From yesterday’s post: Over the next several months as I got to know Lightening Bug better, I realized that first and foremost he was my son. He is playful, mischievous, extremely gregarious and confident.
And, he just happens to be cleft affected.
Have there been some challenges for us because of this?
Yes. Surgery. Speech therapy twice a week. Ear tubes. Specialist visits. Some future dental and orthodontic issues.
Have they conjured up fear, anxiety and heavy burdens on my heart?
Not any more than the challenges of parenting Little Bee.
I wish I could wrap up my story here and say “the end”. We had our “perfect American Family of Four”.
But, God doesn’t work like that.
2.5 months after returning home from China with Lightening Bug, this picture changed our lives.
It was an icy, cold, Friday afternoon and I was bored, so I decided to do what I normally do when I’m bored and take a look on our adoptions agency’s website of children with special needs who were waiting for families to adopt them. (Now mind you, I’d done this bored, adoption web scrolling countless times!)
But on this day, as I scrolled down the list of photos and descriptions, I saw her.
And I stopped dead in my tracks.
It was a picture of Lightening Bug’s foster sister.
I knew this because we had an almost identical picture of her in a photo album given to us by Zach’s foster mother the day we adopted him.
When we got that album, we didn’t know who she was, her name, her story.
But we had this picture of her and Ross and I prayed for God to find a family for her.
After reviewing her file and wrestling for five weeks with some big questions for God,
“can we afford this?”
“do we have what it takes to care for her special needs? Her special needs aren’t on our LIST?!!”
“do we really want to be a family of five?”
We heard God whisper a few things to us:
“I am calling YOU to be the answer to YOUR prayers and adopt this little girl.”
“Yes- she has some needs that aren’t on YOUR list, but I’m not going to put you guys in any situation that I can’t handle!”
So, in that crazy, audacious-like faith, we began the process of adopting her and started getting use to the idea of becoming a family of five.
6 months later, in the middle of paper chasing for this little girl, God handed us another surprise.
For the first time in our almost 15 years of marriage and 2 months shy of turning 41, found out I was pregnant! (We are still trying to figure out how THAT happened!)
Thankfully, our adoption agency allowed us to proceed with our adoption as planned!!!
As the shock of the reality of going from 1 to 4 kids in 18 months began to slowly sink in, we began to prepare ourselves for our 2 new arrivals
On February 23, 2011, Little Mister made his world debut.
6 weeks a 1-day later, Ross and I boarded a plane to China and on April 10, 2011, we met Lady Bug for the first time.
Within hours of adopting her, we realized that there were more medical and developmental needs than we originally thought.
There have been days when these challenges have brought me to the point of tears and I feel anxious, fearful, and deeply burdened.
There are moments when I wonder how I am going to survive to the next hour.
It’s in those times that I hear the God whisper to me a few reminders:
First, before time began, God knew who my children were going to be.
Second, regardless of how “perfect” or “imperfect” any of my children are, they are MY children. God has entrusted them to my care.
Third, God won’t put me in any situation HE can’t handle and as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:7-8, 16-18:
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.And though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”