Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Our Shining Light: Part 1

There was also something else on my mind all those days at the hospital.  Vu.

We had started our adoption journey after Joe had been declared cancer-free in the fall of 2006.  Adoption was something we had considered off and on for years.  Truthfully, it was me doing most (all?) of the praying, because I was so sure someone was still missing from our family.  After Joe was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in April 2006 he was given a 95% chance of being cured. After his chemo and radiation treatments, and eventual clean bill of health, Hubby and I both counted our blessings and felt excited to go ahead and add #8 to the family.  We applied to Holt in the fall of 2006; this time we would go to Vietnam as their program had recently reopened.  We wanted to add a child about Patrick's age to our family.  And the long wait began.  Thus began months of imagining our future child in our family.  Joe was especially excited to be a big brother again.  Joe lived a few hours away with his then girlfriend.  They soon married, right about the time Joe was rediagnosed with cancer.  This time he would need a stem cell transplant.

Over the course of the next several months we would have many conversations and prayers about continuing with our adoption.  I mean, really?  Why would we continue on?  And yet, we always ended in the answer of, "Keep going."  Sadly, we didn't see Joe as often as we would have liked (the destructive relationship/control issues with Joe's wife were alive and well!), but Joe was absolute in his encouragement to continue with our adoption plans.  He assured us he would beat cancer, just like the last time, and the odds were on his side. Our other children encouraged us.  Our siblings encouraged us.  And truthfully, Hubby encouraged me, because I was the only one who was really questioning.  Our social worker said that she trusted us in making the decision.

Call us crazy, but we continued on, and long story short we were soon thereafter matched with our beautiful Vu!  Oh how much love and hope he brought to our family in a difficult time.  We began the long wait to complete paperwork and bring him home from Vietnam.  He was a shining light from the very beginning!


One of our first photos of Vu

When we got the call in the middle of the night about Joe, we were getting closer to our time of travel for Vu.  We had already sent Vu gifts and his family photo album, and in our hearts he was already our son.  He had been waiting five years for a family and he knew we were coming.  His paperwork said, "He is ready for departure."  But as Joe continued to decline I wondered if our adoption agency would still allow us to continue to bring Vu home, given the grief that was about to be endured . . . it looked like we were going to lose one son.  Were we also going to lose two?  

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