The Love Of Five Thousand People
Kim was only six weeks old when she was matched to us through Holt's Korea program. Eric was the one who received the exciting phone call. He called me and in disbelief relayed all the details of our precious new daughter. When we viewed her picture that night, it was love at first sight.Seeing our daughter's picture and was a lot like having an ultrasound done with our bio kids. We suddenly knew we had a daughter and we had a picture to copy a thousand times to send to the world.
The long wait for paperwork to be completed began. Two governments can take an incredibly long time to process paperwork. We were told it would be about three months until we travelled but the months wore on and on and inexplicably, our wait continued. We began to get discouraged as other families came home with their babies, matched at the same time as Kim.
One Sunday morning I was especially discouraged and didn't even want to go to church to face the friends who would inevitably ask me why it was taking so long. For some inspiration I randomly opened my Bible to the book of John, Chapter 6, "The Feeding of The Five Thousand". Truthfully, I didn't find it particularly uplifting but I continued on to church.
Imagine my surprise when our priest began his sermon on the exact same verse! He had a different twist though, his message was this: When we are in a difficult circumstance and things seem impossible, God will surround us with five thousand people who love us and will help us and miracles will happen.
The very next day we had a disturbing phone call from our social worker. Kim might have craniosynestosis--premature closing of the skull bones, requiring neurosurgery. We had our pediatrician review the information faxed from Korea and she concurred the probability.
To complicate matters, Kim's development seemed to have stopped. Suddenly, we had to evaluate the fact that our baby might much more going on that just cleft lip and palate. She might have some big challenges. BIG! She might have a disorder in which she would be developmentally delayed requiring on-going care her entire life.
We were asked a most horrible question. Did we still want to adopt her?
I felt like I was being asked to have an abortion! How could we not go and get our precious baby whom we had loved from afar for months! If I was giving birth to her I knew I would never terminate for any reason, we would just love her and deal with her exceptionality. And yet, could we choose to bring home a child with such severe problems given the fact that we already had four other children?
We were in a difficult position. While we could request more medical tests to get more information, that would take time. If she needed neurosurgery, time was something we did not have. Since she had suddenly been noted to have a crossed eye we could only assume there was pressure building in her skull.
After two days of sleepless nights and nightmarish days we finally asked our kids their opinions. They would be very affected by a sister with severe special needs. Was it fair to them? We told our kids Kim might be disabled to the point she would never walk.
I'll never forget my son Joe's response, eleven years old at the time. He solemnly looked at us and said, "I'll push her wheelchair."
The other kids eagerly agreed. Still, we knew they couldn't completely understand the ramifications involved. But God understood. God kept being a still soft voice that reminded us over and over again, "Remember John 6:1-15."
We came to the answer we knew all along. She was already our daughter. We were prepared for the worst, but hoped for the best. Five days later we were on a plane to Seoul.
It wasn't the exciting trip we had dreamed about. We were filled with fear and trepidation, but hung on to Father M's message. Kim would be surrounded by five thousand people who would love and care for her. We were not in this alone.
The next day we went to see her, sure we would be faced with a child showing severe medical issues. Instead we were met with a bouncing, smiling sweetheart! Though she did appear to have some possible delays, she was doing better than we ever dreamed!
Three days later we flew home and she was awake and content the entire 20 hour trip. Instead of being relieved I was certain this proved she had brain damage. No baby could possibly be that happy!
We took her to our doctor the very next morning expecting to be told she needed surgery ASAP. Instead, we were told our daughter was perfect! Apparently, she just had premature closing of the soft spot. The head measurements had been marred in the fax and were different than we thought, the crossed eye was now normal and her development was only slightly delayed. Suddenly, her cleft seemed minor!
We went home and sobbed with both gratefulness in having her healthy and home but also with guilt and grief that she nearly didn't come home at all. I'm so glad I went to church that day!
Although Kim did not have craniosynestosis or a medical disorder, her clefts and speech issues have been more involved than we expected. She has undergone more surgeries and speech therapy sessions than I ever thought possible! She only communicated with sign language her first three years but as you know, Kim can now T-A-L-K (sometimes too much)!
Through it all, God has kept his promise. Kim has been surrounded by five thousand people who have loved and cared for her. She has had a multitude of relatives, friends, doctors, specialists and teachers who have helped her through everything and miracles have occured.
THANKS FOR BEING ONE OF THE FIVE THOUSAND!
Here's our sweet Kim with her Papa, one of the members of her 'Fan Club 5,000'. Kim is such an awesome kid! I can't imagine our lives without her. Thank you God for this precious gift!