Three years ago, my husband and I stood in front of the orphanage in Beijing, China, and promised we'd be back. We knew it was full of children who were dying, who went to bed hungry every night, and cried for someone, anyone to love them.
We'd always wanted four. It seemed logical: two boys and two girls. Everyone would have a best-friend for life. And the Princess would know the bond of a sister from her birth country.
It sounded beautiful. And we honestly thought that was where God was leading us. He had given us Evie. He had shown us over and over that Evie was our daughter. We had prayed for months, "Bring her home. Bring her home. Bring her home."
And then we landed in Chicago. And discovered the Princess' undisclosed special need-- developmental delays. Not only did she have tetrology of fallot and cleft lip and palate, but she could hardly sit, stand, walk, talk, chew, turn the pages of a book. She was completely and utterly shutdown.
We saw hints of this in China. But we assumed she would wake up and start acting like a two year old. But she never did.
So my new life--the one with only 3 three kids--consisted of juggling them so we could go to PT, OT, developmental therapy, and speech multiple times a week. Plus, all her other doctor visits.
I was exhausted. And that fourth child seemed further and further away. And the guilt of ignoring my two homegrown kids weighed heavily on me.
As time passed, I got into the rhythm of my new normal. And now three years later, things seem almost under control.
But, still, we won't be adopting again.
The Princess needs too much. She is too traumatized, too emotionally fragile, too needy. The honest, bitter truth is another special needs adoption would take too much of my time away from her. There is only so much of me to go around.
We've prayed about this. We've agonized about this. Because we know there are kids who need parents who love them. We know there are kids going to bed tonight with empty bellies, who are cold, alone, and afraid. We know, because that was Evie three short years ago. She was starving--not only for nourishment, but for human touch.
We aren't done with adoption. We just aren't adopting.
So now we are praying, "Use us. Use us. Use us."
And I wonder, how God will use us to care for the orphaned.