I’m in love!
Seriously! So deeply in love with this little treasure who lies beside me in her bed. She’s snuggled up, warm and cozy, sucking on her hand and receiving awesome nutrition via her NG tube.
For the moment, she’s content.
Her world is beginning to look so much lovelier, so much healthier than it did just two weeks ago.
And we could not be more thankful!
So much has been happening here at the hospital over the last few days. It’s been busy, to say the least.
Every day a few more details unfold. Most of the news is obviously not what we wanted to hear. Hasya has a very long journey regarding her health. But, there have been some glimmers of good news too.
Like the fact that her feeds are slowly but surely increasing—and she is tolerating nutrition very well. Hallelujah!
And the fact that she has gained some weight since being in the hospital. We are told that since she was so desperately dehydrated, most of the weight gain at this stage is probably water, but we’ll take it.
And we have also been told that all of her internal organs look great—incredible, considering the profound neglect her body has endured for so many years. Miraculous!
Also, her blood work is looking so much better. Hydration and nutrition alone have brought many levels to a healthy balance. She is now on supplements to help raise vitamin levels which were very low.
We’ll take that too!
Oh, and for the past 48 hours her blood pressure has been normal and there have been no fevers either. Awesome!
And she is tolerating sitting in a wheelchair a little more each and every day.
We rejoice over every bit of good news.
And then there have been the harder things to hear. Most of them, of course, could have been a totally different picture had Hasya been born into a situation where she could have been cared for from birth.
Sadly, her bones are in bad shape. Lack of movement and inadequate hydration and nutrition have taken their toll on her tiny body. A detailed bone scan showed her bone growth at the level of a tiny toddler. They were also able to give us her rough projected maximum growth potential (I have no idea how they can do that!). From all their estimates and figuring, doctors don’t think Hasya’s body will ever grow beyond the size of a six year old. That’s hard to hear.
But at the same time, we trust in the Great Physician–a God in heaven who is exceedingly, abundantly able to do far more than we could ever hope or anticipate. We are listening carefully and heeding all the advice we have been given. But ultimately we trust that God knows what’s best for Hasya—whether she remain small or defy all medical logic and go on to grow normally. We don’t know.
But He does.
And that is good enough for us.
Which brings me to something else I have been thinking about a lot.
Some have asked if Anthony and I are dealing with feelings of anger over Hasya’s condition and the difficult journey which now lies ahead as we work to get her as healthy as she can possibly be. Are we mad at the people who did this to her (and to Kael, too, who is walking his own road to healing)?
I think we learned so much through Hailee’s adoption. Hailee was adopted out of a laying room in Ukraine.She too was confined to a crib and spent her days chewing on her fingers, rocking back and forth, and banging her head on the bars of the crib. Hailee was drugged with an adult tranquilizing drug which pretty much made her sleep all day. Unfathomable!
When we brought Hailee home, we experienced every emotion in the book.
We looked at that malnourished little being and our hearts could not fathom how any human could treat a child in that way. Her condition was so hard to wrap our human hearts around.
God has taught us much since those days.
Do we still feel moments of anger when Hasya is struggling, or when we get yet another prognosis that is less than favorable?
Of course! We are human. We would do anything to turn back the hands of time and to ensure that Hasya would receive better care from Day One.
But for the most part, we get it. We understand that we live in a fallen world where sin abounds. We get it that in many nations, children who are born with special needs will not have much worth or value.We understand that we’re dealing with cultures and societies which don’t grasp God’s amazing love for ALL children. We are fully aware that we’re dealing with many complex issues which, very sadly, all contribute to a massive humanitarian crisis that millions of orphans on the planet face every moment of every day.
Do all of those things make it acceptable to treat children in this way? Is it an excuse?
I have to remind myself constantly of a truth the Lord began to speak to my heart (for the umpteenth time!) last August when I visited Hasya in her orphanage for the first time…
As God’s people we are called to extend much grace, much love…
Even when all we feel like doing is lashing out and setting them straight.
Even when anger rises up in our hearts at the unfairness and injustice of it all.
That same grace that has been so freely given to us…in all our own filth and sin.
We are required to pour it out to others.
Because grace and forgiveness are meant to be given away.
Even to those who have done such devastating damage to our sweet, sweet daughter and our endearing new son.
You see, I have learned something through my Hailee’s (and countless other children who I have seen come home over the years) life over the past two and a half years.
God’s glory shines brightly through these children!
He takes these precious, wounded, broken little beings and from the moment they are in families…He begins to breathe new life in them.
Glorious life…and hope.
It’s amazing to me how the Father uses their brokenness for His glory! How He takes what the enemy intended for harm, and He shines His light into the situation…
And there is healing and wholeness!
They become “New creations in Christ. The old has gone and the new has come.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17
The only thing He asks of us, as their new parents and believers of His Word, is to love…unconditionally, freely, without reservation or holding back…
…even the ones who have inflicted such harm.
“Love your neighbor as yourself,” we are commanded to do.
When those negative feelings want to rise up in my own heart (and they absolutely do!), I am quickly reminded of the words of Jesus when, in His darkest hour, cried out to His Father in heaven, “Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
Forgive them, Lord.
For they truly know not what they do to these precious children who are Yours.
As for me, well, I’ll continue to pray for biological parents who feel the need to abandon their children and for orphanage workers who are meant to care for precious angels around the globe.
And I’ll continue to beg the Lord to intervene and to raise up Godly families who will go and missionaries who will be sent out to places in desperate need. Because the truth is that those of the world are not called to care for orphans.Nor are governments.God never commissioned those who do not walk in His ways.
He set us–His glorious body–apart and commanded us to care for the widow and the orphan in their distress. It’s not a “calling” for the chosen few–it’s a requirement for all believers (orphan care in its various forms, not just adoption!).
Perhaps tomorrow, like today, Hasya will convulse in tears once again because her limbs hurt from stiffness. Or perhaps her tiny little foot will begin to tremor because we have moved her just a little too quickly, and that hurts too. And I will once again look into her big brown eyes and feel her pain which will break my own heart. Those old feelings will try to rise up once again where I will want to blame someone for this–for every injustice and every hurt inflicted upon this child.
And He will gently remind me for the millionth time that blaming never changed a thing, never helped a single soul.
That He is her Father, the one who redeems her.
And even now, He is writing her story…and it is beautiful.
The rest? I will do my best to leave that in his capable hands.
Some day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. But until that day comes…we have much work to do on the earth.