Dear nurse at Joel's orphanage,
I had no idea what you went through with my son. I lay here tonight gazing at him on a hospital bed covered with wires and it all makes since.
You see that day I met you in the orphanage I was a little overwhelmed with your emotion over Joel. You cried and grieved over him leaving. You followed me around the orphanage making sure my translator let me know that Joel needed to take his meds and needed another surgery. The lady from the special care unit pulled me aside and shared with me that you were the one who went with him to Shanghi for his 2 surgeries. I was moved by your selflessness but also thought it was a little odd. Let me ask for your forgiveness. I had no idea.
I had no idea what you went through. The waiting alone is mind boggling but coming into a room with that dark headed beauty laying on the bed with wires and tubes everywhere. Medical staff moving around him like a scene out of a made for TV drama. Blood pouring out of tubes. Consulting physicians and the sheer volume of tests. I just didn't realize how much of yourself you gave. You gave him everything. Everything I couldn't and until today while I was moved by it and respected it. I never understood it.
Nurse at Joel's orphanage, there was this moment when the surgeon was summoned and they made a call right there in front of me to take him back to the OR. Something wasn't quiet right and they needed to go back in. You know what? I was like a deer in headlights. My insides were yelling, No! But all I could do was stare wide eyed. How did you do this!? How did you give it all knowing he was going away?
Then they returned him AGAIN! And he looked so handsome. Truly a picture of Asian perfection. Those sleeping eyelids, that dark hair, the cheeks, the curve of his chin and strong mouth. I'm sorry I didn't understand your grief that day. I sat there thinking about you tonight. Tonight we took your place. I prayed for you. I grieved for you. I thanked God for you. Because tonight I understood you and tonight you showed me what it was like to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Tonight I realized, and I pray you do to, that you gave me and example of God's lavish love. Giving it away with such reckless abandonment. Just like him giving us His perfect lamb, Jesus.
It has been an incredibly long day. He will wake up soon. I will cry. I have cried all day. But I need you to know that I will lean over and whisper your name in his ear letting him know that you love him. Because without your love I couldn't be here with my son. Without your love I couldn't have learned more about the Father and His love. And for that I am eternally grateful.