"Pray. Just please pray."
Those were the only words I could say. I wasn't trying to be mysterious...I simply could not put the circumstances and emotions of the day into words. Shortly after lunch, I received a call from Chris asking if I'd checked my email recently. (I'd been folding laundry...my all-time favorite thing to do apparently...and simply hadn't been online most of the day.) He went on to say that he'd gotten an email from our adoption agency...it wasn't good news. They said they'd gotten an update on our little girl concerning her health. The following was the update:
"...she was diagnosed as complicated congenital heart disease, now her illness is serious.She has difficulty to breathe normally.Her lip and the bottom of limbs show cyanosis.We are afraid to let her do the movement.Her condition is stable in summer and will be serious in Autumn and Winter.Specially confirm for it here."
...and we are in bureaucratic red tape...
Our agent also said that while she would send requests for expediting the adoption for medical urgency, their government was on holiday for the next week. At this time, there was simply nothing they could do. Chris immediately got in touch with our dossier representative to discuss anything we could do on our end while we waited for the next step, I forwarded the agency email to our friends that have been instrumental in this process to date, and I reached out to the angel so far away that's been watching over our children these past couple years. That took all of 30 seconds.
I tried to make sense of it all....everything...the process, the circumstances, the God-given love for this little girl I might never hold, the anger and frustration over a system that seemed to forget the very children it swore to protect.
But mostly, I just wept. I wept bitterly...gut-wrenching, heart-pounding, mind-numbing tears. And it was in the midst of this weeping that I asked you to pray...that's all I could think to do. I knew I couldn't do it alone so I called on our friends/family to join me. Then I just began to cry out to the Father, my Daddy. For the longest time, the only thing that would come out was, "PLEASE GOD..." That's it. I couldn't even finish the sentence....so I just pleaded with Him over and over, sometimes shouting...other times barely a whisper..."PLEASE GOD!" There was so much wrapped up in that begging...
PLEASE GOD...don't let her die.
PLEASE GOD...just heal her completely.
PLEASE GOD...help me trust you.
PLEASE GOD...help me understand what you're doing here.
PLEASE GOD...give me the strength to bear it.
PLEASE GOD...don't let her be scared right now.
PLEASE GOD...it will crush our own children to lose her.
God did so many things in my heart after that phone call...too many to mention...but I thought I'd share the highlights.
I was comforted knowing that Jesus Christ himself was interceding on my behalf and on behalf of C. I also knew that the Holy Spirit was communicating to the heart of God...even with words I could not say. I knew that my big-hearted Father was still loving little C with his perfect and complete love...that had never changed.
I couldn't escape the memory of that speaker I told you about at Living Proof. You remember the one..."called to be a widow." I finally said out loud, "I don't want to be called to be a mom that loses her child! I can't do that!" But that speaker's voice kept ringing in my ears..."I never would've known my God the way I do now if my husband had not died." Do I really want to know Christ in His suffering? It's a great sound byte...not an easy pill to swallow.
As I wrestled with God's purpose in the pain, I contemplated what my response would be if she died. I'm not trying to be morbid...that's just the very real possibility. My response would undoubtedly be to take action...any sort of action to prevent this from going unnoticed and unappreciated. I pondered starting to step out into any forum available to discuss the adoption process and the difficulties families face who come to the fight unarmed and out-numbered...what lengths would I not go to make a change in a system that seems to value papers over people...what sacrifice would I not be willing to make to speak for those who have no voice? And then the sucker punch...if it would be the right thing to do if she died...isn't it the right thing to do, period?
I was shocked out of my complacency with that email. There's no turning back.
Another side to the situation also became perfectly clear in my grief. Although we began this journey with a sincere desire to follow God's leading to do whatever it took to save the lives of these little ones and make Him known, somewhere along the line, my own selfishness creeped in. I'm not sure why I was surprised...it finds its way in every other crevice of my life...but I was jarred into the realization that a good part of my sorrow was that I wanted to be her mom...for my own joy. That, of course, is not necessarily a bad thing...it's just not even close to the main thing. Somehow I had drifted from that.
The most heart-breaking realization for me, however, was that I had not ever...in my entire life...pleaded with the Lord for anything with such desperation and humility...with such utter dependance on His grace and compassion and power...with such complete abandon that only He could accomplish the work...with such focus that the distractions of the day seemed to be non-existent. Never. Why is it that it often takes intense sorrow and tragedy to drive us to our knees before our King? Because He's not really our King at all. We sit on the throne of our lives. At least I do.
After roughly 4 hours of this sobbing gut-check, God mercifully gave us a glimmer of hope. I got an email back from our new friend that said they knew nothing of any worsening condition, that there had been no new news, and that it was likely just a statement of health, rather than an update. While it's still serious and still alarming, it's what we already knew regarding her condition. Another contact overseas confirmed the same impression. WHAT?!?! I didn't even care about the turmoil the miscommunication caused...I only saw hope.
Hope...along with purpose and power...all on the part of my God. None of that happened by accident yesterday. He used it mightily to shake this girl to her core to accomplish His purposes...and He showed yet again that He accomplishes great things through the power of prayer. 4 hours of people all over the world praying...yea...He did that.
I'm sitting in a hotel room right now in Des Moines, waiting for our early morning appointment for biometric fingerprinting. Our dossier (the portion we already had completed) has been fed ex'd to our friends to be delivered to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago. Letters are being written to expedite the adoption for medical emergency.
I will tell you this...I haven't stopped praying since yesterday afternoon...when God rocked my world and allowed me just a glimpse of who He really is and what He can do. To God be the glory.