It has been a crazy whirlwind of a week.
We’ve been praying over a particular waiting child. I can’t really divulge many details because it is still in the preliminary stages and we won’t even know for a couple of weeks if we will be accepted. Another family further along in the process could want him and seeing as that would get him out of an orphanage faster, that IS what we would be best for him.
But I CAN tell you what I’ve learned about God and myself and what our new life will look like.
For starters, God is big. Really big. He is not shocked about the Chinese medical system or how they report diagnosis. And this little boy belongs to Jesus. Whether or not he belongs to us remains to be seen, but he is seen by our Lord. I’ve been able to research a bit about the orphanage he is in. It is one geared for kids with special needs. It has recently undergone a HUGE renovation underwritten by the Christian recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman’s orphan foundation Show Hope. There are two kids per “nanny” and each nanny cares for the same two kids each day. There are Disney murals painted on the walls and handmade bed linens and quilts for each crib made by loving donors. The hospital is run by a Christian doctor and her husband. It’s beautiful. I cried as I watched YouTube video after YouTube video. Little boys and girls being cuddled and sung to by their Chinese aunties.
What joy it brings me to imagine my son being kissed on his little nose by these women beneath a mural of Dumbo flying over a train.
I also learned that I am fearful. I’m afraid that my child will be in pain. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to help him. I’m afraid that multiple surgeries may not always help and that his life will be hard. I’m afraid I won’t know the right questions to ask or what doctors to see. I’m afraid that we won’t be able to raise enough money in time. I’m afraid I’m going to let my little boy down. That he will see me crying because I’m just so sad he has to go through this and he will be sad too. That I won’t be able to stick my chin out and grin.
And these fears led me to guilt. What kind of Mom is afraid? How can I do this? Does this mean that once again I’ve bitten off more than I can chew? I found my heart pounding out of my chest. I think I may have had a twelve hour panic attack yesterday. And Sloan did not share my fears. Which made me think he was an idiot or just not thinking things out.
Turns out that it is a good thing Sloan wasn’t freaking out as I was doing enough of that for the both of us.
And so it was my first taste of what it must be to be the Mom to a child with special needs. Oscillating between fear and faith. Getting whiplash from bungee jumping into a dark pit of fear. Simultaneously screaming my pain at God and clinging to his legs crying, “Lord, Jesus, can’t you see me? Help me? HELP ME!!”
I’ve learned that fear is not contrary to faith. Guilt is. So I refuse to feel guilty for being afraid of scary things. We live in a broken and fallen world. The fact that there are children abandoned in streets, wrapped in carpets, and tossed aside for not looking right should be an indicator of that. The fact that my kid is right now in an orphanage SHOULD break my heart. The fact that he is hurting SHOULD hurt me. I will grant myself grace and patience.
And I’ve learned that sojourning in this broken world alongside me are countless people who are doctors and nurses who care about our boy. Countless people who desire to carry our burdens alongside us. Countless people who will, when I cannot walk to Jesus, are willing to carry me to Him. And it’s okay if I’m white knuckled on that litter.
So join me in this frightening process of being human. I will most certainly need you to carry me.
This world is not my home. Nor is it my kids’ home. So in my pain, I long for when I can say “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Rev. 21:3-4.