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24 hours in vinnytsya

Saturday, December 13, 2008

One year ago...
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We are heading back to Kiev.
It wasn’t Maddie.
She was a pretty little girl, with light brown hair, huge hazel eyes and a smile that lit up a room. She had on a yellow jumper with a pink sweater and flowers in her pigtails.
She proudly showed me her ‘La-la’ – a doll with bright yellow hair and one eye that didn’t open all the way.
She played with a stuffed ‘sabaka’ with Meshack and pretended to growl at him…all the while with a huge grin on her face.
She was firmly attached to her caregivers – to the point that it took a half an hour for her to hand me a doll.
And another 20 minutes for her to let me touch her.
But that didn’t bother us…it was a good sign.
She knows whom to trust.
She knows who takes care of her.
She knew we were strangers.
That’s miles ahead of where so many orphans are.
But when she turned and walked out of the room with her caregiver, we knew.
She wasn’t Maddie.
It wasn’t the physical issues. We knew from our SDA appointment that there would be some small signs of Cerebral Palsy.We could have handled that.
Unfortunately, it was what wasn’t mentioned that has us turning around and going back.
My heart is breaking thinking of her. Knowing it is nothing she has done. Nothing she could help.
It all sits on Meshack and me.
We know she has more issues than we are able to handle...and that’s our problem.
Our fault.
If I could I would take her home in a minute.
But I can’t. I know my limitations.
Does that make me a bad person? – Just because I know what I am and am not capable of?
If so, so be it.
I admit I don’t have the patience of Job. I don’t have an unlimited source of energy.
And I don’t have what it takes to parent a special needs child.
At least not one with this many special needs.
If it were just the Cerebral Palsy I think I could do it. It wasn’t severe. She was able to walk and talk. She was able to run in her own cute, awkward little way.
But I don’t have it in me to parent a child for the rest of their natural life.
And that’s what it looks like she will require.
It’s the most difficult thing I have ever done.
A lot of tears went into this decision.
A lot of prayers….And hours of lost sleep.
What we can’t figure out is why God had us meet her? (And I am still convinced it was of God. - There were too many coincidences to make it happenstance.)
Was it so another family could find their Maddie or Zoie or Claire?
Was it so we would open ourselves up to other forms of special needs?
Was it to bide our time until Maddie became available?
Or were we supposed to adopt her and we just missed out on one of the most special blessings on this earth.
We won’t know in this lifetime.
We won’t know until we stand before the Father to answer for this decision.
My peace comes in knowing it was a decision we made together.
We had one of the most clairvoyant moments of our marriage.
Absolute agreement, on every single issue.
That never happens.
So we have a peace about it.
But what we don’t know is, where we go from here.
We have no idea.
Meshack refuses to discuss it until we get back to Kiev.
He’s tired.
He’s angry.
He’s sad.
And he’s frustrated with the whole process.
Part of us just wants to pay the $400 change of date fee and jump on the next plane we can find and head straight back to our kids.
But the more reasonable, sensible side will take a serious look at going through this whole agonizing process again.
But how in the world can we do it?
How can we set ourselves up for this incredible disappointment again?
Because we know that out there somewhere is a little Maddie or ‘Matt’ie…just waiting for us to find him/her.
That’s how we’ve explained the process to our three sweethearts at home.
God helped us find them. In the midst of a former communist country, far from home, a little boy (girl) sat waiting for their mommy and daddy to find them.
And right now in the middle of Ukraine, in a babyhouse with a hundred other beautiful children, our Maddie/Mattie sits waiting.
We just need God to help us find her.

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