Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Our Journey to Wren-Part I

Before I begin telling about our journey to Wren, I'd like to ask for prayer.  There is a possibility that we will be able to travel to China in mid November.  In order for this to happen many, many things need to fall into place.  In the past 5 days, we have frantically gathered the documents we need and as of this morning they are headed to Regina and then to our agency.  Whew!  The item of most concern is completing Part 1 of our immigration application.  Immigration has all the documents they need.  It's simply a matter of them getting to our application.  They are currently running behind on their work load.  Yesterday we contacted a local MP, who was absolutely wonderful and helpful.  However, there is only so much he can do.  He has contacted immigration, but it can take up to 10 days for him to hear back from them.  Please pray that immigration gets to our paperwork sooner than that, and that it gets completed within a few days.
We know this is ALL in God's hands and that ultimately He WILL work all things out for good.  Our biggest concern is that Wren has spent the better part of her 11 years in an orphanage, without a family...and that's far too long!  We REALLY want her home ASAP!  Not only for us (cause we can't wait to have her home), but mostly for Wren.  We're hoping she can be home for her very first Christmas with us...her forever family!
And now, on to our journey to Wren.....

Our story to Wren begins a long time ago.  It goes back to the days of my early childhood, to when I was a little girl of 6-11 years old.  The story is fairly long, so I've decided to divide it up into several parts.
I grew up in a large family.  Not large as in what we think of large now a days...5+ kids.  Large as in HUGE!  I was the 9th child in a family of 13. 
One of my earliest memories is of my little sister Helen's birth.  I don't recall the actual day, but I remember bits and pieces of the days that followed.  I remember standing on my tippy toes, leaning against the doors to the ICU (at least I think that's what they were), to catch my first glimpse of my baby sister Helen.  I knew something wasn't as it should be, but I don't recall being very concerned.  From what I could see, she seemed pretty normal to me.  Other than the shaved hair on either side of her head, she looked completely healthy, with chubby cheeks and legs.


I remember a group of church ladies bringing a massive box of baked goods, cause they knew my Mom needed help.  I remember the box being almost as big as me, and drooling over all the goodies.
As the months and years ticked by, it became more evident that there was in fact something seriously "wrong" with Helen.  As she grew, she became thinner and her body became more rigid.  I soon learned to understand the word Cerebral Palsy.

What I didn't understand was the idea that something was "wrong" with my sister.  To me she seemed just perfect!  Sure she had to wear an oxygen mask several times a day, had to go through many exercises each day, had to be fed through a GI tube, could only swallow small portions of mushy food, couldn't talk, and couldn't walk.  But what she could do was smile...and communicate.  Somehow we managed to figure out what different expressions and spastic body movements meant.
I remember playing and daydreaming of someday having my own little girl just like Helen.  I remember wishing and praying I could be blessed with a sweet child with CP.
I remember playing with her, although not as wonderfully as my little sister Kathy.  She was seriously the "Helen whisperer".  There were far too many days that I grumbled about having to play with Helen, and there came a day that I regretted every single grumble!
I don't recall everything about that day.  I was only 11.  What I do remember was that it was a fall day, and for some reason I was holding Helen when she began to cry and in that crying she quit breathing.  I quickly handed her over to an older sister.  Parents were called. Family gathered round.  CPR began.  An ambulance was called.  The paramedics rushed in.  One paramedic thought he had found a pulse; and with that Helen was quickly rushed to the hospital. 
Helen was not resuscitated.  She passed away that day.
I grieved hard and long. 
But I also remember having an incredible joy and peace in knowing that our prayers for Helen; to be able to walk, run, and jump, had been answered!  I knew she was doing just that, as Jesus smiled down at her.  I could see her gorgeous smile, and that gave me peace.
I also remember being very angry.  Not angry that Helen had passed away.  But angry at the response from well meaning adults.
Many, many times I overheard the words, "It's for the best." or "She's better off now".
I remember thinking these adults were pretty stupid!  After all, if you believe in life after death, and you love Jesus...who wouldn't be better off dead and in heaven!!??!!
I remember crying myself to sleep, dreaming of  having my own little girl with CP.
Years later, as an adult, I realized that was a very silly dream to have.  After all, who in their right mind would wish to have a child with a disability?
Well, it turns out that God, in all His amazing wisdom and goodness, knew that someday my heart would need to be soft and open to this exact special need...Cerebral Palsy.  He knew that placing Helen into my family, into my life would do just that!
As you know, I am an advocate for orphan care, adoption, foster care, and anything related to caring for the less fortunate.  Sometimes it's difficult to not get frustrated in advocating.  So many people seem to be indifferent to the horrible conditions many kids live in.  Well, one day, as I was having a personal rant in my head, God quietly whispered.  He whispered this..."What are YOU doing for kids like your sister Helen?"  Long story short...I stopped looking at the shortcomings of others and began to look at myself!
And so began the slow, but gradual openness to once again wanting a child with a "disability".  Martin and I began talking about possibly adopting a child with CP, Spina Bifida, or something similar.  When we began this adoption process, it was without hesitation that we included the above special needs in our portfolio.
You see, a "disability" is only scary until you know the person with the "disability".
Cause when you love, you love the person and the "disability" is simply not that scary!


Chantel Klassen said...

I'm totally crying here Marie. I can't believe how behind I am on your blog. What a beautiful story. Who would have guessed that God was preparing your heart so long ago! <3

Jo's Corner said...

Helen was beautiful! And, you were such a proud Big Sister. I love the photo of you holding her on the sofa. Thank You, for sharing this crucial part /beginning of the journey to Wren. - Jo

Marie said...

Thanks Jo! She was beautiful and played such a huge role in where we are today!