Sometimes the Answer is No.
Over the last 5 days, our lives have been in a whirlwind. An unexpected situation arose concerning a very special baby who has some pretty intensive medical needs. We saw pictures of this baby and watched videos of them laughing and smiling. We instantly fell in love with that little laugh and that precious smile. Their chubby cheeks were perfectly pinch-able and I felt a longing in my heart to rescue and love this little baby who hasn’t really had a fair shake at life.
When I think about this situation with my heart, it’s overwhelming. For the baby’s privacy, I can’t share any details regarding the situation. I know that I could fight for this child. I have no doubt that this child would have a family who loved them unconditionally. When I think about this child with my heart, I consider the fact that I would be a mother and celebrate my first mother’s day in a few short weeks. I think about cuddling this baby and falling asleep, and seeing Ryan love on this baby and embrace the daddy role that I know he will just effortlessly fall in love with. My heart wants to say yes. My heart wants to save and rescue. My heart wants to love. My heart longs to love on our baby.
When I think about this situation with my brain, it’s overwhelming. Ryan and I both have to work in order to make ends meet and provide for our family both now and in the future. Unfortunately we aren’t independently wealthy, nor are we called to be doctors or investment bankers or some other career that would provide enough money for us to have a stay at home parent. I love working in human services, but trust me there isn’t big money here. Ryan loves barbering and he is awesome at it! Again, a great career, but haircuts don’t bring in millions either. We’re happy with our careers and we’re comfortable with the freedom that our jobs give us. But my brain tells me that if we consider loving this child that one of us needs to stay home full-time. One of us needs to be able to advocate for the needs of this child and make sure they are receiving the therapies and early interventions so that they can reach their full potential.
In this particular case, it’s impossible to tell us what “full potential” would be. This baby could already be meeting all of the milestones that they will meet for a lifetime, or they could surpass every expectation and lead a fairly typical life with proper intervention. They will face surgeries and a lifetime of medical professionals. Even still, my heart longs to love this baby that nobody else seems to want to love.
When we have prayed about this situation, and let me tell you guys, we have prayed, my heart feels overwhelmed. We have cried out to God in a big way to give us an answer. My heart prayed for a miracle for this baby W, for a sign that we could do the impossible and that this baby would have some sort of miraculous recovery. But, sometimes the answer is “no”. We really feel like we have gotten the confirmation we need to say with confidence that this isn’t our baby. It’s probably the hardest no we’ve ever had to say. I’ve cried and doubted and cried even more. But, underneath of this fresh layer of grief , there is a peace that surpasses understanding and a continued hope that our story isn’t over yet.
I’ll be honest. I’m wrestling with feelings of selfishness and self-doubt. I feel horrible that we are yet another family who says no to a baby that God loves just as much as any “typical” baby. My heart is broken, but I know that it will heal. I know that there has to be another family out there for this baby who can give them everything they need. As much as I want to be that family, we just aren’t. We could choose to say yes, but it would be for all of the wrong reasons. This baby deserves a yes from someone who can give them the world.
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned from this process is that we are now at the point in this journey where things can move very, very quickly. Things can happen unexpectedly and a situation that screams “YES!” in our hearts could fall into our laps just as easily as this “no” situation. We want to be ready. At times through the decision process, we would panic because we really have NOTHING other than a crib, a car seat, a blanket and a few (like 3) outfits that we have seen along the way and couldn’t say no to. We didn’t know how we would possibly get everything done in time to travel early next week to meet this baby and bring them home. The items we do have are tucked neatly in a closet…waiting. I wonder if it’s time for us to start picking up a few more items here and there that we’ll have just in case a whirlwind “yes” comes waltzing into our lives without warning.
It’s also lit a fire under me to finish meeting our financial goals. I don’t think it’s any secret that money is my biggest fear and my biggest wrestle with faith in this process. I hope and pray that we don’t pester our friends and family for help. That’s certainly not our intention. However, we can’t make this happen on our own. We are over
½ way to our final goal. We know that with hard work, prayer, and determination we can meet the rest of our goal in the next few months. I’m not sure my heart could handle saying “no” when it was screaming YES because we didn’t have the money we needed to make it happen. Saying “no” when you feel like no is the right answer is painful enough.
So, that’s where we are today. We’re broken, but not broken beyond repair. We know that this is all a part of God’s master plan and that His story is being written into our lives. More importantly, His story is being written into the life of a child that we love with all of our hearts and haven’t even met.