Thursday, February 20, 2014

Day 20 - Brighton Mae Berry

Our adoption journey started 3 years ago and has taken many twist and turns than I can count.  I bet if you ask any adoptive parent they would tell you they are not the same person they were when they started the adoption process. The journey has a way of molding, stretching, and ultimately making you into a different person along the way.

After a  year of dead ends in our adoption process we decided to check  out the china program- we knew this would include adopting a “special needs” child. When you are in the process your agency has you fill out a form for “desired needs” which is basically a long list of every special need you could be faced with in adopting a child from china. You check of what needs you are willing to take and spend time researching each need and what that would look like for your family. This was a horribly hard part for me. I remember agonizing over that one piece of paper for 3 weeks, holding on to it, checking off needs, going back and re-doing it.

I was a mess. My husband and I prayed about the child the Lord had for us and checked off the needs we felt he was leading us to. It was probably a day or so before we needed to turn in this form when I got an overwhelming feeling we were to check of the section for “heart conditions” This scared me to death.  All the other needs on the list did not scare me nearly as bad as the words CHD, VSD, TOF and all the medical terms for various heart conditions did. I told the Lord one morning to please reveal to me in his scripture if he really desired for us to include “heart issues” on our list. I opened up my Bible and began to read.  With in minutes I ran across a passage of scripture that mentioned “heart” 3 different times.  It was then I knew the Lord was saying yes- we were to include that need on our form.  This was so frightening for me, I discussed it with my husband and we agreed to include heart conditions on our “child desired form”

Fast forward a few months and one day in October we got a call about a little three year old boy with club feet. I was head over heels the instant I saw this boy and we sent in our request to adopt him immediately. I wondered why the Lord would give me such a clear word and why he would so clearly tell me to put down heart condition on our forms.

I figured it was just a test in obedience and carried on with getting ready for our son.  After finding our son and while making preparations for him to come home I could not shake the feeling we still had a daughter out there.  We were approved to bring home two children and viewed many files of precious girls but never had peace in any of them.  We began to realize we were suppose to only bring home our son for now. I remember telling my husband “when we get home from china, I believe we will know right away if we are suppose to go back.”

Famous last words right?

Within two weeks of returning from china I got this feeling we still had a daughter out there- and even more so, that she was waiting on us NOW. She needed us to find her soon! It didn't take much discussion with my tender hearted husband for us to realize the Lord was calling us back- and soon!

We started to look at our agencies website of waiting children. I viewed a couple files and videos and of different girls.  Among the kids I saw on our agencies website was a 6 year old little girl, with the cutest little grin, adorable face, and spunky run.  I watched her video over and over and wondered why no one had come to get this precious jewel. While I was watching her video for like 100th time, my daughter walked in and said  “she is so cute, we should go get her mom.”

I giggled to myself and realized the Lord was working. Our daughter had watched so many different videos of children in china and never uttered those words. I went on to tell her that this particular girl had a heart condition and issues with her hand and arm. She would need lots of care and attention. “That’s ok mom, I had a dream we went back to china for a girl, I think we could help this one”

It took me a few minutes after that conversation with my daughter to realize this child had a heart condition. This was something I just had glazed over at first- maybe because her cute picture’s within her file and the adorable video captivated me so much I hadn't put much though into her need.  

I realized then THIS is why God had told me to put down “heart condition” on the child desired form over a year ago. He was showing me we would have a heart child- it just wasn't until now.   After a few more weeks of researching her particular heart condition and praying, we asked china to please let us adopt this special little girl- who had waited too long for a family to come and get her. 

 During our process with our son I made friends with a few mom who adopted babies with heart conditions and they helped me tremendously in understanding what this need would involve, but overall gave me the support and encouragement we needed.  These women, and the other “heart momma’s” I have made during this journey to our daughter are invaluable.  While I don’t know what the future holds for our daughter I feel I have great community of mommas who have walked the path of having a child with a heart condition and will be lifeline to me when I know we will need it.

 Our Brighton Mae has celebrated her 7th birthday while we are working on the mountains of paperwork red tape to get to her.  She has what doctors are saying is a “severe form of Tetralogy of Fallot” which consists of a large hole between the bottom two chambers of the heart (vsd) and typically consists of obstruction to the pulmonary valve. She has had one open-heart surgery at 2 years of age and we are told this particular condition will require an additional surgery as she grows up and gets bigger.  She also had a minor stroke shortly after her heart surgery in china and had to relearn how to walk and talk.  She still struggles with her right arm and hand because of this.  She is a miracle!

My heart breaks for what my daughter has been through, all this without a momma by her side.  Her needs are great, yes- but her “True need” is a family.  I imagine as much as she needs us we need her as well. 

 We named her Brighton after the poem “Maker of Heaven and Earth”

All things bright and beautiful,
All Creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all

She is fearfully and wonderfully made and we are blessed God chose US to be her family. 


Drea said...

Beautiful! I am excited to be able to anticipate her homecoming along with you!

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