Once again, I stand in complete awe of my Father's love for His children. I am so thankful for the way that He answers our requests and reassures us as He leads us along. I'd like to share just one small experience from Wednesday evening to encourage all of you who look to His guidance.
The medical report for our little S includes some very concerning things...especially in the area of his bloodwork lab results. One of the first things that our agency requires in the acceptance of a referral is a consultation with a pediatrician who specializes in international adoptive health. Our caseworker needs to know that we have been fully apprised of the many potential health issues that we could be facing once we bring our child home. Adoptive parents always have the right to refuse a referral after consulting with the doctor, and in order to accept the referral, a complete report from the doctor must be included with the paperwork. I e-mailed S's files to an international pediatrician on Wednesday afternoon, and she said that she would call us later that evening with her initial thoughts. In the meantime, I told David that I felt certain that the report wasn't going to be pretty. We are used to looking at some seriously messed up lab results with David's Crohn's disease, and we understand what some of these numbers mean. I also told him that I felt like that was one of the reasons that the Lord had given me such an immediate, Mama-bear possessiveness over this little guy...it simply didn't matter what the doctor ultimately had to say, because THIS WAS MY SON!! David felt the same way.
The doctor called around 10 that evening, right as we were heading to bed. Almost all of her statements were somewhat discouraging: "I am EXTREMELY concerned about...", "I can't tell you NOT to accept this referral, but...", "You really need to spend some time looking into these particular websites about this, this, and this issue", "I'm so sorry to just hit you over the head with all of this bad news...". Don't get me wrong, she was more than kind, but she also did her job very well. I told her that she wasn't "hitting us over the head" - in fact, we had not expected her to paint a rosy picture. After the phone call, David headed to bed, and I went to the basement to research and type a report for our caseworker.
By the time I finished, a little after midnight, I was feeling exhausted and slightly overwhelmed. Looking up medical issues online is never fun! My mind was going in circles, with the internal conversation looking something like this:
"This is my son...there can be no doubt about that."
"But what if he's really seriously ill? We already have one chronically ill person in our family."
"Right....so? Maybe that means we're more prepared to deal with this than some families would be."
"But what if he DOES have something life-threatening? What if he doesn't even live long?"
"What does that have to do with anything? Does that mean that he doesn't deserve a family to advocate for him and help him through? SOMEONE needs to step up to the plate and give this precious boy a home...why not us?"
"But what if he has something contagious that could really compromise David who is on continual immuno-suppressants?"
"What if? Don't you think God knows all of that? He doesn't lead you to a place and leave you there. No matter what happens, He knows His plans for all of us, and they are far beyond anything that you could come up with on your own."
I was SO tired, but I felt this great need to pour my heart out to the Lord, so I spent some serious time in prayer. "Father, I'm so exhausted. You know my fears, but You also know that I'm so in love with this little boy. I believe that love is a gift directly from You. I really believe that You have led us here, but neither do I want to run ahead of Your will. You were so faithful when we received Yikealo's referral (for that story, read here and here) Could You please just give me something to hold onto during the days ahead when my faith gets weak? A verse or two that speaks directly to this situation? A moment that I can always look back to and just KNOW that You were there?"
When I finished praying, I opened up my Bible, and the very first verse I saw was: "He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; he will crush the oppressor." WOW! Talk about a direct answer! I continued reading and there was more: "For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight."
By this time, I was weeping and praising Jesus! What a perfect answer! The whole issue was with the lab results on S's blood, and God had just told me that this little boy's blood was precious in His sight! He had said that He would "deliver the needy, the children of the needy, and the afflicted who had no one to help." I continued reading: "Long may he live! May gold from Sheba be given him. May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long." By now, I was laughing out loud..."Sheba" nearly always refers to Ethiopia in the scriptures...God was even mentioning my new son's location in His answer to me! I lifted my hands Heavenward and praised Him. Then I had this thought: "Wouldn't it be amazing to read the name David in this Psalm...just as an extra little affirmative that this is referring to a 'son of David?'" I glanced quickly through the remainder of the Psalm and didn't see the name anywhere, but I continued reading: "Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to His glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen." The very last verse? "This concludes the prayers of David, son of Jesse."
I was nearly shouting with joy. (David actually woke up and came out to the living room to see what was going on!) I turned back one page to look at the very beginning of the Psalm. There was a little note under the title: "Of Solomon." This was indeed a Psalm written by King David about the future of his son, the future King Solomon. He had prophesied about the riches that would eventually be brought to his son by the kings of the world, including Sheba. That night, it was also God's promise to me about my son...also destined to be a "son of David."
I am so overwhelmed by my God...of the way He loves me...of the way He provides what I need....of the way He never fails to answer my questions. We are definitely moving ahead with S's referral. As of this morning, all of the documents have been signed, notarized, and sent off to our agency, and we are rejoicing in God's truth. This doesn't mean that we expect everything to be rainbows and roses from here on out...in fact, we are expecting some storm clouds and thorns too...but we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus will be with us through every single moment, and we couldn't ask for anything better than that.
Our Trip to Ethiopia and Dubai, Day 8
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