This post is not about Sawyer and his recent Crohn’s diagnosis. Nope, I started this post before Sawyer entered the hospital, but was unable to complete it for a variety of reasons. This is a post that I never ever thought I’d be writing, and to hit “publish” makes my heart pound.
It’s hard to know where to start.
It’s hard to know what to say.
I know our family will face judgment.
I know the majority of folks won’t understand.
And that’s OK because I (we) are accountable to our God, our One and Only Judge.
Still, I struggle with what to share and what not to share, for the protection of many.
Bottom line is that we now have one less child in our family. No one died this time, but the struggles, doubt, and grief grips us in similar ways, and yet a peace that passes understanding washes over us at the same time.
Many of you who know our family and situation in real life already know what has occurred, and I’m so very grateful for your prayers, encouragement, unconditional love, and support. I don’t have to defend myself to my God, nor to those who have walked this path in real life alongside us, and that gives me great comfort.
Before I share further, I feel the need to reemphasize that I am fully committed to orphan care, and I firmly believe ALL truly are precious in His sight. Many of you have contacted me when you’ve hit rock bottom with one of your kiddos, and from your first-hand experience in contacting me, you know that I try hard to encourage you to fight the good fight. I don't normally encourage disrupting adoptions. I try hard to listen objectively, without judgment, and offer prayer for God to be the One who guides each unique situation. I want to see adoption success stories; I’m an encourager. I don’t want to see Satan steal, kill, or destroy. I’m not one to toss in the towel quickly; I’m not a quitter. I’m a fighter. I defend the least of these, and I try to help adoptive families in crises. I’m up for the deepest of challenges if God asks me to walk that path. I believe in God’s healing, I stand in agreement with His Word, and I claim His promises. However, even with all of these beliefs, there are times that God authors and illustrates a story differently than what we as mere humans desire.
Our family has experience with a variety of tough situations, kids from hard places, kids with many labels, kids with many disabilities, kids with severe health, behavioral, and emotional problems, kids with RAD, etc. We’ve endured challenges where we’ve been tempted to call it quits and walk away, but God has called us to persevere simply because He said so, not because we felt like doing so. I share these things so that those of you who don’t already know this about me (and our family) will have a little something to remember when/if your earthly minds jump into judgment as you read about what we’re currently going through. Please know that God has successfully walked us through and equipped us to handle much more than our own abilities could tackle, but sometimes God asks us to obey something different than what we think or want Him to ask of us.
I would prefer to sit here today and not have to write this story. I would prefer to not have to walk this path. I would prefer a different outcome to this particular situation. I would prefer to share the good stuff, the positive stories, the encouraging testimonies, the warm fuzzy side of adoption, but God has asked me (us—our family) to walk a path that I wouldn’t choose.
Our current path isn’t exactly an adoption disruption, but it’s very similar. The legal status of this situation is different, thus not requiring us to dissolve an adoption. For those unfamiliar, an adoption disruption occurs when things don’t work out with the current placement of an adopted child. Most of the time, adoption disruptions occur due to extreme behaviors/challenges with an adopted child that either leave the family not safe or things spiral so far out of control that the family is crumbling (or has already crumbled) and is beyond desperate to find peace again by placing the challenging child with another family or in another situation. It’s a little bit similar to a divorce, but it's a child/parent relationship that must end instead of a spousal relationship ending.
In July 2010, we were asked to become the “respite” family for a precious boy from the US. You can read about the announcement of “Asher” joining our family HERE.
I am removing all photos and editing the information I originally shared here on 7/5/12 regarding Asher no longer being in our family.
Asher has returned to his original family, as they are his legal parents. Period.
I have also removed comments that alluded to what I originally shared here, with respect for protecting Asher's privacy, which I failed to do adequately in my original post. Thank you for your support and understanding.
Our family is experiencing a broad range of emotions. For our younger children, who cannot understand the situation fully, this is very similar to losing a sibling to death. One day their “brother” is their “brother”, and the next day, he’s gone forever. The expected grief of losing a sibling will follow, but we are equipped by the One who has faithfully carried us through losing Chrissie to help everyone through this.
God did not make a mistake by sending Asher temporarily to our family. God never makes mistakes. God used our family as one of the threads of the tapestry He’s weaving for Asher’s life story. Asher taught us a lot, God taught Asher (and us) a lot, and God used our family to teach Asher a lot during his two years with us. We were a stepping stone on Asher’s path, and he’s forever left footprints on our hearts.
I pray this situation with Asher will not be a discouragement to adoptive families and those considering adoption. This situation is clearly not the norm. It is always a possibility that children, adoptive and biological, might incur situations beyond what a family is capable of handling. The good news is that Jesus is capable of handling it, although the outcome might look different than we expect. Jesus may choose healing a child in the home, or He may choose to bring healing elsewhere, but one certainty is that He will never leave us or forsake us.
Every child deserves a chance to be chosen, loved, cherished, and poured into. We are grateful that He chose to share Asher with our family for two years. God doesn’t make mistakes, although His story might look different than the story we’d author. Just remember that God might use us as a stepping stone in the life of a child rather than as a final destination, and that’s OK, as it was never meant to be about us. Thank you, Jesus.