In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chapter Goose

Jet lag seems to have the best of me in this early hour, so I thought I would attempt to bring my blog somewhat up to speed. What to say, is the big question? I guess I'll start from the beginning. I'll gloss over the actual getting to ET, with words like delays, sprinting, missed flights, more sprinting, missing luggage. I think you get the picture. Ok - that was easy. Onto the next chapter.

Chapter Goosey: The morning after we arrived we headed down to Awassa, which is about a 4 1/2 hour harrowing drive. The near misses would total about 42 going and about a 102 returning to Addis. We had an amazing driver and guide, but HOLY COW, my blood pressure is still trying to reach normal levels from that drive. Anyhooooo . . . . . . . I think I'm stalling, due to not knowing where to start with Goosey, but here I go.

We went to see the Goose that first day and I can without hesitation tell you that he is an easy baby to fall in love with. He has a smile that can melt steel. He is so interactive and loves to say "da da da da da," and when he gets excited he bobs his head up and down and up and down. However, even in the midst of the joy there was a monster growing wildly within. A big giant dose of FEAR! While Goosey has put on some much needed weight, his legs seemed utterly useless. Part of the time I was there I wanted nothing more to do than run away with him, and the other part of me, just wanted to simply run. How is someone supposed to handle this? Do we turn our backs on this baby we love and say, I'm not sure I can handle you? Or do we trust that God didn't give us Goosey for all these months and move forward, even with the uncertainty? I can safely say that I will never be awarded a Mother Theresa Award. I'm scared to death of disease, difficult health situations, not to mention the common cold. I'm only compassionate from afar in those situations, but I'm not eager to enter a life that could be consumed with doctors appointments and the like. So, I'd go back to the hotel and just cry. Cry from fear, cry from guilt of these terrible thoughts of giving up on the Goose, cry from the months of hardship the whole process has brought, cry from wondering where God is in Goosey's situation. You name it, I was crying about it. This isn't how it was supposed to look. But the story continues.

The first couple of times we went to see Goose, we were accompanied by the orphanage director. If we would at all try to stretch his legs or do anything to make him work, he would cry and they would take him away from us. It was hard to figure anything out with her there. On the third visit, we had a little time alone with him. So, we immediately went to work. I held Goosey's trunk, while Dave braced his legs on the ground. Low and behold, I slowly let go, and Goosey, held onto Dave's hair for support, and stood on his legs. I'm 100% sure, that it was the first time, he had ever really tried to use his legs. He wouldn't straighten up, but he did use his legs! Then Dave did a few more PT maneuvers on the Goose in between the manager checking in with us. After just a couple hours of trying to challenge the Goose, he seemed to really respond. Has this diminished my fear of something being terribly wrong with him? Of course, not. If you know me, then you know how I am about stuff like this. Has it diminished Dave's fear of something terribly wrong with him. Of course. Dave is convinced that it is just the effects of orphanage living. Goose has never been challenged to use his legs. He goes from the crib to someone's arms, to the bumbo we brought him in September, back to the crib. I'm not sure he knew he had legs before last week. I can say, it is a real possibility that orphanage living is to blame for his lack of leg mobility and I can say that he could be running and jumping, etc. . . in months after he gets home, but I also think there could be other reasons . . . hence the fear.

All of this could be a mute point, though, because Mowa still has not signed his paperwork. It is completed, his case has been fully investigated, it has been signed off by the person who has held it up for months, and now it has been sitting on the desk of the last person who needs to sign it. She doesn't even need to comb through the paperwork - all she needs to do is put her initials on it. Two letters, is what would decide if Goosey grew up in that orphanage and if he would grow up here. Although, who knows how long that orphanage can stay open. While we were there, we heard that Mowa threatened to close it down, because it couldn't pay the government. How screwed up is that? The government won't allow the orphanages to make money by allowing adoptions, but wants to close them down when they can't pay the government. There is no doubt in my mind that corruption is running deep in this. We stopped by the Mowa office there to try and meet up with the elusive non-signer. In the parking lot was a shiny new "funded by Unicef," car. To be honest, we didn't actually see it, but a representative from our agency was there at the same time and asked if we saw it. He actually did get to visit with one of the Mowa representatives, who was about 24, no kids, not married, never had heard of adoption before taking this post and was very defensive. When he asked if there is anything he could do to help them, she basically said, you can stop adopting our kids out of ET and set up sponsorships instead. That is totally fine. I get that. What I don't get, is why they will let hundreds of babies suffer in the meantime, while they don't have a sponsorship program set up. Blah, blah, blah, - I could go on forever. The point being, we have no idea if they will ever sign his paperwork.

I guess I should wrap this up, since it is turning into more of a book than a post. What I can say about the Goose, is that he is nothing short of one of the most amazing babies I've ever met. I'm scared to death to bring him home and I'm scared to death to leave him there. God only knows what is best for him, for me, for Spence, for Leah, for Meerof for Dave, etc. . . . In the early morning hours in Awassa, with pleas to God and streams of tears, God did not answer me with a nudge to bail quite yet, although I wanted to. What He kept impressing on me was "whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me." So, we continue to wait it out for now with a lot of prayer and a little bit of fear and trembling.


Emily said...

having done this 3 times- i can tell you to not be afraid about his legs. our ben came to us at 24 months of age-- but was developmentally a 4 months old.. the day we got him- i was terrified- we couldn't talk, couldn't walk, could eat solid foods- he literally had been locked in a closet due to his Hep B status. noah also came to us with severe physical and developmental delays. God does not give us a spirit of fear-- if he is meant to be yours- it will happen. trust Him to move mountains-- if they are meant to be moved. and don't be scared about any physical issues-- our first 3 kids are as healthy as anything-- but ben, noah and matthew have a slew of issues- requiring surgeries, weekly shots, and therapy- but through them- i have learned more about what real love is and how God loves us... congrats on your new daughter!

Nate Stratman said...

Hey it's kim....i can't imagine all you guys and goose are going through!!
I am proud of you for listening to the Lord and following him through all of this. Thanks for updating us so we can continue to pray.

sharon hoover said...

God's got a plan....I hate it when people tell me that, but the truth is, He does. If there is anything we can do to help with the UNICEF issue...write letters, whatever, please let us know. It is hard to be helpless, but I am sure that is just where you are supposed to be.

EJF said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. I thought of you when we sang this beautiful hymn this morning.

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to your God to order and provide;
in every change God faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul: your God will undertake
to guide the future, as in ages past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
the Christ who ruled them while he dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
when we shall be forever with the Lord,
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
sorrow for forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Teresa Kerrigan said...

Don't know if you remember me, but my maiden name was Edwards and we went to HS together and met at the IAN picnic last summer. Anyway, we brought home 2 sever special needed babies in September (and we have 3 kids 6, 5 and 3). The boy we adopted was 16 pounds at 2 and at 2 1/2 could still not even crawl and could barely sit up alone. We brought him home 1 month before he turned 3 and he could walk, but not well. He is now tiny still, but running, jumping.... I think there is a ton to be said for the lack of nourishment, lack of activity and the culture of carrying them everywhere! Keep your guard up, but also know that this is a very common problem that resolves very quickly with good care. The fact that he can bear weight is huge (that coming from the pediatric orthopedist we worked with when trying to decide to adopt our son last year when he was 2 1/2 and could not bear weight)! Good luck! Our thoughts and prayers are with you!,