Thursday, March 15, 2018
See those words under our 3rd daughter's Chinese name..."Congential heart disease"...yeah...so I haven't exactly disclosed that part yet. Ailee James is indeed a heart baby...this was what led her to us. Someone else who didn't know a thing about heart conditions reached out to me for an opinion...and because of Annabelle, we have a few. :)
I got her file reviewed by the now Chief of Pediatric Cardiology who many years ago attended to my first girl in the hardest days of her life...and who was the first medical professional to give us hope for our unborn daughter's life in the early fall of 2007. He's now a dear friend and someone we think so much of that we named our Bear after. We have so many amazing relationships as a result of Annabelle's time at MUSC and the ministry we have continued in her name for the past 10 years. It was this man that, once again, was examining the echo of another daughter of mine this past fall and bringing light into the darkness...and affirmed what we knew we were supposed to do...to be her family.
Ailee James has an unrepaired Atrial Septal Defect. Something that would scare most folks but that seems quite manageable to our family. Something that The Lord opened our eyes to many years ago so that we would be equipped to care for another baby girl when another family walked away.
Our hearts broke when we realized this was what kept her from the love of a family. But, God...so rich in mercy...He gave us a daughter with half of her heart over 10 years ago so this heart condition would seem like a walk in the park. Yes, it's unrepaired and, yes, that may mean that she will need surgical intervention. But, God. We have asked question after question since October to determine her health. It's good...much to our surprise & delight. There are a few things here and there but God is giving us perfect peace as we get so close to traveling to bring her home. We are praying fervently that The Lord has healed her and know He performs miracles this side of Heaven, too.
Our littlest love just needed someone willing to take a risk and be okay with a hole in her heart. Isn't that just what we all need though? Someone to take that step for us and fill the hole in our hearts...and isn't that exactly what Christ did?? When my understanding isn't enough, as it often isn't, His love is. When my grief is too deep for tears and I don't understand why He allowed Annabelle to be born with such a broken heart, He affirms that His ways are higher and better and always good. And not the kind of good this world would describe, but a goodness that is found in complete dependance on Him and not in the circumstances of this broken world.
So no more being evasive. The reality is that the majority of kids adopted from China are special needs...and, regardless of what medical diagnosis they have, their biggest need is a family. I know that the only way we will walk through this together is by being honest and transparent and vulnerable. So, there it is. We are relentlessly pursuing a heart baby. And I think it's pretty much the most amazing, sweetest and downright awesome thing ever. What a gift to bless our little Mei-Mei with the same folks who loved her biggest sister so well!