When navigating the jungles of international adoption one has to tread carefully, choose words wisely, and use discretion in what to share publicly and what not to. Sadly, the reality is we live in a world that largely despises adoption. Because I don't quite have all the boundary lines figured out yet, and each situation is different, I'll probably be somewhat reserved in sharing specific details about our child...at least until we get him home.
We are still super excited and it's finally sinking in that this is really happening, and we have just a few months left until he's here.
Today we bought this stroller. I'm silly excited about it too...our last umbrella stroller was 11 yrs old and begging to be put down (oh man, there's that farm girl talk again!). We needed something light weight, compact, good quality, and yet big enough to hold a small 6 yr old. I've been scouring online second hand stores and advertisements and finally came across one of these (the exact one I'd been drooling over) being sold privately but in the box brand new. Score! It has a very tall head clearance and goes up to 55 lbs. Our little guy is only about 35 lbs so he's got lots of room to grow.
You might be wondering why I've been so concerned with having the right stroller along with us when we're adopting a 6 year old child. The answer to that is that he doesn't walk at all yet. Our child has cerebral palsy.
We don't know the details or potential of his gross motor skill abilities or the full extent of his challenges... but we do know that he recently came out of an institution where he had been classified as bed ridden and had been spending his days and nights confined to a crib. I don't know a huge amount about CP (although I've been reading all I can about it in preparation) but I know enough to say for certain that lack of movement and nurture is not conducive to reaching any kind of developmental potential....even in a child without CP. His little muscles will certainly be tight and atrophied. It really will be incredible to see how he grows and develops in the years to come! At this time we have no idea if he will ever walk unassisted. We really don't have any idea about what his potential is in any aspect of his development. He may completely surpass any thing we ever thought he would be capable of. That would be amazing. We are trusting God in that area and quite honestly it really doesn't matter to me all if the greatest success in his life is getting himself dressed each morning. Our view of "success" is largely different from most of the world anyway. We will celebrate each little hard earned victory along the way.
When we started the process we left our range of "special need" acceptance wide open and included many different special needs on our application. We also were open to either a boy or a girl, and to a child up to the age of our oldest. It was really a strange experience to be writing down things like Spina bifida, Cerebral Palsy, Hep C, HIV, limb deformities, cleft lip and palate, blindness, deafness etc. So many diagnosis's that, at one point in our life, we would have been horrified to hear our child had. Now we are requesting it. The irony of it was not lost on me. Only a work of God does that to a person! Somehow he's taken my self preserving, comfort loving little heart and regenerated it into one that longs to be poured out.
In the months before we started this process we felt led to open up our hearts and home once again, we just had no idea how God was going to bring us our next child. So I started praying about it. I prayed that God would lead us to the child he has prepared for us, whether that was in our own country or somewhere else. After choosing the China special needs program (being unexpectedly led there), we prepared and we prayed again. We prayed for the child we did not yet know. When we first saw his picture, I can't really even describe it, it was him. We knew it was our son. I knew it like staring into the face of one of the children I had just given birth to. That may sound just plain bat crap crazy to some of you reading this...but to others who have walked this road before you may know exactly what I'm talking about. It's a work of the Holy Spirit moving and guiding. I don't know why or how, but that's how we knew to say "yes" to this child. The love that God has given us for this little boy we've never met is astonishing.
So that's how we got to where we are today. It's a pretty amazing trail looking back over the years.
So now we wait and we prepare. We pray for our child so far away. We pray that each little bit of our lives and the lives of our children (
Soli Deo gloria,