Last week was a really hard week in our adoption journey. On Wednesday we got news that a thirteen year old girl named Allie Jo is about to age out of China’s system. In China, children are no longer eligible to be adopted once they turn fourteen. We had first seen Allie Jo months ago on a blog post that was published by our agency in hopes of finding her a family. Her story touched our family and in so many ways we wished we could adopt her. But she has cerebral palsy and we didn’t feel that this would be a wise choice for our family. A few weeks later, we read that someone had begun the process of adopting her. We were so happy. But now for some reason or another it has not worked out, and Allie Jo only has three weeks left to be adopted. Our hearts ache for her as we can only imagine the fear and anxiety that she must be feeling. She so desperately wants a family and time is running out.
We spent the rest of Wednesday and Thurday morning praying for Allie Jo and wondering again if we should think about adopting her. We knew it would not be best for our family and God did not give us peace about going for it, but we felt (and continue to feel) horrible. We feel desperate for her to have a family. What is no one else steps forward? She just has to have a family. Of course this happens all the time- children age out of China’s system and can no longer be adopted. But Allie Jo’s story touched our hearts and made it real to us.
And just as we were consumed with her story, we got the call we had been waiting for. Our adoption agency had a potential referral for us. The cutest little boy with PKU was needing a family. PKU was not on the list of special needs we were prepared to review, but Sarah and I decided to take a look at the file . We couldn’t help but feel excited. We spent the rest of the day researching PKU, contacting doctors, going over his file, and discussing how his need would play out in our family. By the end of the day, we knew that this was not our little boy. More than him not being a good fit for us, we knew we would not be a good fit for him. But we felt horrible.
After all, each of these children needs and longs for a family. If we birthed a child with cerebral palsy or PKU, we would not question whether or not the need is a good fit for our family. Why is this so different? I have wrestled with this question with each of our adoptions. I don’t have the perfect answer. All I can say is that adoption is different. You choose the age, sex, and special need for each child that is adopted. This choosing is difficult for us, but that is how it is done. In saying no to one child, we are saying yes to another. Each child needs a family, and we are saying yes to the child God has created to be a part of our family. With each adoption, He has guided us perfectly. When He provides His perfect peace, we know to proceed. And when He doesn’t, we stay put and continue waiting on Him. But it hurts to say no to any child. We long to hear that Allie Jo is adopted. We want to see our little PKU fellow in the arms of a mommy and daddy. But we have to leave that to God. He loves them so much more than we do. We know that He is in control. He sees the whole picture, while we see only a part. And so we will continue to wait for our sweet little one, and leave Allie Jo and each of the others in His hands.