Three little words - "She is inadequate" - but they stopped my heart, then made it thunder in anger and sorrow - and in helplessness.
I was reading Susanna's blog -here - as I always do for encouragement and challenge. Susanna and her wonderful family, by God's grace, have seen a little one go from this:
They are also in the final days before they travel to rescue little Tommy whom I have loved from the first picture:
She answers some tough questions in her blog like why international adoption instead of domestic, why special needs, how can you do it? I encourage you to read it here. Words spoken that need to be heard - but spoken with grace and love. A hard combination when passion and convicting words must meet.
On her blog, she has a picture of little Brandi:
I saw Brandi's picture months ago and my heart hurt. Such neglect. Such a tiny, fragile little body. Such sad words on her description page. I prayed for a family to save her. As I read her description, I thought, "This would be too much for our family with little Grace coming." Both Handsome and I felt that we could only handle two "severe" special needs kiddos. Both Grace and Mimi are g-tube fed. Both with need wheelchairs - though Mimi is getting closer to walking all the time, Praise God! But she will probably still need help for long distances. Both will always be at the cognitive level of a newborn to one year old. Both will need help in every aspect of their day-to-day lives.
Part of why we felt the ability to step out for our newest two (who are still waiting in an Eastern Europe country):
and Sweet Pea
is that both should have some measure of independence as far as day-to-day living. Self-feeding, walking, getting dressed, even just physically moving themselves from place to place.
Trying to be wise, I felt that we should limit the highest needs and focus on a little more independent kiddos. Plus, we just love those two precious faces so much! How could we resist? :)
But something amazing has happened since our Savior brought little Grace home to us.
We have found that though she is the most physically needy of all our children, the blessings are above and beyond anything that we could have even imagined. Ever. Her beautiful smile and the love of God that pours through this little girl are breath-taking. It is amazing in its depth and abundance.
Once again - just as we found with our attempts to "plan" our family - we would have chosen to limit the blessings God has to pour over us by our fear. Fear of the "how" to do it. Fear of the amount of work. Fear of the unknown.
Our Grace is God's blessing poured out in abundance, until our cup is overflowing and the abundance surrounds us each and every day. Just as His Grace is when we are saved through redemption.
As I was reading Susanna's post, she encouraged people to contact Shelley Bedford for more information on little Brandi. A little girl - a real little soul, a real little girl, not just a picture from a horrific story line - who is so in need of a family. It was just one of those moments you know that His Hand is pointing you to do something. So, I did. I emailed and asked the ever patient Shelley for more information on this little one.
This time reading her desciption was much different. All I could think was, "This is Grace. This is my Grace in a horrific orphanage." My little Grace, though in an orphanage with very little resources and knowledge, was still cared for. Even though she wasn't held and kissed, her very basic needs were met. Brandi does not have even that - she is in an orphanage known for amazing neglect and cruelty. There is a new director who is trying to make changes, but some things cannot be quickly changed and some damage can never be healed. This place was the stuff of nightmares.
One sentence in particular devastated me. As the report was "summarizing" her, it included the sentence, "She is inadequate." What? How can a human life - created by a perfect God - ever be described as inadequate? Inadequate for what? To glorify her Savior? (This is the purpose of man!) No! He created her - she can glorify her Savior in ways we never can in our selfishness and deliberate sin. To meet someone else's needs? Is that why we are called to serve and care for others? Not according to Scripture. Inadequate to bring joy to a family? I know from personal experience that is wrong - I just kept thinking what an amazing blessing she would be to a family. Like a surprise gift beyond imagining wrapped in dirty rags - she will bring God's blessings pouring out on the family willing to follow God's call to redeem her.
Inadequate? Even now, the word sticks in my mouth, only to be spit out with great sorrow and washed away with tears. Can you imagine your very existence being summed up in the word "inadequate"? I quake to think of all the things we will see clearly in Heaven that we disdained here. How our hearts will break.
Please know that we would claim her in a moment. But we have already been told by her country that we cannot add a third to our dossier. I also found out in the email from Shelley that we will need to wait 6 months after The Firecracker and Sweet Pea are home before we could even ask to adopt again from that government. (Please know that I would completely understand if the process moved swiftly in this country. Our new daughters need our full attention as they adjust and face medical challenges. BUT this country takes at least a year in the best of circumstances and now it is slowing down even farther.) As if that was not bad enough, Shelley also confirmed that this country is starting to limit adoptions to large families. The helplessness for Brandi poured over my soul.
There is another little one that is so much like our Grace that we would rescue in a moment.
Click here to read more about this blessing in disguise.
But again, the doors seem to be closed. Neither of the agencies that could place him allow large families to adopt from this country. How that hurts! We KNOW his value - we KNOW what they are trying to communicate by saying "When you are with Josiah, it is clear that God’s love resides in Josiah. Josiah can’t talk, but he loves to smile and interact with anyone who will talk to him. Josiah cannot sing like most of us, but each day during nanny prayer and singing Josiah joins in with a big smile. Our deep desire is for Josiah to join his forever family through adoption. We have had difficulty finding that family, but we know that God has a plan for Josiah . We also know that where ever he goes, Josiah will be a blessing as his loved ones bless and care for him." We KNOW, yet it appears that the door is closed. Helplessness.
Yet, even as I am struggling with the feeling of helplessness, I hear the whisper in my soul that nothing is impossible with God. However, I also know from my walk with Him, that it does not mean that He will necessarily open the door for us to save these two precious ones. We are not the only ones that God can pour out His grace, strength, and courage on! He is mighty to save. As much as I want it to be, it is probably not us that He will use this time. BUT I have no doubt that He could open the doors if that was His plan. The feeling of helplessness comes from taking my eyes off of HIM and focusing on the situation. To think that somehow I am the only one to "fix" this - and if the door is closed to me, nothing will be done. How arrogant! To walk by faith, I must remember He has a perfect plan. I must remember that I want His perfect Will more than my imperfect one.
Maybe it is you? Maybe you are the one He is calling. Do not fear. He is with you.
I have so much more to say, but my little ones need me.
Please pray for Brandi and Josiah. That He is glorified in their lives and the redemption story that I cannot wait to see unfold.
To Him be all glory, honor, and power. Forever and ever. Amen