Wednesday, April 02, 2014

{The Truth}

God called us out on these uncertain, unknown and no guarantee waters nearly one year ago.  We knew before Annabelle's homegoing anniversary that He was prompting our hearts to another child...a child on the other side of this world. 

We waited.  We didn't want anything to interfere with her time...her days.  Yet, He had planned it this way.  Planted the burden heavily on my heart just days after her birthday and pushing it further and further into my soul as we journeyed through the fifth year without her.

I tried to cover it up.  I tried to pray it away.

I shared how strongly I felt... like I was betraying God by not doing this big, scary thing called adoption.  And I just made it a matter of prayer.  It turns out that He prompted my beloved's heart, too.  And there was no turning back.

Friends, I am not one who ever has my prayers answered the way I pray them.  I'm the one who prayed for four years for my mother's body to be healed. For the cancer to go away and never come back.  For the surgery to get it all. For the chemo to wipe every sick cell out.  For the radiation to do it's job without permanently marking the woman's body that had held me since birth.  But my prayers weren't answered.

She was healed.  She was made perfect.  But not here.  As a teenager, that hits hard.  It deepens your faith just as much as it scars it.  I've had to search further and believe more at the very moment my head is holding me back and doubt is rearing fiercely...reminding me of those tears I've cried and those prayers I've begged that were left and never answered.

I know I am not entitled to Him listening to anything I say.  I have peace in His plan.  And my faith recovered some as I grew.

Then, we learned that the beautiful baby girl that I was carrying had a plastic left ventricle at only 19 weeks in utero.  My knees became raw again.  Prayer after prayer after prayer for her healing.  I just knew that the Creator of this world and of my child would not make a mistake in forming her...fearfully...wonderfully.  He would heal her.  This would not be our path. 

I had already faced my graduation with out my mother.  My wedding day without her by my side to help me plan and stand as I walked down the aisle.  I had birthed her first grandchild...a 9 pound baby boy...and she lived for children.  She gave her life to love serve others...and, yet, she was gone for this, too.  The dreams that would never be fulfilled without having her in my life were going to come true this time.  There would be no way that my Savior would allow this pain again.  He would never take my daughter.

Yet, I sat two months after her birth on the sofa in our den in the fetal position weeping...crying out to God in anger.  How could He allow this?  Was I being punished?  Why would a loving God allow His child to hurt so much that I couldn't breathe and was certain I would die from the pain myself?

Something changed in me after Annabelle's passing.  I felt for a while that I believed in Him because I had to.  I didn't want to even think of an eternity without I would believe just to get to her.

But as I continued crying out to Him...honest with my pain and grief...I began to fall in love with Him even more.

He allowed for time to pass...for a healthy baby boy to bring joy back into our family...and He waited for the perfect moment to open our hearts to the future.

Special Needs Adoption.  China.  Another daughter.

We filled out that medical form of conditions that we would accept painfully and slowly.  There were so many things on there that we hadn't ever heard about.  Research to be done.  Cleft lip, cerebral palsy, deafness, missing limbs or limb differences, skin disorders, developmental delays...congenital heart disease.  Our hearts stopped at that blank.  Could we check that?  We knew in the worst way possible the risk of checking that box.  We would never want to put our boys in that position...especially Wyatt...again of having to say goodbye far too soon.  But, was this really our choice?  Hadn't He already chosen for us? 

As much as we wanted to say no, we knew that He had given us Annabelle for a reason...for many of them. 
One of them may just be to help another child. 
We knew things about congenital heart conditions that many do not.  Our family is fully immersed in an incredible community of heart families that truly do become family.  We have blessed relationships with pediatric cardiologists, nurses, techs and just about any medical team member we would ever need.  What was stopping us?  Fear?  The enemy?

We checked that box.  We hoped that we'd get something easy.  Something that would never put us in that waiting room again.  But we knew that there was a much bigger plan going on. 

The unknown, no guarantee waters got real on Friday, October 25, 2013.  We had a file to review.  On hold for our family for 24 hours to make a decision if this was the child He has planned for our family all along. 
She was a heart baby.

We had our third child's namesake review her echos and medical records.  We were told both the good and the bad.  We knew that there was a pretty good chance she would indeed need open heart surgery.  We had no oxygen saturation on her and the echo was outdated by nearly 6 months.  The  file had holes.  Lots of them.  There were paragraphs that didn't make sense.  Explanations from doctors that didn't gel with others.  Fear said stop but God said go.  So we did.

