family picture

family picture
We "want our very serve as HIS signature to all mankind so that all may know His work," Job 37:7

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Not your typical day at the Farm! (part 2)

If you didn't read my last post I am bringing you guys up to speed on our lives particularly on the adoption front.  So if you need to catch up go here.

We returned to the car and started home and I started a great debate in my head.  Maybe I should check my phone one more time for a confirmation email from IAC or maybe I am being ridiculous and I should just go about my life and let it be.  You and I both know I checked my email.  There it was.  One of the doctors had gotten back with us and let us know that they were reviewing the file but because of the heart condition they had forwarded it to a cardiologist. As I informed E of the email, I knew it was possible that it could be tomorrow before we would know anything. There just was no way it could all get done. An immediate peace washed over me and I knew I would and could wait.
Upon arrival back home we started the evening routine. Time easily slipped by with all of the busy that takes place in our home. Before I knew it children were in their beds and E and I had sat down for the evening. My phone rang and to my surprise one of the doctors from the clinic was on the other end. The next few minutes were intense and the spiritual warfare had begun. Basically, this little guy’s heart condition could have a lot of variables. Best case scenario, he was not gonna be a track star. Worst case, his heart would get to tired and wear down. The next step would be a heart transplant. We were also told 25% of children on the transplant list do not receive a heart. I don’t know what really to say. I could barely hear over the what if’s going through my mind. Then, just like that the conversation was finished.  Some last nuts and bolts about the process, a question about which way we were leaning and then she left me with her cell number in case we needed her help.
During this call Leila woke up and seemed very frustrated calling out for me and E and I can honestly say I felt the same way.  In my heart I was calling out to my Heavenly Father for help and comfort.  Ethan and I were overwhelmed.  We got Leila settled down and then prayed to God for this child and then for our part in the child's life.  E and I have a very yin/yang type of relationship.  E was on one road and I on another.  To some this can seem confusing and frustrating all on it’s on but over the years we have learned how to navigate better (not perfect just better and with more respect).  Approaching a problem this way has allowed us to see problems that we might not have seen on our own.  There were many unanswered questions with this little guy, there was stress of our selfish ideas clashing with the faith we were being asked to have. 
You see in the beginning we signed our names to a medical condition form.  We discussed, prayed , researched the different medical conditions that we were open to in a referral.  We knew God wanted us to be able to protect our children, all of our children, including our 5th child.  We also knew we have limitations and want to be fair to all of our children, this means we were trusting God for his will to be done in our lives and asking him to help not abandon a child for selfish comfort reasons.  We confidently and peacefully drew the line at adding any extra lifting and hopefully being able to live independently when in adulthood.  We had said okay God we are willing to be given something hard and now we are faced with the reality of it. We had to step in faith, again and trust this was the will of our good and sovereign God.  We retired for the evening our hearts heavy with the knowledge of a little boy half way across the world, one who needed a mom and dad to love him.
My first thoughts when I woke up was of that sweet little guy I had seen yesterday.  Already part of my heart was in China with him.  I spent some quiet time in God's word and in prayer this morning.  I felt different this morning, there was such peace in my heart.  I had an ease in my step.  The confidence that I was taken care of and provided for.  It was all still hard, that had not changed, but I knew that my hesitations were not biblical.  My God had never questioned my health when He adopted me nor did He debate my faith as He sent His Son to die for my sins. I knew where I stood and now I waited with baited breath for E to weigh in.  
E woke up with indecision.  When E is making decisions he is quieter than usual and he was almost mute.  He spent the morning reading his Bible, and seeking wise counsel. Then it happened.  His phone started ringing, emails started flying, boss needed reports, and costumers needed things ASAP.  His work world was totally pulling him away from thoughts of China.  I can honestly say it was one of the busiest days he has had in the past six months.  He couldn't stop work to eat, or talk and the time was ticking by.  I entered his office to grab some things and asked him to find a stopping point so we could talk.  I smiled to myself as I left his office.  I could almost see the evil of this world swirling around his head trying to disrupt this decision.  Confirmation! I knew this was my child.  Thirty minutes later, I returned to E's office.  He is overwhelmed and I ask him, "What do you want me to do?"
As he swivels in his chair I am so thankful.  I can see it on his shoulders.   He is a man of great character he takes his job of leader of our household seriously.  That day he was wearing it on his broad shoulders.  "Send it all in."  , was all he replied.  Thank you God for this man's heart!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Not just a normal day at the farm.

