I am having a hard time wrestling through a decision we made last week.  I haven’t said anything about it to many people because it was such a personal experience for us…  but I really need to get it out because it has been difficult to process.

 About a month ago, we inquired about one of the children with special needs at the orphanage. We were given all the available medical information at the time and based on this info, contacted specialists around the country.  I researched like crazy for days and finally composed a list of questions for a more thorough medical exam by a doctor.  The child was taken to a hospital and we were given the evaluation.  By this point in the process I had become very emotionally attached even though I tried so hard not to… The diagnosis from the doctor was not what we had hoped for.  It turned out to be a completely different condition than the one we were first told and was much more severe. 

 We spent a week on our knees imploring God for a clear word…  and on the phone with more specialists.  At the end of the week we decided that at this point we are not in the position to give this little child the care required based on where we live and the future unknowns surrounding the diagnosis as the child grows.

It was one of the hardest decisions we have ever made.  I agonized over it because how can a person make a decision like that?  How can we say ‘no’ to a life?  It was no longer an anonymous sea of nameless children but a specific face with a specific name and a history. I was up for hours at night beseeching God over so many things… why is there so much pain and brokeness in the world… why is it the CHILDREN that suffer the most… and I felt so strongly as my heart ached that I was touching just a piece of what HIS heart feels as He hears the cries of the babies and sees the tears of the children all over the world.  I just want to take them all! I want to be in a position to care for them all. There is such a need for families to take these precious children with their special needs… and I feel so selfish for having said no.  I feel like I am talking the talk and not walking it out.  Even though I know in my heart that we can’t realistically handle that particular special need at this point, especially if things turn out as predicted. 

And that is the crux of the matter.  It would be a completely life-altering, permanent decision…  with serious medical handicaps that we aren’t prepared to deal with.  You have to go into a decision like that with a clear sense from the Lord because it will turn everything upside down if you don’t have it.  And you also have to be united as a family.  I may have said yes because my heart was agonizing for this precious baby, but Peter (whom I trust to hear from God) felt more strongly that we needed to be realistic also. 

In the end, I feel like I did release the emotional ties I had created and felt a degree of peace with our decision, but have definitely still been wrestling with the issues in general.  We are still open to and actually hoping for the adoption of a special needs baby, but we are waiting for more direction.  We have some time to pray and get a better sense anyway because we can’t really do much until our I-600 approval comes through.

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