Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How Did We Choose?

Several people have asked me this question. I'm not sure I have a good answer, but I'm going to try my best. The short answer is, God chose. The long answer is what follows. :)

The day we found out we lost Riley I came up with a "short list" of eleven children that were heavily on my heart at the time. This was easy for me to do because I look at the children on Reece's Rainbow obsessively. Certain children come to my attention here and there. A few stay on my heart for much longer than others. I listed out the ones that had lasted for a while and the ones that recently caught my attention.

Like any good wife (ha!) I emailed the list to Rob, who was at work, thinking that he would have an opinion and would help narrow it down. But Rob just couldn't. He wanted them all. (We still want them all).

The next day I found out one of the boys we had been considering had a committed family, so that narrowed it down to ten. For the next few days I poured over the pictures, begging God to speak out of the clouds or maybe the fire in our firepit. Just for the record, He didn't. It got to the point where I couldn't look at any of the children without feeling sick to my stomach. How in the world could I make this decision?

We sought counsel from some friends and decided to let it "simmer" for a few days. This was the few days before I defended my dissertation, and we agreed not to discuss it until that event was over. At this point we had it narrowed down to four children, all with different special needs. I was the most drawn to Zara but Rob was hesitant about Down syndrome.

I had dreams about Zara. I looked at her and felt like I was looking at my daughter. I could actually picture myself holding her, playing with her. But, I tried to choose a child without DS because of how Rob was feeling at the time.

Rob was feeling particularly drawn to this little boy, Joel:

Joel has arthrogryposis. I researched the condition and explained to Rob all the treatments that would be required. While we were certainly capable of doing all of it, something didn't feel right. But when we looked at his picture, it felt like his eyes were staring right into our soul (someone please rescue him!).

The weekend after my defense we didn't talk much more about it. I still felt the most drawn to Zara, but I didn't know what to do. Finally I decided to fast on Sunday and ask for prayer from the people in the RR Yahoo group.

Ten minutes later I found out that one of the boys we were really considering had found his family. I told this to Rob, who said, "Ok, Zara or ______?". I said Zara. He said OK.

It felt sooooo good to say "Yes" to Zara, but it also meant saying "No" to many, many other deserving children. It breaks my heart that we had to say "No" to Joel, Andrey, Nathaniel and Meade. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE RESCUE THEM?! It will put my hurting heart somewhat at ease.

A special blog has been set up to help raise funds for Nathaniel. Please check it out here. Donate if you can. This sweet boy needs surgery so, so badly it breaks my heart.

Meade (HIV):
Meade is so stinkin' cute I just can't believe he hasn't found a family yet!
And of course through all of this we miss Riley. It seems crazy because we never even met him, but we miss him. His little picture is everywhere. He will always be our son in our hearts. We will always pray for him, that he would be loved by his relatives, get the medication he needs, and most importantly, come to know Jesus when he is older.


Shari79 said...

They are all absolutely precious, it is so heartbreaking :o(

one_plustwins said...

Jess, knowing that you have chosen a child with Down syndrome brings joy to my heart. Knowing how tied we are with Alexander--I know you and Rob can do this. Zara is beautiful and so very lucky to have you. God bless you!!!

Ellie said...

You know, no one other than mothers who have actually experienced it for themselves (looking at a picture of a child living thousands of miles away and knowing that he/she is your child) can understand "why" we choose one over another, or why we even choose to do this at all. I understand!