Continued from Part 1…
I forgot to mention that our decision for this first referral had to be made within 36 hours from the time we received the file. We had no time to waste.
I prayed and prayed and prayed some more that night. When I sent out a prayer request earlier that day to my close friends, a dear lady who is a mentor to me replied and said, “I am praying right now that you would absolutely know…that God would make it clear to you yes or no and that you would have peace.” I kept repeating the same prayer. I felt so much in the “gray,” which was so different from what I had expected to be feeling at this point. There was so much “unknown” – how much medical care will be needed for her genital condition? Will she require lifelong special care (such as special diet) as a result of her condition? Was there an underlying issue to her very small size?
Before going to bed, I was reminded that my focus should not be so much on the answer to my prayer, but that I will continue to TRUST in God’s goodness and faithfulness. He has guided us every step of the way so far, and He will not fail us now. He will not allow us to make the wrong choice.
My youngest woke up to use the bathroom at 2am, and I was not able to go back to sleep after that for 2-3 hours. However, more confirmation kept coming to me during the time I stayed awake.
-Despite considerable amount of money we paid to have her file medically evaluated, despite seeing her pictures, despite her birth date, saying “NO” would not be all that difficult for me. However, saying “YES” would be done with a lot of hesitation.
-One thing I did have peace about is that even if we don’t accept her file, another family will adopt her very soon.
–TRUTHFUL was my word for the year. I needed to do what was true & best for our family, regardless of how harsh this may seem to other people.
-I also prayed for Allan and I to be in agreement by the following day.
In the morning, I found another confirmation. I received an email from a local pediatrician who reviewed her file, and she repeated all of our concerns and red flags. She said we would be looking at some intensive testing/therapies for at least the first year and beyond. Before I even read this email to Allan, when he woke up, I began by saying, “So what I’m thinking is…” I paused. He jokingly said, “We go get her and then another one too?” I asked him, “You know what I’m going to say, don’t you?” He smiled and said, “Yeah. At this point, there are too many unknowns for our family to take on this child.”
We thought this was the end of it. We were about to head out to yet another birthday party, when our adoption agency emailed us with updated measurements of this child (I had asked for this the night before, when the doctor we had spoken with mentioned this would be helpful information to have). It was incredible and very much unexpected that our agency was able to get her updated measurements so soon. We quickly forwarded this new information to both the international clinic doctor and our local doctor.
They both responded to our email during the birthday party. The international clinic doctor was more hopeful now – she was pleased with the growth of this child in the last six months. The update also included more insight into her genital condition, which still seemed to be correctable with a minor surgery. She still wasn’t sure why this child was so short, so she repeated that some testing would definitely be required when she arrived to the U.S. The local doctor was not as optimistic. She felt that there still might be a possibility of underlying condition that we don’t know about.
We sent an honest email to our agency on where we were. We mentioned that if possible, we would like to see her ultrasound before we decide. However, if another family would like to adopt her in the meantime, we did not want to keep them from doing so. Our agency said an ultrasound before committing was most likely not possible.
In the end, it had to be decided between Allan and me. It had to be our decision and nobody else’s. Allan said it best: “What’s odd is that we’re both not excited about this at all. If we accept this child, we’d be doing so because we couldn’t find big enough reason not to, not because we feel really drawn to this child.” I couldn’t have said it better. This was not our child; this was someone else’s.
We sent our final decision email to our agency. It didn’t really hit us hard at first. The 36 hours flew by, and we were glad to be done. We learned a lot in the process! Next morning though, I could tell that Allan was in emotional turmoil. It wasn’t regret, but he simply felt bad for turning down the file. I was surprisingly feeling OK. We went to church, and our friends immediately crowded us, asking us what we had decided on. When I first had to say it out loud (I had previously sent my friends texts of our decision, but this was the first time speaking our decision out loud), I began to choke. Then, during worship, I began to sob, and sob, and sob… I cried out for this child…for her to find her home soon…for her to feel safe in God’s love. I prayed for God’s favor and protection over her life.
We still don’t feel regret. We have peace that we made the right decision for our family. But every year, on my birthday, I will think about this little girl from China, named Yuanchun. I will think of her and say a prayer of blessing over her life.