Monday, May 26, 2014

10 Weeks Later...

Okay, so I realize it's been 10 weeks since my last post and I'm really, really sorry about that.  Tons of things have happened in the past 10 weeks...we'll see how far I can make it in this post.

Let's just rip the band aid off, okay? The adoption fell through.  Again.  Here's a brief recap: Remember the sweet kiddo we moved adopt last October? Then we were told we were given his information by mistake and we couldn't adopt him? Well, he's the one we went after again in March.

The day our social worker called us to tell us about the Show Hope grant we'd received, she also called to tell us little "V" was available for adoption again.  The first family had backed out.  She didn't know why, but they did.  In October, we had told our sw that if anything - ANYTHING - happened and he became available again that she didn't have to call us...just get our information in ASAP.  She passed that message along to our in-country representative and he did just that.  When ICBF contacted him and asked him if we were still interested, he said yes and immediately (within a minute of hanging up the phone) sent our information and paperwork in.  He verified that they received it and that they were processing us as a match and family for this sweet boy.  Then he emailed our social worker, who got it as she was dialing our number to tell us about the grant.

Pretty cool, huh?

I dropped to my knees in tears when she told me.  I couldn't believe it.  I could, actually, because WHAT AN AWESOME AND COOL GOD WE SERVE! The story He was putting insanely incredibly and one that only He could do.

We went into fast mode and began updating our home study, physicals, signing papers and rapidly applying for grants (I filled out 12 applications in about 3 days and harassed asked friends to write us letters of recommendations).  Jacob was preparing to leave for 3 weeks of training (and here's my shout out to single mommies...YOU. ARE. AWESOME. 3 WEEKS...and I was done. I tip my hat, high five, virtual fist bump, giant hug you and all the things that say how amazing you are!).  Since he was getting ready to leave, we wanted to do everything we could so that his 3 weeks away didn't delay anything.

It looked like our travel time was going to be mid to late July.  Yep, if you know my family you know there's a pretty big event happening in July called "My Little Sister is Getting Married".  I prayed hard that I wouldn't miss it, knowing we would both be heartbroken - but also knowing that when the country calls and says "be here on this day and this time to meet your son" can't really negotiate.

About mid-way through his training, we got up some updated medical information on sweet "V".  The info was confusing because it was dated months prior to receiving his referral again in March and it contained information we had never seen.  It also contained medical conditions and diagnosis' that we had never heard of and were considered severe.

This is where we thought, "Okay, Lord, are you stretching us in a really, really big way?"

So we began research.  I took it straight to WebMD and the Mayo Clinic website.  Just kidding.  I took it to some friends who a) speak Spanish and b) are in the medical field and c) one who lives in Colombia and d) one who's adopted from Colombia.  How cool is it that God has placed such knowledgeable friends in our lives?

At first glance, these diagnosis didn't make sense and we chose to believe that they were wrong.  Nothing really added up and everything could be explained away by the hardships early in his life.  That was that, research was done...let's move on.  Only our hearts were unsettled and we felt very uneducated and uninformed in what was really going on.  Not by what our friends told us, but by what we chose to hear and believe.

But then God placed someone new in our life.  Someone who has lived with and parented the medical conditions that sweet "V" has.  She so graciously talked to me and gave me the reality of parenting children with this diagnosis.  She has a beautiful adult child that has changed her and her family's life in incredible ways and she wouldn't have it any other way.  But she was real about what life was like.  And what life would be like trying to meet his needs...while simultaneously trying to meet the needs of AB, Lynns, and Creek.  It wasn't fear that began to settle into my heart...but understanding and realization.  If this diagnosis was accurate...we to make a choice within the scope of our whole family.

We could move forward and either a) he could thrive, while our other children were neglected because of the care he would require his entire life or b) we could continue focusing on our other children and "do our best" to meet his needs. Or we could not move forward....trusting that the Lord has another family for him.  One that can meet his every single need, every single day of his precious life.  A family where he could thrive and grow and be fully nurtured into the precious kiddo that he is.

A few weeks after receiving his updated medical info (all in Spanish), we got the translations back.  As we read through the translations, the basis and symptoms of his diagnosis' made a lot more sense.  It painted a much clearer picture of his medical conditions.  Maybe it was all there in the beginning and we were just allowing ourselves to see it.

So we stepped back.  Took a lot of deep breaths.  And prayed and prayed and prayed.  And it became clear to us that we were not the best family for sweet "V".  We trusted that the Lord will continue to hold him and that He has great plans for "V"...but we are not a part of his physical life.  I will always love this little boy.  Always.  He will always have a place in our home.  His picture will always be tucked away.

So how does a mommy walk away from a little boy she wants so badly?  To be honest, I still don't know.  I think I've crawled a few feet.  And now, I just sitting here waiting for the strength to get up and keep going.  I keep looking behind saying, "God, are you sure?"  And He always answers, "Yes."  So, yeah, God was stretching us when we first found out about all of this...only I thought He might be stretching us to consider medical conditions that were originally way out of our parameters. But no...He was stretching us to the hardest (and honestly, the most confusing) act of obedience I've ever had to do in my life.

How do we feel? Heartbroken.  Although we had healed from losing him the first time, our hearts were a little shaken...okay, maybe a lot shaken.  But we still dove head first into continuing our love for him and doing all we could do to get him home and into our arms.  But it is not our arms that will comfort and rock him and sing him to sleep.  It's not our arms that will carry him or give him high fives or teach him to swim.  It's not our arms that will get him ready for church each week and teach him about the love that Jesus has for him. Those arms belong to someone else.

How are we coping? I keep telling myself over and over again, "He is the same God."  God is the same God today that He was yesterday and He will be the same tomorrow. He cannot and does not change (James 1:17).  The same God who was writing this really incredible story of bringing sweet "V" back to, is the same God who is still writing an incredible story for sweet "V" and for the little boy He will allow us to bring into our family.  He is the same God.

What about the kids?  We gave limited information to the kiddos about "V". We simply showed them his picture and said that we needed to pray for him because he needed a family.  AB immediately raised her hands and said, "Oh, he should pick us to be his family! I would be a great big sister for him."  They would bring him up and we would answer questions for them.  We wanted to proceed with caution with them in case something like this happened.

Can I tell you anything else? Well, I don't think there's really anything else to tell.  As always, you are welcome to ask us questions if I haven't answered them here. But please do respectfully.  And I will not answer questions related to "V"'s condition or history.  Not only am I bound by a privacy agreement, but just simple respect for him.  Those are intimate details of his life that he doesn't even understand...who am I to tell the world wide web about them before he can process it?

I actually wrote a lot more than I had planned on writing and a lot more than realized I was ready for.  More has happened and I'll write more about it in a few days...just where God has taken us and how He has assured us in these past few weeks.  We do have some updates straight out of Colombia after an incredible webinar we attended a couple of weeks ago.  All of that will come in a few days, so be sure and check back.

In the mean time...we covet your prayers, as always.  We are hurting.  God pieced our broken hearts together before and I am comforted in knowing that He will do it again and in knowing that we are not alone in this.  Thank you, friends.  Thank you so much.  We could not bear to go through this journey without you.