"You're never guaranteed a baby at the end," said my friend many years ago. She was talking about how vulnerable we are as women when we are expecting a child. Those months and months when our bodies don't seem to be our own, when God is working the intricacies of the new life in our womb. We can go through all nine months of pregnancy and labor and be presented with a still birth. We're not guaranteed a baby in the end.
So it was with our adoption of A in Ethiopia. We decided the day before court not to go forward with her adoption. Given the circumstances that were unfolding in our lives we decided she needed younger parents. We are fifty-one and fifty-two and she is four. Yes, we could parent her and give her a good life. I knew it wouldn't be the best for her. So, we decided as a couple to withdraw our petition to adopt her.
The week before I left for Ethiopia I received a call from the urologist who has been checking me since September for something my general practitioner saw in some of my test results over the past few years. He told me that I could have kidney cancer. I had just had an MRI a week or so before, and I have to admit, I wasn't even sure why I was getting an MRI, but knew it was ordered so I went. Hated it too, almost climbed out, felt like I was in an episode of "Lost."
I have a growth on one of my kidneys which may or may not be kidney cancer. My Dr. said it is small enough that if a biopsy is done there is a chance they may not be able to get to it and the other problem is that they could puncture my intestines. Neither option seems good to me. In the meantime we are doing another test to see if cancer cells show up, but won't know for at least a week. Depending on what that test shows will determine the next step as far as what I do with this growth. Hopefully, it's just a cyst and it has all been a big scare.
My husband also has a health issue that recently came to our attention. Thus our decision that she needs younger parents than a couple in their fifties.
Now a little on my time with A.
The first day I met her things went very well for a bit, then it went downhill fast. We were bonding quite well. She liked the flashcards I brought out and would repeat the words in English that I had said like apple, ball, cat.... she counted with her fingers, we threw a ball back and forth, she was fine-I was fine.
Then we went for a little walk around the building and something snapped in her. She wanted nothing to do with me. She shrugged her shoulders which means no when the nannies tried to cajole her to go with me. She basically shut down and was done with me. I believe God revealed that side of her to me for a reason. I believe that reason was to show me she needs a lot of heart work. Work from being in an orphanage for three years and not just in an orphanage but basically in one room for three years. We were bonding in front of that room, and that room had a BIG glass window where she could look in and see her past life. I knew I couldn't be the one to take her from there. I knew I couldn't be the one who traveled over the continents and an ocean and then states with her. I knew she needed a younger mom. And so we came to the tough decision to not go to court and make it legal so that she would have the chance to go to a younger family.
Sometimes we're not guaranteed a baby at the end. We are guaranteed Grace though and His strength and that is what we lean on.