A True Love Story
This incredible adoption story is being told by a mother who already had a full household before meeting her son at an orphanage. If you have ever considered adoption, I encourage you to take a minute and reflect on what she shares. EVERY child deserves to be loved!
Six months ago today, I stood in the hallway of an orphanage across the world, and I looked into this child's eyes. And I thought to myself, "I'm coming back for him." This moment, captured by a wonderful photographer who stood behind me, will forever be etched in my heart and my mind's eye.
I cannot explain the insanity of that moment...I was in the throes of one of the most challenging and incredible days of my life (experiencing the culmination of a long journey of obedience and meeting Miles). And for the record...very rarely, if ever (except for the time I brought a puppy home), do I say, "I am doing this or that." Derick and I are a team and partners so this thought caught me completely off guard. Also...we already told God before we left for Miles that we were tapped out. Used up. He has a lot of other people who could say "yes."
In that moment, THIS precise moment that is captured in this image, God began a new story, tying my heart to this child. Immediately after having this absolutely crazy whisper in my heart, the nannies erupted in rapid, excited, and joy-filled conversation. They said, "he has a family coming for him!!!" Oh the joy!! And relief! Immediately, I thought to myself, "see? You are a nut." And that was that. We went about the rest of our incredible, glorious, difficult, heartbreaking day.
That night, I posted on our agency's Facebook page..."Who is this sweet boy's mama?!? I met him today and he is precious. We have pictures to share!" Only to discover that the family that had been in process for him had changed their minds. His medical needs were too daunting. And so he was now without a family. Without hope.
When we came home (actually even on the last leg of our trip in China!), I actively advocated for him, sending his picture to anyone who was willing. I saw many families request his file and say, "no!" And my heart broke for him.
Why wouldn't anyone take a chance and love him for however long they could? Wasn't he worth that? Didn't he deserve to know the love of a mama and a daddy?
With each "no," I had some serious conversations with God. How was he going to get a family to say yes?!? In late November, we prayed and prayed as a family for this boy. And then. One day, I felt like God said, "hello?!? I have a family for him. You." Umm. What?!? We prayed and prayed. And prayed. And agonized.
And so began the next chapter of this boy's story. And our family's story.
We innocently asked for information. JUST information on his medical needs so we had facts. Upon reading his file, it became clear why so many had said, "no" to those deep brown (sparkling) eyes. He has cyanotic complex congenital heart disease. The cardiologist said he has "one of the most medically complex hearts that is eligible for palliation." Palliation means prolonging life. It means no cure. It means hope with a disclaimer.
They said "no" because saying "yes" means saying "yes" to the unknown, to surgeries, to hospital stays, to trauma, to heartache, to challenges...to dying to self.
And frankly, who wants to do that?
No one. No one wants to pour themselves out and risk it all. Risk the pain of death and loss.
Saying "no" also means risking loss...loss of the opportunity to love a human being, to grow and be transformed by trials and triumphs, to have a front row seat to His miracles, to love someone like Jesus loves me.
And so. We said quite possibly the most profound and terrifying "yes" of our lives on Christmas Eve. We said "yes" with a peace that passes understanding and that hasn't left us since.
And so we introduce you to our fifth son, Simon...whose name means "He has heard" to help us remember the countless prayers that have and will be uttered (and answered) on his behalf.