Monday, February 28, 2011

Adopting a Waiting Child: Khari's Story

On May 17, 2010 which just so happened to be our oldest son's birthday I finally broke down and emailed the agency regarding the baby girl on the waiting list that I had been praying about, thinking about, losing sleep over and just completely consumed over.

Back this story up probably 10 days earlier and I was on the waiting children website yet again. I couldn't seem to tear myself await from the waiting children page.I cannot even begin to tell you how many children's faces I had looked at and said why not this one? Why can't we just give this child a home? This was something weighing very heavily on my heart ever since we were told that our age choice must be younger than our youngest child. At the time our youngest child was 18 months, so we were waiting on a female 0-16 months old. I prayed that we were doing the right thing for our child to be and our children already in our family. As many times I had done on this journey I decided that I must trust God and that was the only way to get through this process of adoption.

Finally, I was so taken by a sibling group that I told my husband we had to ask for more information on them. We both new that according to our agency this set of children would not fit into our family. Their ages were set smack dab in the middle of our biological children which is a "no-no" with our agency. Never the less, I called. Something drew me in to these sweet faces, God was telling me in the sort of way that I tend not to be very good at listening to, that I needed to make contact with our agency.

When I finally talked with someone regarding these waiting children, I was told exactly what I was expecting! No, they do not match the appropriate ages with your biological children. You could contact this person, that person and maybe someone else, but they will all tell you no. BUT....... we have a baby girl getting ready to be put on the waiting children list, she is 2 months old and matches your gender and age request perfectly!!! She had a traumatic birth, her mother died during delivery, she is tiny and when we brought her to the orphanage she had a large place on her head and some jerking was noted on the right side of her body by the doctor. We have not placed her on the site yet, because we were waiting for an updated medical report and new pictures. Check back with us if you think that you would like to learn more about her!!!

WHAT???? In my wildest dreams this is NOT why I made that call to the agency. I was calling about those other children!!! Only later did it fully sink in that God had touched my heart with those specific children's faces to call and find out about our daughter.

Now I have to tell you, at this point that I was very mad. I was frustrated with God. I thought that we had crossed all of our questions with adoption, smooth sailing from here on, right? Becoming a multi-cultured family was a big idea to comprehend in the beginning of our journey, telling our family about our decision, trying to explain to our other children about why their sister would not look like them, thinking about what our small town would think when they were introduced to our newest family member. All of these things were distant memories that I almost couldn't believe had ever troubled me. Now this God? I am by profession a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit nurse, I had first hand knowledge of how devastating all of these things could be for this little bundle in Ethiopia. I was scared!!!! Very scared, because I was starting to feel like God had just told me this was our daughter. We had just passed the 12 month mark on the wait list , in all probability our "phone call" would be coming in just a few short months. Why at this point had God placed this situation in my life? But I also knew that in Jeremiah 29:11-14 the Bible tells me...

"...For i know the plans I have for you," declares the lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the lord,

What an amazing piece of scripture to turn to when I am questioning what God is planning in my life!! I can with all assurance tell you that my faith has never been put to the test in the same way it was all through our adoption journey. The Bible also tells us that faith without works, is dead. Boy did I find this out!

So after many of my Doctor friends reviewed our baby's medical information and lots of prayer and discussion with my husband we decided on June 2, 2010 that we had a new member in our family. Now, let me tell you, that reviewing the medical information was of no grand assurance. Reviewing medical documents from a third world country leaves you asking for more! Then you truly realize how blessed we are to live where we do! We have never had to want for more testing or information or better care for any of our children before now.

Now, we knew our daughter was somewhere where we could not obtain much more help for her. We were now in the biggest race for time to bring her home!!! We needed to get her here, to see how we could best help her. The story doesn't get much less exciting as we were approaching "the rainy season" in Ethiopia when the courts would close. God was good though, as he always is!! We were able to squeak by and get her home prior to courts closing. Praise the Lord!!

Now in between traveling to meet our daughter for the first time, we were receiving updated photos and very little information from traveling families. We were noticing issues with her eyes and her general appearance being small. We later came to find out our baby was acutally 3 months old when we accepted her and less than 6 pounds. She was just over 3 pounds when she came into our agencies care and a little miracle fighter baby! When in country we learned that in all of Ethiopia there are only 2 incubators!!!!  These are of over abundance in the hospital I work in. Any baby of that size would have been in an incubator with who knows how many tubes hooked up to help them thrive, but our daughter was in Ethiopia with lots of blankets and prayers as the nannies would report to us. She is God's gift to our family.

What an amazing gift she has been these last 6 months that she has been united with her family her in the U.S.A.! She has been very developmentally delayed and in Speech, Physical and Occupational therapy. She has major vision issues when she came home, probably due to prematurity and living in an orphanage setting without much stimulation. It is AMAZING how much she has changed and thrived since being in a loving home with constant attention and love. (Our 3 other children have had at times an over abundance of love for her!!)

Just last week we celebrated her 1st birthday and crazy enough she was crawling just in time for the great day!!!

So my message to you is this, if you feel led to give a home to a waiting child, answer the call. It will be the most wonderful thing you have ever done. I can honestly tell you that it hasn't been easy, but the rewards are
bountiful and overflowing everyday. For me, the hardest part was the fact that our child came to us unexpectedly, I never would have thought that we wouldn't have just gotten our "referral call". As others have said in the past, the wait is worth it, I definitely feel that God knows which child needs which family and which family needs which child.

So I leave you with my understanding of adoption (and life in general) as stated in Proverbs 3: 5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Blessings to you! Kent and Sally McQuilkin home with Khari Mimi Jimma McQuilkin September 5 2010

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