I wish I could say I have been praising Jesus throughout the difficult days of the last few weeks.
I wish I could tell you I have been at peace.
I’d like to say that every day I have been aware that God is doing the miraculous in Evangeline’s life whether or not I can see it.
I wish I could tell you my kids at home are doing just fabulously with my constant trips to the hospital.
But I have to tell you, this has been really hard.
I have come to the end of my own ability. I have been shaken, and so very discouraged.
I have forgotten to believe.
My prayers have been feeble, distracted phrases uttered from the depths of discouragement and exhaustion.
We are six and a half months into the girls’ adoptions. Evangeline has had five rather significant hospitalizations. She has had part of her foot amputated, dealt with a bone infection, broken her tibia, survived a severe kidney infection, had surgery on both feet, and endured a spinal surgery gone awry. She has walked less than she has not, and at the moment, it feels like she has lost more than she has gained.
We now know she has a very delicate spine, and when she finally recovers from this severe injury to her leg, there is still her spine that has a 50* curve that will need to be addressed as it will continue to worsen and crush her vital organs unless it is supported in some way.
On top of all of that, we are still struggling to understand Eliza’s issues and to find help for her.
Eliza’s ability to communicate with us through language is extremely limited. She still prefers to sign and make motions. She still cannot occupy herself at all without a strict schedule of what she is to do. She does not know how to play, will not color, will not play a game. If she is not scheduled, she walks around the house and teases the little ones.
When I am home, she hangs on me, follows me around calling my name and stomping her feet, repetitively asking me what I’m doing, where Mark is, or why Evangeline is not coming home.
It is still very difficult to take her with me because she gets bored and does not act appropriately. She’d rather not leave the house unless we are going shopping.
Our school system will not offer services to homeschool families. So far, despite several pleas for help from Mark and me, CHOP has not even been willing to schedule a brain scan, or set up a Psyche-Ed evaluation. They promise me that they are there, that we are not alone, but they have offered us nothing that helps us understand what keeps her from progressing. They say she is rare.
I believe we are trapped in some type of bureaucracy between the Adoption Clinic and the Psyche teams.
So, we have been pressing on, determined to honor God with our lives, determined to serve Him in wholeness and faithfulness despite the fatigue, the disappointments and the struggles.
No doubt, we have made our lives so much harder.
There’s a quote that has been circulating on Facebook lately that has so much meaning for me now.
My friends, adoption is redemption. It’s costly, outrageous, expensive, excruciating & exhausting. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed him.~Derek Loux
I feel like I could have written that myself. It applies in every aspect.
So today, as I am off to the hospital again and setting up our kids to manage life here again without me, I choose to go forward in thankfulness, thankful to be co-laborers with Christ, thankful to be a part of the redemption process of these two very precious lives, thankful for the support we have received, and so very thankful that God is using us to change the world for these two.
I’m thankful to be used for His glory.
I’m thankful to be stretched beyond my own strength because it is there that God shines brightly in my life.
Today as I sit at the hospital with each parent who is broken from the chronic illness or disability of their child, I am aware that I am there with them because I chose to be. I chose to pick up Eliza and Evangeline’s heavy crosses and lift them off their shoulders and carry them on my back.
I have followed the Great Redeemer in His walk.
And I know of no greater blessing than to walk in my Redeemer’s shoes.