Bone Marrow Business and Biblical Blues

I got a call from the adoption physician this morning saying she had talked briefly with hematology/oncology (blood disorders and cancers) about Addie’s enlarged bone marrow. Though she didn’t have an answer from them, they recommended calling me and getting me in for an appointment, as soon as possible. So she wanted to schedule me for this coming Monday at 9:00 a.m. to discuss, well, she wasn’t sure, but she would call me later this afternoon.

Thanks a lot. Did I mention that I have to lecture today and it’s really hard to concentrate when the doctor is telling you that the cancer department is telling her that we need to come in as soon as possible to discuss results in person?

So after class today, the adoption physician called us back and said basically, they don’t know what’s going on, and they’re not sure if there’s anything to worry about or not. Her blood cell counts are normal, or were a month ago, but they want to recheck those and do a modified skeletal survey, which basically means lots of x-rays checking to see if this is an isolated finding, or widespread throughout her body. They’re not sure exactly what they are looking for, but they are looking.

We talked for a long time about how to know when to stop testing something when we don’t know what the abnormal result means. It’s a careful balance of not wanting to let something dangerous go unchecked and overtesting a variation of normal. She made an off-handed remark about people wanting full-body CT scans, but you typically find lots of little variations of normal and you’re never quite sure what you can overlook versus what needs attention. I said, “Well, actually, after yesterday’s tests, we’ve now made our $5000 deductible, so I figure, why not?” They are doing so many x-rays, which are not going to get to the bottom of her developmental delay, that why don’t we go ahead and do an all over scan because it seems like we’re eventually going to get there anyway. In the last month, we’ve done stool studies, blood work, chest x-rays, wrist x-rays, echocardiogram, audiogram, why not just shoot for the moon and finish it off? We have two more months left in the year, why not?

So she agreed that we would be aggressive with the medical mystery of Addie Rose until December 31, when our deductible resets, and then we’ll see where we are.

Basically, Addie’s bone marrow could be a sign of something ominous, or it could be nothing.

Now, the best news in all of this. The people who have the appointment after us at the International Adoption Clinic? Our friends that we traveled to and from the Congo with!! Woohooo! We’ll get to have a little reunion!

So where are Ken and I in all of this?

We do not think it was a mistake that we adopted these kids. Adoption is about God choosing our children rather than creating our own, and God does not make mistakes. We are upset at our agency for deceiving us because we were not prepared for kids their age and their developmental ability. They aren’t who we expected, but that doesn’t mean we have a single regret or love them any less. We’re just adjusting to new expectations and plans for their future — school, therapy, church, etc. Planning for a 6 and 8-year-old is very different than planning for a 4 and 5-year-old. It’s not bad, it’s just different.

There are aspects that make us sad, just as any biological parent would be sad if they discovered that their normal 4-year-old overnight became 3 years developmentally delayed. Do we love her any less? Of course not. But it’s still a loss for her, and for us. And it’s okay to mourn brokenness, I promise. It is not unBiblical, nor does it demonstrate a lack of faith, or a deficiency of trust in God’s plan. Similarly, I’m sad that I missed all of Palmer’s snuggle-with-his-mommy years. I get 3 fewer years to spend with him before he leaves home. I hit the teenage years really soon, and I won’t have 12 years of trust built up with him.  How would you feel if you went to sleep tonight and woke up to find that 3 years had passed while you slept? It would be okay to mourn those lost years, I promise. It is not unBiblical, nor does it demonstrate a lack of faith, or a deficiency of trust in God’s plan.

In fact, Matthew 5 in The Message says:

 You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

Those who go through difficult times are uniquely blessed in that they get to experience God in ways that they never would if life was normal. And we are. God’s grace is more than sufficient. We have not had a single regret about our kids’ adoption, nor in our God. We have not lost our hope, or our joy, or our dependence on God to accomplish whatever He deems to be the best plan for our lives.

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4 thoughts on “Bone Marrow Business and Biblical Blues

  1. Amen! I feel like I’ve been to church! I feel so encouraged after reading your posts. God is definitely working in your lives! Thank you for sharing your story! God knew what he was doing when he picked you to be their parents! I’m still praying for your loss, but be encouraged! You are doing exactly what God wants you to do for these kids! 🙂

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