October 11, Field trip to Old Baker Farm.  The kids kids had been looking forward to this trip all month.  It is kinda a confirmation that fall is here. They had counted it down on the family calender letting all within in the block know how much longer till this field trip.  Old Baker Farm is a real working farm.  There is so much to see, animals to look at and pet, corn mazes to walk through, cotton to pick, tractors to ride and of course your souvenier pumpkin. 
So we awoke that day to some clouds but nothing to cancel a trip over.  We rushed through a bit of school (and when I mean a bit, I mean more like, "Kids straighten up your desk!"), got ready, packed bags and started an early lunch.  Old Baker Farm is about an hour and a half away from here and because of our designated field trip time slot (this trip was taken with our homeschool group) and Ethan's conference calls we had a very tight schedule.  You and I both know that when you have a very specific schedule that is when you get a curve ball and that is just what happened.
As I was chewing up a large bite of my PB&J and the phone rang. 

"Hey, Kara it's T at All God's Children"
"Hey, how are you?"
              *****(I will spare you the small talk about paperwork and other adoption process)*****
"Hey Kara I don't know if you are ready to talk about this
but I wanted to talk to you about a referral"
My heart pumping and adrenalin going I stammer, "Uh, sure"
"Great, now I need to ask you to guard your heart with this one.
There is a lot of variablity in this condition and I want you to be
prepared for that when you look at the referral."
"Okay, sure we will"
"Alright, well, it is a little boy, 9 months with a heart condition.
He has had surgery but you will need to send this to an Internation Pediatrician
and have them take a look at it. I'm sending you the file now"

During this conversation I walk into E's office. Now if you know E you know that he does not like for you to come in to his office while he is on the phone ESPECIALLY when he is on a business call.  He immediatly spunn around in his chair and gave me the glare.  The one that says, "I'm trying to work here!" I didn't care and start writing down on his white board, AGCI. Referral. Boy. 9 month. Heart condition?
He picked up his cell phone and started texting.  I then received a text message while on the phone with T.  (This was one of those times that I am thankful for smartphones.)

Text from E:
"Lock him and send to IAC"
Text from Me:
"Locked forwarding you file"

I spent a few more minutes on the phone discussing this referrral and the plan of action that would need to take place.  I knew immediately it was gonna be hard.  Time was against, China allows you to "lock" a child for 72 hours.  In that time you decide if you are gonna accept the referral.  It sounds simple but it really isn't. Not only are you trying to decide and pray for the referral but there is other paperwork that has to be filled out, translated into Chinese, sent to China and have an International Adoption Pediatrician look at the file and get their consult. I should tell you now that T had also locked the child at midnight my time before she called that morning because she was afraid he wouldn't be on the databank (fyi: China has a databank that orphanages' use to post their adoptable children)  So I had already lost 8 hours.
I got off of the phone with T turned around and faced four perfect little ones staring back at me.  "Who was that Mommy." Elaina was the first to ask.  She is so aware of what is going on and bold about knowing.  Korinna stared back at me and I knew she knew.  She has a sense about her that just knows when something is afoot.  It is only then that Josiah notices the girls and then he quickly wants to be in the "know", whatever it might be.  "Just an adoption call. They needed some information that I had to ask Daddy about." I had not lied but not exactly told the whole truth.  I knew it was to early to say anything it is best to guard there hearts.  Adoption is warfare and this was a time in which I could sheild them from getting their hearts broken if things did not work out.  I quickly changed the subject.

"Okay let's load up and go to the farm."

As the kids finished I opened the document I had just been sent.  My stomach dropped as I looked into his sweet face and asked God, "Can this be my son?"
The ride was gray and drizzley.  I hovered over my phone trying to google everything in his medical file while veggie tales played in the background in an attempt to cover the grown up conversation in the front seat. I finally conceded that I could figure nothing out about this little guy.  The medical jargon was beyond my education and my life experience even if I may have more medical conditions in my house than most. We sent the file to the IAC (International Adoption Clinic) for a consult and waited.
Old Baker Farm was gray and cold and the kids loved it. Goats, chickens, turkeys,  fun, fun, fun.  The owners and staff really take the time to explain life on a real working farm.  In fact, Ethan and I enjoyed it just as much as the kids.  The added bonus, is it allowed us to relax and focus on other things while we waited for the IAC.

Leila with her suvenior pumpkin

 Elaina found the perfect one
 Haybale maze that ended up being a contest of great jumping skill.
Trying to conquer the great corn maze.

Picking Cotton

Back in the car and a quick stop at Hamburger Heaven for some grub.  (Remember we ate an early lunch). The only thing that was said about the earlier referral was a quick question about if we had received any emails.  It didn't look good.  There wasn't a confirmation email from the IAC and we knew the time was just ticking by.  I went on and prepared myself for the loss of this referral.  The loss of a child, my child.  There was just no way all of the paperwork can get in on time. 

We finished off our trip with yummy milkshakes and headed home.
To Be Continued......