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(This was Henry’s picture on the special needs “waiting kids” list last spring.)

This post has been on my heart for a few weeks… it’s just taken a while to actually write it!

I’ve been thinking a lot about unexpected “yeses” in my life — times where I’ve been faced with a decision where a yes seemed CRAZY!  But as I look back now, the yeses turned out to be some of the greatest blessings in my life.  Despite the risk.  Despite the odds.  Despite all the reasons why it didn’t seem like a “good” idea at the time.  

I’ve been thinking about this especially lately because of what was going on this time last year.  

A year ago I was in the thick of wrestling through a decision Peter and I had made a few weeks prior.  We’d said no to accepting the referral of a little boy on our agency’s waiting list after being unexpectedly drawn to him.  We’d taken the time to research his probable condition.  We’d stepped out of our preconceived ideas of how our adoption was going to go by even considering this little boy to the extent that we had.  But in the end, after weeks of researching, we’d said no because our fear of the unknowns surrounding his condition was too great.  

Maybe we researched TOO much?  I think sometimes our heads get the better of our hearts.  (*I’m not saying that it’s wise to leap without checking the depth of the water… but sometimes we can over-analyze our capabilities and stop ourselves short of tremendous opportunity.  If we can learn to face our fear of the unknown and trust the strange prompting to do something completely uncharacteristic, amazing results often follow.  It’s called faith.  Whew — that’s a whole post in itself!!)

But back to topic here…  I’m finding that the sounds and smells this month are bringing back the mixed feelings and intense emotions I had during that season… the heartache, the fears, the questions… I was really undone inside and definitely not settled with that initial decision.  I wrote this post a year ago.  Re-reading it, I remember the agony I was in — all the planning and prayers and desire to adopt came down to this ONE little life.  This one little boy.  It was immensely specific.  I remember thinking “how can people even make decisions like this?”  The future of a human life was in the balance and it weighed heavily on me.  

The last few weeks as I’ve been watching Henry run around outside with his sister — every inch an almost-two-year-old boy! — I have been very, very aware of how close I came to missing such an amazing blessing.  Granted, I AM a believer in God’s sovereignty.  But I also believe that I’m faced with choices every day.  I make decisions and I live with those decisions.  I’m very aware right now of how small a word “yes” is — and how huge the ramifications can be.  My heart is so thankful that Peter and I got a second chance to say yes… a second chance to take that leap.

This whole journey has made me stop and think about other things in life I might miss because I choose to stay comfortable.  It’s not going to help anything to be paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong decision — but I think it’s a very, very healthy thing to be acutely aware of the tendency to stay comfortable.  I WANT to live my life aware of the doors I almost didn’t walk through.  No regrets… but an awareness of the times that I had an opportunity to leap and didn’t (or almost didn’t.)   It’s funny, on one hand I tend to be pretty adventurous and willing to take risks… but it’s generally when I know that I am actually safe and I know what the outcome will be.  I’m fine climbing a rock face when I’m tied to a rope! —  but faced with a situation where the unknowns are seriously life-changing and permanent, I’m not so risky.  I play it safe… too safe.  I don’t want to be that person.  I want to be the crazy, sold-out and willing to follow Christ ANYWHERE person. 

Thank God for his grace to change, and grow, and leap!

Our yes to Henry was such a small leap in comparison to a lot of people’s “yeses.”  Seriously, it’s awe-inspiring (and just plain inspiring!) to think about the level of so many people’s dedication to following the road less traveled.  But, it was a HUGE step for us… it opened the doors to a lot of other “yeses” in our lives and is a daily reminder to stay open and surrendered to God’s plan.  It’s certainly not the easiest thing in the world to surrender our plans and hold our lives out openly… but we are learning that the unexpected blessings in it are incomparable.  This lesson has became intensly real and personal to us through this adoption — we really can’t imagine life without our precious, unexpected son!

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger (or heartache) is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”  Helen Keller

The new photo in my header is really significant to me… so I thought I would share the reason why.  Do you remember my post last fall about the gazillion tulip bulbs I was planting? 

Well, they are in full bloom now.

I planted them with the anticipation that my son would be home to see them. 

