There’s a country song that says
“If I had it to do all over again, I’d do it all over with you.”
It’s a song about love and marriage, but its lyrics came to mind recently when thinking about a family who traveled to the other side of the world to adopt a child only to have their child die shortly after they arrived home.
I read the blog posts of planning and anticipation leading up to the adoption, and more posts and photos as they traveled to pick up their child, went through initial attachment, finalized the paperwork, and then journeyed home. I saw the photo of their late-night homecoming, and my spirit celebrated along with them.
Then, less than a day later, social media posts from mutual friends delivered the tragic news, that the little guy’s numerous health problems were just too much for his little body to take.
I can’t imagine.
I’ve tried, and what I imagine is painful and overwhelming, yet I’m sure it doesn’t scratch the surface.
Loss is tragic enough on its own, but such deep loss after extreme joy can only be described as plummeting.
Many friends posted on the family’s social media pages words of encouragement, as best you can in a time like this, and the ones that struck a chord with my heart were the ones who said how their little son knew love and knew family during the short time he was their’s, and that they can be comforted in the good that was done through the adoption even though it didn’t turn out at all like they expected.
It was those comments that me made me wonder … if they knew how the story ended, if they knew that their adopted child would die after they brought him home, would they adopt him anyway? It’s a hard question. I can’t say for sure how they would answer. But my feeling is that they would, do it all again.
They adopted out of love, and after seeing the photos and hearing the stories of attachment and transformation, no one can deny that child was well loved and part of a real family for the last few weeks of his life. If he had never before known the love of a father, mother, brothers, sister and grandparents, he did for those few weeks, and that’s a beautiful, beautiful gift.
Pray for this family. It’s not my story, it’s theirs; read the backstory, see the beautiful photos of their son, and encourage them as they heal and write at A Mei Mei for You You.
They’re Not The Only Ones
It just so happened as I as mulling all this around in my head, akajanerandom shared a link to this post by another family who’s adopted child died after being struck by a car.
The adoptive mom, Amy, said it way better than I can paraphrase:
I was out on my early morning run and God spoke to me. Not in words, but in this blanket of peace. This is what He said, “Was it you who moved the mountains to find Freh’s birth mother? Was it you who placed, at every turn, the witnesses you needed for evidence in her abandonment case? Was it you who found Ephrim, your investigator who loves Me and trusts Me and bent with you, on dusty knee to praise me during the investigation? Was it you who matched Frehiwot with your family? Was it you who knew all the while that she would only live to be 4 days shy of 2 1/2? Was it you who gave her a personality so fitting to your family’s? Was it you who bonded you together so beautifully? Was it you who made her so smart, giving you conversations so rich?” …
“No. Amy. It was ME. your GOD who knew from before Frehiwot was born, that she would be on earth but for a flash. It was ME who heard your prayer for a daughter in 2010 and saw her growing in her mother’s womb. It was ME who brought you two together. It was ME who led you to Ethiopia to find the truth of her story. It was ME who moved those mountains and got her home to you. It was ME who wove together the beautiful tapestry of your love for her and her love for you.”
… I trusted God with her adoption. I trusted God with her attachment. I trusted God with her life. I assumed it was a long life. It wasn’t. But look at what he did! He gave her the BEST life. He changed us and put us on a Kingdom course that we would have never known. He drew me closest to Him than I had ever been. We don’t say to each other “understand God,” we say “Trust God.” And I did. And I continue.
Her words are exactly why I imagine these families saying yes, even if the outcome is the same, I’ll do it again.
It sort’ve reminds me of Christ in the garden praying to his Father that is there was any other way to take the cup from him, but if not, he would go to the cross and die — humble submission. Similarly, I might beg God that if there was any other way, let’s do that instead. But if not, I’ll trust God knows what He’s doing, even if I don’t understand it.
Won’t you pray for these families, and others like them?