Monday, November 15, 2010

Walking through our loss

The past three weeks have been terribly difficult for James and me.  In early September, we received a referral for a six month old girl in Ethiopia.  I'm going to refer to her here as baby D.  We accepted the referral, knowing that she needed some special care, namely that she needed good nutrition and medication to recover from an infection.  We waited for 7 and a half long weeks before we got any more news about how she was doing.  News finally came on 10/27, and it was not good.  Her condition had deteriorated.  We consulted with our pediatrician the next day, and then sent a list of questions regarding baby D's health to our social worker.  Then we waited for more news.  We booked our tickets for our court trip during this time.  Another update came on 11/5.  The news was even worse this time.  We had lots of questions, and we were able to get some answers after talking with our social worker and two other representatives from our agency last week.  Our next step was another consultation with our pediatrician.  It seems that baby D was misdiagnosed.  She was given antibiotics, but it was the wrong medication for the wrong disease.  She became very sick, and even if she does recover she will likely have long term needs that we are not ready for.  There is much more to this story, but I'm not willing to share all of the details publicly.  Our agency is not to blame for baby D's worsening condition.  They have done what they can to advocate for this child, and they have had some success in the past week or so in getting her what she is in need of.  They have even tried to get her admitted to a hospital, but she has been turned away from four different hospitals.  This is a highly unusual situation.  Ethiopian orphanages typically provide very good care for the children.  It is very rare for a child to get sicker while in an orphanage - our pediatrician even confirmed that.

We were left with a terrible decision to make.  Do we continue with baby D or not?

Last Sunday we went to church with heavy hearts.  I wanted to find where God was in all of this.  When we got matched with this little girl in September, we knew that she needed care. So, we have been praying that God would be the Father to the fatherless and her Great Physician.  I felt like those prayers had fallen on deaf ears.  Where was He?  The songs that our worship pastor led us in last Sunday were songs about God's sovereignty and His vast love.  We both found it difficult to sing those songs.  We prayed with two of our pastors after the service.  I had to let James talk.  All I could do was stand there and cry for most of the time.

We've realized that baby D was God's child before she was any one else's.  If He is ready to have her home with Him, than so be it.  The arms of Christ are far better than our arms.  After a whole lot of praying and discussion, we have decided not to continue our adoption of this child.  We have taken this decision very seriously, and we are in full agreement with each other in this decision.  We pray that she will recover, but if we doesn't we hope that she sees just how many people loved her in a country across the sea from her birthplace.  This has been so hard.

What's next for us?  Well, we are back at the top of the waiting list.  We hope to get matched with another child by the end of the year.  We are still going to use the same name that we had chosen.  Baby D is not our Samantha.  We are so thankful for the many people who have prayed us through these difficult days.


  1. Oh, Stephanie my heart is breaking for you! I can't even imagine how hard this must all be for you. We will be praying for you, James, Baby D, and Samantha. Please know that I am here if you ever want to talk. Praying for peace for you and James. Much Love,

  2. I will be praying for baby D!! I know that had to be a hard decision-I can't imagine the hurt you have- but God's plans are bigger than ours!! I will pray that you all will have peace!