I was reminded of a conversation with a dear friend last year. They were considering the referral of a little one from China and truly felt she was meant to be theirs. But in the course of having her medical info looked at, it was discovered she very likely had a medical condition that would take her life in a few short years. Could they? Should they? How would they survive the loss of a child? Yet how could they leave her in China to die without a family?
And was it fair to their other kids?
I had no answers. Who does? I listened. And we cried together. I shared the fears we experienced when adopting a child who we believed would have serious health challenges (fears that were for naught).
And I also truthfully shared that watching my children grieve over the loss of their brother was even more devastating than experiencing my own grief.
But I also shared the question I've asked each one of my children, at one time or another, after the loss of their brother Joe.
If you knew the end from the beginning, and you could CHOOSE whether to have had Joe as your brother, or simply to have never known Joe, and to never have had to experience all the loss and pain, what would you choose?
And every single one of my children has looked at me with utter disbelief that I would even question, and overwhelmingly answered the same.
They would choose to have Joe for their brother, even knowing the end from the beginning, even knowing he would only be in their lives for a few short years, even knowing the lifelong pain of loss.
"'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." Alfred Lord Tennyson
One of my favorite pictures of Joe and Patrick.
Patrick had to do a speech in school about his favorite hero.
He chose his hero--his brother Joe.
Praising God for each of our children, with a reminder of the fragility of this life. We truly never know the number of our days. Enjoy each and every one.
Our friends proceeded with the adoption of their sweet baby girl from China, not knowing what the future would hold. They recently brought her home, and discovered she is completely HEALTHY! Singing praises and giving glory to God! Joy amidst the tears.