• I Hope I Always Remember

    Date: 2015.09.01 | Category: Adoption, Benjamin | Tags:

    I still remember the call from CCAI.  They said now that we had been matched with Maisey, there was something else they wanted to let us know about, China has a program that would allow you to adopt two children at the same time, if the second child had more complex needs.  Dan and I prayed about it.  We decided since we were only going to China this one time, that we should adopt two.  We figured Maisey would have someone her own age to play with and she wouldn’t feel alone coming to this big, new place.

    Hope had come to us asking if we could adopt a little boy with the same heart defect that she had.  As a family, we agreed that was a good idea and Dan nicknamed our second child Tigger.  We started to pray for Tigger.

    We hadn’t had a litttle boy in the house for a very long time.  It was fun trying to guess how old he was going to be and what he would look like.  We continued to look at CCAI’s Waiting Child page and prayed.

    One day Dan asked me to come look at a little boy he had seen on the page.  I gasped when I saw his little face.  I instantly felt a connection and knew that he was the one.  What a sweet little boy.  That first picture might have made me gasp, but it was the second picture that stole my breathe away.  I had no idea what special need he had, but he was definitely our son.  As I was standing there, very emotional, Dan pointed out Ben’s special need – CHD.  He was a little heart warrior.


    We wrote to CCAI and waited for an answer.  When we didn’t hear the next day after they had been open a few hours, I called to make sure they got our message.  They had received it but there were other families in line looking at Ben’s medical records.  They would have to get back to us.  I remember being so upset.  This was my son.  How could anyone else have his file?  What was God doing?  Was I really supposed to be his mother?  The questions went on and on.  We waited and waited and waited.  I finally went shopping with the girls just to give myself something else to think about.

    Finally, we got the call that they would be sending the records to us for our review.  In my mind it didn’t matter, Ben was our son already.   I called Dan to let him know.  He said he would send the records off to be reviewed by his cardiology friends.  I just stood there in the parking lot of Burlington Coat Factory.  I remember turning to the girls and crying.  “What if he is too sick and daddy doesn’t think we should do it?”

    I was a nervous wreck.  My stomach was doing flip flops.  I knew he was our son.  I prayed and prayed and prayed for peace.  I prayed for wisdom.  I prayed that Dan would feel the same way.  I asked God for clarification.  The girls keep teasing me over the fact that I would break out in tears over a child I had never even met.  If this happened now,  I would just trust that feeling but back then I didn’t have a clue how marvelous it is when God works on your heart.

    When I came home, I ran right to Dan’s office to see what he knew.  I opened the door and saw him sitting there with the saddest look on his face.  I thought for sure he was going to tell me that Ben was too sick, that we couldn’t put our family through this, that there was no hope.  Dan said everyone he talked to said, “Don’t do this.  There’s no hope.” but then Dan quietly said, “He is our son.  He may not make it until we can get there, but we need to try.”

    Little did we know what a daddy’s boy Ben would be.  He went to Dan right away at the registration office and he held on tight from that day on.

    Ben and daddy

    Ben and daddy

    I never want to forget how that felt.  How much I wanted Ben to live just so I could hold him even if it was only for a day.  I wanted him to know that I loved him.  I wanted him to feel the love of family.  I wanted him to know his life mattered.

    We got much more than a day with Ben.  He has now been with our family 1,267 days.   He has gone from a sad little boy who slept with his food to the best big brother to the littles.  He loves the job of being big brother.  We recently nicknamed him “Minion Squad Leader”.   He LOVES this title.

    Ben 19

    He loves cars and puzzles.

    He loves video games especially Mario Cart.

    He has grown so much since we brought him home and especially since his surgery.

    Ben Before & After

    He has a great sense of style and loves bow ties.


    He has the greatest giggle.

    He loves to run now. He used to only be able to run around the couch and then he would have to rest.  Now you can’t stop him.

    Ben & crew

    Ben reminds us to enjoy life and to take nothing for granted.   He reminds us that it isn’t how many days we are allowed to have, it’s what we do with those days.

    That’s a pretty successful life for a 7 year old.

    Happy birthday to the best Minion Squad Leader around!