Here I Am.
More than once I have referred to our adoption process as a rollercoaster. The last week has been the most overwhelming so far. Not just with the adoption but with life in general.
We’ve spent time talking, praying, and processing but I’m not even certain we have fully gripped onto our current reality.
The last few months have been incredibly difficult and yet somehow we’ve moved forward. We have every intention of continuing. But, this week was really one for the books.
We were supposed to have our Hydrocephalus Walk last Saturday. This was an event we planned and fundraised on for weeks! I will admit that night before I hadn’t slept well. I kept waking up. Once my alarm finally went off in the morning I was totally unmotivated to get up and go. It was one of those times I wanted to feel differently than I actually felt. My inclination was to just go back to bed all day. We got everyone dressed and even though we were late we got over to where the walk was being held! Some coffee and a proverbial “shaking off” and I was ready to move through the day. Joe’s beard was blue. The kids were ready. The sun was out.
My mind was set on getting home and crafting things to sell so we could knock out more of our fees.
We were cleaning out the car and we got a call. From our agency. Joe answered his phone and I realized I’d missed a call. We typically talk with them through email so I knew something was wrong. He paced on the phone. I stood staring holding back any thoughts. My mind was empty and I wanted it to stay that way for once.
Liam had been hurried to the hospital in his country for emergency care. The hydrocephalus had been getting worse, which we knew. It was life-threatening, which we knew. But now he has secondary medical issues come up and his little body was really, really struggling. His system is weak. He’s been fighting for so long now. He’s been stronger than most people I know all ready. . . . The doctor insisted he would need a miracle.
I felt conflicted and in a haze for the rest of that day. My phone buzzing or ringing with facebook alerts or text messages made chin tremble and my eyes water. I could imagine our worst fears. Fears that quickly boiled over into doubting and questions and confusion. All we knew was that he was not doing well. He does not have access to the same medical care we would seek out for him here.
All of the love and care and time put into his worthy little life was, in my mind, on the brink of loss. We might never hold him, help him, or love him. Here we are so ready to just be there and he might be removed from earth before I can. It felt selfish but its real.
We watched football, cleaned the house, and I questioned my sanity. I felt sure if I didn’t get up and move or divert my attention I would come apart completely.
This month a year ago was when we found out we were expecting the baby we lost to miscarriage. Surely, God wouldn’t be so cruel to allow that to be the story we have to tell. Surely . . .
I was broken inside.
It took every single ounce of strength and will in me to force myself to go to church. I was confused and angry. I felt fake even walking up right. At any moment we could get a call that our son had ended his fight for life before we ever got to meet him.
We dropped off the kids in their classes and went in. I didn’t sing. I was pissed. I was so, so angry. I cried. A lot. I hate crying in public and I wanted to leave. But I stood. I clenched my jaw so hard in an effort to stop tears it made my teeth hurt.
It was about worship. It was heavy. It was serious and convicting. I was almost auto-piloting through listening and writing and doodling notes. Then I heard that verse.
Isaiah 6:8. It hit me. Hard.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!””
Why did it hit me so hard?
Because in May, when I sent a Reece’s Rainbow link and two photos of a boy named Liam to my husband that is the response he had. I had sent him other links and other photos. We prayed for other kids. We talked about other countries and needs but we were going a certain direction and to another country with our current agency.
In a text message on May 26th, he sent me that same verse after praying about Liam. “Here I am, send me.”
4 days later we had signed the acceptance of Liam’s match pending the completion of our homestudy.
But why . . . why this message about needing to worship and this verse?
I knew somewhere in my heart that it wasn’t some special occurrence or revelation. This is just the purpose of life. Adoption and knowing Liam and digging into all of this has just brought me to a place where worship is less and less a set period of time in the week and more and more a necessity every moment of every day.
The entire thing has brought up feelings and questions. It has effected our worldviews. It has effected our relationships with God.
Worship is that heart of that. In the good times and in the bad.
We spent the rest of the day working on fundraisers, praying, talking, and resting.
We were eagerly waiting for news on Liam. That was our focus. Joe went to work like he does any other day. I woke up and did my thing in the house with the kids like any other day. The cloud of worry followed us around. I don’t think ever us has felt quite that helpless. They were treating him with medication and would be shaving his head in hopes that the medication could be applied and effective.
Sometime before or around noon Joe called me. He had just gotten word of his cousin’s very unexpected, sudden passing the night before. He came home. We talked. He slept. This cousin was dear to him when they were kids. We didn’t really know how to process this because just a couple months ago a man from Joe’s unit had lost his life in the same way.
It’s not the kind of thing that ever really has closure or answers.
Now I’ll share my post from facebook that afternoon.
We had appointments to get our passports expedited at an agency. I had ordered a new birth certificate for Joe the week before. It was supposed to arrive in time but there were delays that meant we missed our appointment.
He also found out that day that he would need to go out of town all weekend. They don’t give passes for family needs unless its immediate and emergent. (For those not aware: He’s in the Marine reserves but being processed out). We thought we might be able to make it Wednesday but there were delays again.
I was confused but there was a new experience with this change in plans. I was totally at peace. I was not worried.
We tried our best to go about normal as much as possible. It was hard. It has been one thing after another this year. The loss of my grandfather, other family’s medical issues, delays with our adoption, and life coming at us hard.
We got an update that Liam was still in the hospital but responding to the medicine for the “rash” he had. A huge answer to the prayers of dozens of friends and friends of friends. For the doctors: a miracle.
So Here We Are
Thursday we got new photos of our sweet boy. Still in the hospital. His head much more swollen than our last photos in August or July.
The long weekend began and suddenly its Saturday.
We’re still fundraising. Joe is at drill. We’re thankful for all of the prayers this week for our family and our relatives.
It’s been so hard. We are thankful though. Thankful for support and prayer, for technology, for Liam’s life, and for all that God has given us this week. We are thankful for his presence despite what has also been taken away.
I don’t know what the next few weeks look like. We hope to travel very soon. But, we are trusting God’s will and his timing.
It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done but we continue to say “Here I am. Send me.”