Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Our Story isn't Over Yet

We are quite literally moving backwards in this second adoption process.  A little over a year ago, I thought the biggest challenge would be convincing my Prince Charming that we should adopt again.  More days than not, I look back at the previous seasons in my life and laugh at my naïveté.  The more I figure out, the more I realize how very little I know.  I am so thankful for a God who knows all, sees all and is over all. 

When Brock and I finally got on the same page and thought maybe God was calling us to adopt again, we chose Bulgaria primarily because the process was remarkably similiar to the Russian adoption process.  Although Roman's process was riddled with bureaucracy and trials, Daniel's process was remarkably smooth and we both felt comforted by the familiarity.  However, as we prayed about it and tried to pursue it, feelings of uneasiness and a lack of peace seeped into our hearts.  We have been told that the international adoption world is becoming increasingly unstable and, while we would gladly follow if we felt like God was leading us, we didn't have the peace that accompanies His presence with this decision.

So back to the drawing board.  Maybe a domestic adoption might be better suited to our family this time.  After exploring a few options, we decided to look at an adoption facilitator in California who had worked with a good friend of mine and helped her and her husband bring home their precious baby girl a little over two years ago.  At first, we had no reason why we couldn't pursue this avenue.  She was kind and compassionate and obviously had a tremendous heart for babies who needed a family and a deep compassion for couples who were navigating the emotional roller coasters of adoption.  We were satisfied.

In Feburary, we received a desperate call from this facilitator.  There was a young woman who was going into premature labor and she was frantically trying to find a family.  The birthmother had been a user and the baby boy, born 2-12-14, was tiny albeit, from the intitial reports, healthy all things considered.  Child Protective Services would come to the hospital in the morning to take the child if the lawyer or the facilitator did not have a family in process for him.  We had a few hours to make a decision and those few hours were spent in ferverent prayer.  Verses transcended my mind and provided direction for our next steps.

"Trust in the LORD with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."  Proverbs 3.5-6

"Religion that God accepts as pure and blameless is this:  to care for the widows and orphans in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  James 1.27

We called the facilitator back and she informed us that the only other couple who might be available wasn't interested in pursuing this avenue.  We have no way of knowing if it wasn't the right time for them, or if they were, understandably concerned about the ramifications of the drug use and the baby's prematurity.   Our minds snapped into sharp focus.

"Ok, LORD, you know our family.  You know intimately our personal shortcomings and the abilities and resources we have.  As of this moment, there is no one else to stand in the gap for this innocent child.  We are available if You need us.  We trust you to provide the wisdom and resources we need to care for this baby who will undoubtably be forced to suffer consequences for decisions that were beyond his control.  You brought him into the world and you have a plan for him and if we can help him become all that You created him to be, then use us.  If this is beyond what you have equipped us for, close the door.  We trust You."

At midnight, we called the lawyer who had been at the hospital with the birthmother and he gave us as much information as he could with promises to call us in the morning.  The next eighteen hours crept by as we kept a watchful eye on our silent phones.  No word.  We began formulating plans that wewere going to need quickly.  At 5PM, our facilitator finally called and asked if we had been able to get in touch with the lawyer.  No.  We had left a message, but had not heard back.  She vocalized the frustration that we were feeling.  She hung up promising to track him down and figure out what was happening.  An hour later, she called again with tears threatening to render her speechless.  "I am so so sorry.  The lawyer thought you wouldn't be able to get paperwork ready in time and he found, on his own, another family." 

We should have been devestated.  Two years ago, we would have been devestated.  We found ourself consoling her.   This was cause for celebration!  That precious child had a family and God had answered our prayers and made it abundantly clear that this little boy was not to be our son.  Our story isn't over and we will wait for the child God has for us!  She hung up promising to call us as soon as she had another child ready.

That was three months ago.  We have checked her website and have found that she has five babies to place, but no calls have come.  Brock called her six weeks ago and he said she acted like she didn't remember who we were.  They hung up with her promising to call us soon with a little more information on the five birthmothers she had.  We have not heard from her again.  And I will say again, that's okay.  God is closing doors.  We believe now she was not going to have access to the child who will be entrusted to us.  Our story is not over. 

So we wait.  We've not gotten a clear instruction even though we are trying to listen and explore, at least initially every option that presents itself.  Some agencies have not worked with Missouri, some won't work with families who have a child in the home.  Some wants thousands of dollars that we don't yet have before they will work with us.  There is peace when a door closes.  Eventually, one door will open.  And that's all we need is just one door.

Meanwhile, the desire to carry our own biological child has not left us, either.  We decided that we would explore a little more in depth as to what has caused our infertility.  I'm still, at this point, not comfortable with in-vitro, but if there is a simple fix for us that would enable us to get pregnant, we are happy to explore that.  My first ob/gyn threw some pills at me after a year without success when we were first married.  And by the time we felt the call to adopt, I had changed doctors and fertility investigation was not a priority.  I went three weeks ago for a procedure called an HSG in which a dye was shot through me to make sure that everything was open and I didn't have a clogged tube.  As Brock affectionately put it, "We need to make sure that you don't need a rotor router."  What we found was that my utereus was moved far over to the left.  It is common for women to have tilted utereuses, but this seemed to cause a little more alarm.  My doctor didn't know if I was anatomically made this way or if something was pushing my utereus to the left.  She had me schedule an ultrasound as quickly as possible.  I went home in tears.  She had tried to "schooch" it back where it belonged and that was extremely uncomfortable.  But despite the phyical discomfort, I was more distraught because I felt like a freak, a mutant.  I might be deformed.  But maybe, just maybe, when I was "knit together in my mother's womb", God moved my utereus because He knew 32 years later, a tiny Russian boy would be born who  would need to get to Southeast Missouri.  None of this is a surprise to Him, after all.  In light of that, it was much easier to "praise Him for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!"  (Psalm 139:19)

I was scheduled for an ultrasound the following Thursday and, while the procedure itself was unremarkable, the call the next morning has managed to spiral me.
"The doctor is not in, but we got the results back and we are showing a mass on your right ovary.  The doctor is going to want to bring you in as soon as possible to discuss your options." 

I don't know much more than that.  I spoke with the doctor on the phone yesterday and she thinks it could be either simply a common cyst, endometriosis or it could be "indicative of something sinister". 

Psalm 62 keeps dancing around my mind.  "My soul finds rest in God alone"  (vs 1)This is so incredibly true.  My soul can find rest in God alone because I have walked with Him through other troubles and He has proven Himself faithful time and time again.  My soul can find rest in God alone because I have made the investment of hiding His word and His promises in my heart.  My soul can find rest in God alone because I know that I know that nothing will separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord.   My soul can find rest in God alone because it is the fruit of deliberate decisions I've made.  More than anything, my soul can find rest in God alone because of Who HE is!    And then, in verse five, a modified echo.  "Find rest my soul in God alone"  The first is declaritive, the second imperative.  Praise God that, in spite of whatever it is we are facing, we have the abilitiy, the power of the Holy Spirit, to militate to our hearts how to feel.  Circumstances may feel overwhelming and scary, but I can believe that "all things work together for good for those who love God and who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28  God has stated a greater fact to which all feelings must eventually submit. 

Not to borrow worry, but if this is "indicative of something sinister" that could greatly affect not only our ability to bear biological children, but also affect our ability to adopt again.  We covet your prayers for healing and peace.  My understanding is that it will be a few weeks before we will find out more, but we are pursuing more information.  (as opposed to the offer to monitor it and look at it again in six weeks)  Brock and I both feel like we need to be good stewards of the information we have in front of us today.  All the while remembering that our story isn't over yet.

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