And he is!!

It seemed to me while planting them that the wait from bulb to bloom would be excrutiatingly long.  It signified the wait for Henry.  But true to character, the time passed… the seasons changed… the waiting ended — and even though it seemed like forever then, it seems like only a breath ago now.   

The funny thing is, the little hands that I longed to bring home can’t keep themselves off the tulip heads!  Aaaahhh!!  My ‘hope realized’ is a menace in the garden. 

But what a sweet, sweet menace!!

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This post was written with a silent prayer for all of you still waiting to bring your kids home.  May your hopes be realized soon.

Well, the second opinion ended up echoing the first.  After reviewing the MRI scans and examining Henry, the Neurosurgeon doesn’t think that any of the cysts are operable at this time.  He wants us to get another series of MRIs taken in three months to monitor their size and any growth — particularly the one in Henry’s C-spine.  He also said that there must have been an injury to the brachial plexus nerves at birth because everything points to that as the cause of his non-functioning arm.  He agreed with the neurologist we saw in Spokane — there isn’t anything medically to be done about Henry’s arm.  Unless the Lord heals him, he will never regain the use of it.  Of course, we’re totally up for that and we’re praying that way! 

So that’s that.  I am actually relieved to be able to bring closure to the waiting and wondering.  Unanswered diagnostic questions are difficult to live with month after month.  My heart goes out to families who search for conclusive answers for years.  It’s a relief to be able to shut the door and move on.  I kind of feel like we’ve been frozen in a place of ever-searching and never-discovering. There is so much more to Henry than all this diagnostic rhetoric that he is completely oblivious to at his age anyway. He’s a fighter and a champ.  Nothing is going to hold him back — not a brain disorder, not a bum arm, NOTHING! 

I’m also looking forward to jumping back into some areas that have been set to the side during this season.  I’ve been so focused on the medical end of things… now I can jump back in and rekindle some thoughts and ideas that have just been waiting.   Maybe I’ll finally get to finish the zillion half-written posts that I’ve started over the last few months as well!

Anyway, thanks so much for the comments and the encouragement.  I know it doesn’t seem like much to write a couple of sentences, but really, it’s meant the world to me.  I feel like I’ve been able to process everything and I am grateful for the closure at this point.  I am continually blown away by the Lord’s goodness to us.  We don’t deserve any of it.  We brought Henry home really not knowing anything — and even though it’s been a bit of a ride… now we know.  We KNOW what’s going on and we know what the next steps are.  That’s a huge blessing. 

We’re headed to Seattle again today for one more appointment for Henry.  This is a second opinion appointment with a pediatric neurosurgeon at Children’s Hospital.  It’s really a miracle that Henry got a meeting with this surgeon on such short notice.  He actually created this appointment’s time slot specifically for Henry since he is leaving later in the week for several months teaching in Japan.  He wanted to see Henry before he left and we are so, so grateful. 

It can be hard to keep track of all the medical jargon… so here’s a quick refresher:  The second part of Henry’s recent diagnosis was the series of cysts in his brain and spine.  We were given the first opinion that there really isn’t anything to be done about them at this point; but we’re following up on it because one of the doctors that Henry saw months ago in Seattle thinks there could be another condition causing the series of cysts (and that it could be surgically treatable.)  He referred us to the neurosurgeon that we will be seeing later today.

Anyway, we would really appreciate prayer for this appointment. This is kind of like the last strand of hope we have that any part of Henry’s condition is treatable — or that he’ll ever be able to use his left arm.  This appointment is a big one — we need to hear someone else’s opinion about the cysts and we’re praying that this second opinion will give some unexpected hope. 

Thanks!

A little about me…

Wife. Mother. Friend. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Student. Adventure-lover. Photo-taker. Book-reader. Organic gardener. Granola-maker. Green smoothie drinker. Snowboarder. Soccer-player. Aspiring rock-climber. Sometime health nut. Passionate about justice and mercy. Adoption advocate. Business owner and jewelry designer. Wild at heart. Crazy-blessed to live out in the country with my awesome family.

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Contact Me:

sunfreckled@gmail.com
"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do." {Helen Keller}

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