A Piercing Clarity

23 November MMXV

In the two days between placing our baby girl’s file on hold with the adoption agency and Jimmy’s return home from his trip, I was literally buzzing like a bee. By the time Jimmy arrived back at our home, I had already forwarded the medical file from China to a pediatric cardiologist and had made an appointment for Jimmy and I to meet with him to discuss his findings the following Monday which was a few days away. There was nothing I could do as we waited for that appointment other than pray. And I prayed hard. I wish I could say that I had the grace to place our precious China baby into God’s hands and trust His Will to be done but I was so far from that sacred space. I was a wreck.

I prayed for clarity. I prayed for doors to her to clearly open if we were her parents and to clearly close if we were not. Contemplating their closing is what was choking the life out of me. What if her medical condition was so severe that I was not enough of a “medical mama” to care for her needs? It is no secret that after six children I still cannot even look at loose teeth without feeling weak.

What if her needs required so much attention that she would need a mama who could provide her with undivided attention without balancing the needs of six other siblings and their father? What if I wasn’t enough for her? What if I wasn’t enough for this child who already had such a hold on my heart?

I repeatedly asked these same questions of Jimmy in a thousand different ways hoping to find one that would reveal that he even had a pulse. I usually find such comfort in his even steadiness. But this was different. This was, without any doubt, the biggest thing we had ever been called to discern in our nearly two decades of married life and I was getting no more response from him than I would have if we were deciding what topics to order on a pizza. Honestly, this time the cool and calm thing was not comforting in the least. It was growing….irritating.

So irritating that on the Sunday before the Monday cardiologist appointment, I could no longer take it any more. In our church parking lot walking into mass I sort of snapped. “How can you act like this is no big deal? It is huge! Don’t you understand that we are going to walk into that doctor’s office tomorrow to learn if we have what it takes to bring her home? Don’t you understand what a wreck I am thinking about what he is going to say to us? Don’t you see that I do not know if my heart will be okay if he tells us we are not up to handling this?”

Without letting go of my hand and without any hint of inflection in his voice Jimmy answered, “You are the only one who is a wreck because you are the only one who does not see how completely obvious this is. If she is ours, she is ours. Period. No matter her heart or any other issue. Nothing the doctor says in that appointment will change anything. If you were pregnant right now with our baby and we learned on an ultrasound that the baby had this same heart issue, we would not be spending one minute discussing whether or not we could take care of that child while we parented the six we already have. We would just find the best way to do it. If she is our baby, she is all ours.”

The clarity of the truth he spoke instantly pierced me. And liberated me. Liberated me to completely embrace this child as her mother….all of her…every single piece of her physically and emotionally broken heart. Whatever the cardiologist or social workers told us that was going to look like, all of those pieces were in my care now. Because she was ours and God had entrusted these precious pieces to me when He had trusted me to be her mother. The liberation was instant and intense and, as so many times before, heaven had clearly spoken to me through my husband’s voice.

I recognized that day that God had quietly answered my prayers for clarity. He had been answering them all along. And while He was calling and equipping me to tend to the pieces of our child’s heart in China, He was also counting on Jimmy to pick up and tend to the pieces of me.

I definitely got the easier job.


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