Tonight, when I could be sleeping, I sit here at my computer with tears running down my face. The house is quiet. I hear the breathing of many little souls coming from the other room. I am blessed. I am comforted that I got these children home, but the truth is there are many, many children who are alone right now through no fault of their own.
Children die every day, all around the world, for every conceivable reason. They are abducted, they are casualties of war, they die of starvation, they die at the hands of their parents, they die from unclean water, they die from mosquito bites, and they die alone in orphanages. How can we just go on living like nothing is happening? How can we not be moved when a life is ended much too soon? Is it such an overwhelming problem that we believe there is nothing we can do? Is it because it isn’t right there in front of us, that we are allowed to pretend it isn’t happening? I know if a child was standing in front of a runaway car, you’d try to save them. So why are so many young lives being lost and we just go about our days? A life lost, much too soon, should always be mourned, and we should be left wondering if there was something more that we could have done.
I cried tears when I saw Susanna’s face. Her story touched my heart because I have a son with hydrocephalus. It’s not something I have to google to try to understand. I get it! I understand what it takes to treat a child with hydrocephalus. I understand the infections, the hospital stays, the shunts, the frustration. I understand the pain and the headaches. But look at that picture, look at her face. She is giggling. She is happy and all she wanted was a family. She spent six years lying in a crib. Six years…..2,190 days and yet she smiles.
I have spent this past year praising God for all He has done to make our adoptions come together. I still give God all the praise, but it is hard for me when I watch these parents who want the same thing we wanted. They wanted to bring this child home, to help them, to love them for as long as they were given the gift. So why weren’t their prayers answered? Why didn’t Susanna get to come home? Why did God choose to call her home to Him first? What will her story change? Who will be moved because of Susanna’s life? Her life was not in vain. Her life has worth. I believe this with my whole being.
After Kyle died, people said all sorts of things to me. “Maybe God knew you couldn’t handle both of them being sick at the same time.” “It’s better that he died with all his special needs.” At the same time I was grieving, wonderful things happened for others. They talked about praying and having their prayers answered. I wondered “Weren’t my prayers good enough?” “Did I somehow offend God?” “Am I really not as faithful or as good a Christian as I thought I was?” “Why didn’t God answer my prayers?”
Twenty-six years later, I can see a smattering of the ways Kyle changed our lives. I can see how Kyle’s life changed Dan and made him a better doctor. I know for a fact that Kyle’s death lead us to the seven little ones that we adopted. I know for a fact that Kyle’s death took away my fear of dying and made me want to live a life of purpose. He lived a mere five days and accomplished that.
When I look at this situation, with my limited understanding, I just don’t get it. I don’t understand. I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around it all. I don’t understand why babies die in utero. I don’t understand why people who could care less if they have a child, have a healthy one and others who want nothing more than to have a child, can’t. I don’t understand why babies get sick. I don’t understand why any of this is allowed to happen.
I could go into the whole fallen world issue. I know that man has free will and we chose what we do. I know on the other side of it, God placed us here to do His work. I know that there are many reasons why things happen and I can’t possible see the ramifications of them all. I know that all things work together for good. I know God’s plan is perfect and He is a just God. I know that someday I will see all the threads of these children’s tapestries and will be absolutely amazed by the lives that they have touched.
But that doesn’t end the pain for the mamas that I know who have lost their babies this past week. It doesn’t take away from the pain that the William’s family is feeling because they never got a chance to bring Susanna home. Believe me when you proceed with the adoption of a child God has called you to, that IS your child. You would do anything you could for that child. And tonight because of bureaucracy and paperwork, they ran out of time and weren’t allowed the most precious gift of being able to bring her home.
Susanna is in her eternal home now and she knows how much she was loved. She knows how hard they fought for her. She knows how many prayers were said by others on her behalf. She sees what her life has done. She is blessed and she is well and she is home!
But the Williams’ will still be grieving the loss of dreams. Please cover them and other families who have lost a child with your prayers. I hope Susanna’s life makes you pay attention to what is going on around you. I hope that it makes you want to step up and do whatever you can do to help others adopt. Encourage, support, uplift others. You don’t have to adopt to make a difference. There are so many ways to help. You can buy a mosquito net through World Vision, support a group that is fighting sex trafficking, have your church dig a well, fed a family in your neighborhood. Step up. Do something. Remember Susanna and do something in her honor. Share her story and the other children’s stories just like her who are waiting. They deserve a family. They have worth and they have weight in this world. You can make a difference for one. Be that difference!