We shared with very few that Andie-Grace was another heart baby.  That an undiagnosed murmur put her on the special needs list.  Something that her birth mother would have never known about and if she had would never have had the money to even obtain an echo herself to find out the severity of it. Every medical treatment must be paid for in full upfront in China.  It is a wealthy country with very poor people.  Her birth mother did what she believed in her heart was best for this precious daughter she adored. 
I did everything in my power to get her home quickly.  I had arranged in my mind that we would have her surgery in the spring quickly after getting her home and then she'd be fine to swim most of the summer once her incision healed.  I had our pediatric cardiologist on stand by the entire time we were in China to email him anything new that I could gather about her health...and I did...a few times.  But, we really didn't know anything until we could get her home and get an echo done here.
We waited with wandering minds for nearly two weeks after stepping off the plane and coming home to have her seen.  She did wonderfully during the echo playing with her pink phone or her maraca or eating puffs or trying on my bracelets.  The tech continually kept commenting on how precious she is and how well she was doing...completely surprised that she was able to do the entire 30 minute echo on a 16 month old without a needed pause. 
Yes, she amazes us all.  But God is the One who made her...and He, well, He takes the cake on this one...
The results were read.  Her heart does have a hole between the two ventricles and a little stenosis but it is "trivial and tiny".  She will never need open heart surgery.  She doesn't even need medication.  Other than an echo or two a year to keep a good eye on everything, her heart is completely, perfectly normal.  Heck, she sats at 98 when she's been screaming for 20 minutes after giving blood!  That's better than me on a good day!
In the moment we were told that these risks...these doubts...these uncertain waters that He has had us walk in complete and utter faith,  I was immediately brought to my knees in thanksgiving with audible shouts of thanks to Jesus.  And, once again, my husband had to hold me up.   Breathe was stolen from my lungs as I exhaled the biggest sigh of relief in years.
He alone can rescue, He alone can save...and, sometimes, on this side of Heaven He does.
There is no explanation for her results.  This child was considered by Love Without Boundaries to receive life saving surgery in China but since we were so far along in the adoption process they suggesting trying to expedite her file to get her home quickly so she could get it faster.  It was going to be at least the middle of March before they could work out the logistics for her.  And...for us...little did we know, that the month of March would hold another miracle for another daughter....this time on Earth.
A child redeemed by the Redeemer.  A daughter healed by her Father. 

You have prayed her have financially supported making any of this have loved our family...many from afar...and watched her blossom with love.  I had only thought of the many ways to break the news to you that she'd need heart surgery once we got home...never thinking that she may not.  It was a prayer...a distant hope...that I just knew wouldn't be a reality for us.  But, it is.  And we are thankful and blessed and humbled and filled with joy...and I wanted you to know the has set her free...He has set her free!
"My feet may fail and fear surround me...You've never failed and you won't start now...So I will call upon your Name...and keep my eyes above the waves...when oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace...for I am Yours...and You are mine...
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever you may call me...Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made the presence of my Savior."
Oceans by Hillsong


DiJo said...

YOU stepped out in obedience, out of your comfort zone.. And, look how God has blessed you..!. I am so happy to hear this wonderful news!!!!

Enjoy your tiny blessings!


Unknown said...

Awesome!!! Awesome!!! Such amazing news. So happy for you and your precious little love. Thank you for sharing. Your faith knows no bounds. Praise God for adoption!

Anonymous said...

PRAISE GOD!! What an amazing story Rebecca!! I have been praying for Andie Grace and that her health would be strong. I didn't know why but I did and I am thankful for a GOD who IS the mighty healer, the ONE who hears our prayers!! God bless AG and God bless you and your family!!

Anna Owens

Anonymous said...

Rebecca, you need to use your other gifts that God has given you and write a book about the journey of your life. Although it truly is the story that he writes for you, if you put it into written form, I am sure some of those that are skeptical would quickly cross over and become believers. How blessed you and Scott are!!! Your children are BEAUTIFUL, just like you. I'm so happy for you and your family and especially for your most recent blessing!!!
Love, Alison Lee

Unknown said...

I could barely finish reading through the tears. What a story He has written and is writing. God is so good.

ann said...

Our God is an awesome God, however He chooses to be Awesome. Praises that AG doesn't face that fear and pain. Praises that Annabelle got her healing too. Praises in the ways He has gently and not so gently brought you through the storms, yet prepared for any others. Just generally, Praise the Lord.

Auntie Mip said...

What joy to finally receive your miracle. Not in the way you expected. Not in the way you wanted. Rather, in the way He knew would best heal your broken hearts.

Watching the love bloom in her brightening eyes as her little heart heals physically and emotionally is breathtaking.

Cammie said...

I just read this for a second time. Your story is absolutely amazing and you put it into words beautifully. Thank you Jesus for this answer to prayers! What an awesome home He choose for Andie Grace!