What’s In A Name?
As an occupational therapist, I spend a lot of time teaching compensatory, or adaptive, techniques. It is a way of showing a patient how to accomplish a task that may be different than the way they have done it in the past or different than another person would do it. When they have a goal and ask me if I think they can get back to doing a certain task, my mind doesn’t really debate whether they can do it, but how they will be able to do it.
Before we knew about Jian, we had begun building our house, which has a flight of stairs going to the second level and another flight going down to the basement. Someone asked if Jian would be able to navigate the stairs. My immediate response was, “Yes. She will be able to go up and down the stairs. It may not look like the way we do it. She may scoot up and down on her bottom. But there will be a way that she can do it.”
In the process of adoption, many families fill out a form with the adoption agency helping to identify criteria and to match a child with their family. This includes considering numerous medical diagnoses. One diagnosis that I have always shied away from was congenital heart defect. I have witnessed the heartache that other families have experienced when their little one did not receive treatment in time, and it is nothing anyone would wish upon themselves or their family. However, saying “yes” to a child with this diagnosis was never a question of if our family could care for the child, rather, what sacrifices would it require of us, and were we willing to make those sacrifices.
When the Lord has a plan and confirms it so strongly, there really isn’t much debating, though. There is processing and wrestling and grieving, but at the end of the day, if He has chosen a child for us, she is our child, no matter what. To me, it is no different than if she were growing inside my womb and a serious medical condition were discovered. She is ours, and we will love her no matter what.
About a month after meeting our sweet girl, we were devastated to learn that she suffers from a complex heart defect for which there is no cure. My head has been swimming for 6 months as I have fought and clawed and researched and discussed what this means for her and for us. We have had many candid conversations with other adoptive moms who have walked a similar journey and with the top experts in this field in different parts of the country. Scary words were used such as “life expectancy” and “transplant.” It felt as though someone had physically knocked the breath out of me.
But at the end of the day, one thing remained. There is a precious 7 year old girl waiting in an orphanage on the other side of the world to come home and be loved by her family. And that family is us. We don’t know how many years she will be with us, but isn’t that true for every human being?
“You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” James 4:14
Our daughter has a beautiful Chinese name that is difficult for us to pronounce. We will use that name as long as she desires, but we were also thinking of an American name for her. There was only one that seemed fitting.
I know for sure that the Lord has big plans for our girl. He brought her all the way across the world to this camp in order to find her family. The fact that her heart survived the plane ride is a miracle in itself. We have seen first-hand some of the mighty things that He can do. And we are honored to be His vessels on this journey.
“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20