"God will bring these boys home. I'm sure of it"
"These boys will be fine. God wouldn't have brought you this far to let something get in the way now."
"He will be healed. Just have faith."
People say things like this to me all of the time. And I am guilty of having said these things to other people. But lately, I am struggling with these statements. I am struggling because, where in the Bible does it say that God promises to bring my children home? Where does it say that my child will not die next week? Or tomorrow? Or today? Where in the Bible does it say that God will heal my child? Where in the Bible does it say that, just because I started the adoption process, it will be finished smoothly and both of my children will be safe and healthy in their beds in America at this time next year?
It doesn't say that. It doesn't say any of those things.
Today as I was holding my 7 year old son, he was vomiting. Formula was spewing out of his mouth and nose and dripping down his face and into his ears. And then his little limbs would spasm and he would arch his back and seem to gasp for air.
My son has lived in a crib his whole life. For 7 years. Nobody talks to him. Nobody plays with him. Nobody gives him toys to stimulate his brain. When the caregivers feed him, they squeeze his cheeks with their hands so hard that his mouth is forced open. Then, they shove a nipple in his mouth, with an extra large hole that they cut into it. And the bottle is about 3/4 of the way full and it gets emptied into his mouth within 60-90 seconds. He doesn't even have time to swallow all of it. He is drowning in formula. His big, brown eyes are frantically looking around the room for someone to help him. He can't speak. He can't protest. He can't cry. He can only swallow as fast as his little body allows. He can barely move his arms and legs. He can't stand. He can't sit. He can't hold his head up. He is completely helpless.
And today when I was holding my son and singing 'Jesus Loves Me', and he was vomiting and choking and his limbs were flailing, I was scared. I knew that my son could die in my arms.
Yes, I want God to rescue him. I want God to keep him strong and healthy and alive. I PRAY for healing and protection over his tiny, deformed, malnourished body. I pray for the angels to surround him and give him a sense of peace and comfort!
And yes, I have faith. I have faith that God works miracles. I have seen the miracles! I believe the fact that I am now able to hold my son for one hour every day is a miracle. I believe the fact that my son has survived for 7 years is a miracle. My son is a MIRACLE! He is a fighter! He is strong!
AND GOD LOVES HIM!
But does that mean that God promises to keep him alive long enough for us to get him to the hospital? That once he is in the hospital, he is safe? That he will live to be an old man?
God doesn't promise any of this.
But do you know what God does promise?
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." -Deuteronomy 31:6
He promises that He will never leave me nor forsake me! That through it all, no matter what happens, God is with me! He is with me in my times of rejoicing and fear and mourning. He is with me during my highest of highs and my lowest of lows.
And today as I held my son and rocked him and sang to him, I gave him to the Lord. I said, "Okay God, if you want him home with you, you can take him home."
And my heart breaks for any parent that has ever had to pray this for their child.
And sometimes I feel guilt. I feel like people will judge me for saying these things. For thinking these things. They will tell me that I don't have enough faith in God. They will tell me that if I have NO doubts and trust the Lord to protect him, that my son will be okay!
If my son dies, is it because I didn't pray long enough? I didn't pray hard enough? I didn't have strong enough faith? I don't believe in miracles? If my son dies, is it because I did something wrong?
What about the adoptive families from Russia? They woke up one day and found out they could not complete their adoptions. Their children are still stuck in Russia. What about the families who have gotten phone calls saying that their child died before they could complete the adoption process? What about the families who get their child home and their child dies weeks or months or years later?
Did they do something wrong?
Why is it that we promise people things that we can't really promise? Why are we telling people that they WILL get their child home? That their child will be healed? That their child will someday walk or talk or see?
We are not called to adopt so that we can heal the children, or guarantee them long lives or medical miracles.
We are not called to adopt with the promise that everything will go as planned.
We are called to adopt so that we can love. To love unconditionally. To be the hands and feet of Jesus by simply loving the unwanted child. Even if that child can't speak or stand or sit or do anything on his or her own. And even if that child is with us for only for a few short days or months or years. We are simply called to love.
And do you know what? I do have faith! I have faith that there WILL be a miracle. My son WILL be healed. Someday he will run and laugh and smile in his perfect little body. And whether that be on earth or in heaven, I will praise my God for his goodness and holiness and for His promise that He is with me ALWAYS!