Saturday, June 30, 2012

I Have to Do This

For the last two months, we have been knee-deep in checking off items on our adoption agency's home study checklist.

By home study, we mean the first official stage of the adoption process involving a heap of paperwork required by both Georgia and the United States.

For those curious ones, here is a sample of our checklist:

*Autobiographies for Each Prospective Parent (four pages)                                       

            *Reading agreement (read 5 or more books about adoption)

 *Medical Reports for All Adults and Children Living in the Home (physicals, as well as, TB tests)

 *Residential History

 *Consent and Request for Criminal Background Check for Each Applicant and Adult in the Home (Both GBI and FBI fingerprinting done)

 *Child Abuse Clearances for Each Applicant and Adult in the Home

 *HIPPA Release Form for Sex Offender Registry


 *Birth Certificates for You and Your Children

 *Marriage Certificate

 *Most Recent Income Tax Return

 *Copy of health insurance card

 *Statement of Net Worth

 *Verification of Employment

 *Four Letters of Reference

 *Septic Tank Letter & Well Water Test (had to have our septic tank pumped)

Working down our list, my husband and I dutifully made appointments to have physicals done for our medical reports last month.  Following the routine checkup, each of us had to have a tuberculosis test as well. 

Our girls were in the room watching as the nurse inserted the small needle into each of our arms and then pulled it out.  They saw us grimace and they saw the little amount of blood on our skin afterwards.

Naturally, they asked, “Do we have to do that, too?”

Fast forward to this past week.  It was our daughters' turn.  Time for their scheduled doctor’s appointments.  

We told them they were getting a check-up (which they were). 
We told them it was for the adoption (which it was). 
We told them we had to do this so we could bring their new sister home from India (which we do).  
But we purposely failed to relay the whole truth to them beforehand.  The truth that both of them would also have to get a TB test, just like us.

As we patiently waited for the doctor to come in, our youngest just happened to ask, “Do we have to get a shot today?”

My response, “No…not a shot, really.”

“What then?” she rebounded.

“Just a little poke.  Nothing to it.”  I replied nonchalantly.

Now any parent who has or has ever had young children, especially those terrified of needles, can guess what happened next inside that quiet room.

Just as the doorknob turned and the nurses took a step inside, my youngest and normally bravest daughter, began wailing at the top of her lungs, “NO-O-O-O-O!!!  I don’t want to be poked!  I don’t want to!  I don’t want to I tell you!  I’m not doing it!  I’m not!  Do you hear me?!?”

My husband scooped her up and tried to console her.  We both tried to reason with our five year old and help her accept the facts.  She was going to be poked, whether she liked it or not.

In the midst of all the commotion, I looked over at my oldest still quietly sitting on the table.  She had her head down, arms out and ready, tears silently streaming down her cheeks.
As I made my way to her I knew exactly what she was feeling in her small eight year old body.  I remember all too well, wrestling with her at her toddler and preschool doctor appointments, holding her legs down so the nurses could give the necessary vaccinations. 

I knew what turmoil she and I have faced together because of her stark, intense fear of pain (see previous post here.)  So my mother’s heart knew just how difficult it was for her to say these words when she looked up at me through her tears.

 “I want to get Pearl, Mommy.  So…I have to do this.”

I have to confess I have had many, many proud moments as a mother.  But few can compare to hearing my daughter say what she said, at the moment she said it.

She got it. 

Despite the momentary pain and the minor wound it would cause her, she would do it for someone else.  Someone she has yet to meet.  Someone she already loves.

And then I got it. 

We have One who did the same exact thing for us.  One who would have rather avoided the pain, the wounds, the blood. 

But through tears, He looked up at His Father and said,

"I want them to be free.  I want them to be with me. 
I want them in my family.  So...I have to do this."

And He did.  He carried our sorrows.  He endured the suffering.  He was pierced for our transgressions.  And by His wounds we are healed.

Throughout every stage of this adoption journey I see the gospel more clearly than I ever have in my life.  This journey will require sacrifice and suffering.  Not just for us, but for the daughter we've yet to meet.

"But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, 
this is commendable before God." 1 Peter 2:20b

Thankful for the reminder, I tell myself, no matter how painful, no matter how difficult the task, "I have to do this."


  1. Tears.

    What a beautiful, beautiful picture of what Christ did for us. I am sure this post was indeed a hard one to type through your own tears! Just beautiful.

    1. Thank you Kimberly. Your sweet words mean so much!

  2. Brought me to tears too! What an awesome God we have to not only bring home a truth in your heart/mind, but to give your sweet angel the strength and courage to step forward in LOVE for someone that is only a hope right now. I pray that God will continue to bless your journey in this adoption process & that this will be an absolute God changing endeavor for you, your family, and sweet Pearl!

    1. Amen, Julie! Thank you for your prayers!

  3. Tears over here, too. This is precious. Love you friend

    1. Thank you for your sweet support, Mary. Love you, too, friend!

  4. Oh wow, what a very moving and touching post. I've missed you my friend!


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