ever path you choose will be the right one because it comes from love.. There is no wrong answer..
Nicki Bie