A Phone Call and a Prayer

July 14, 2012

A Phone Call and a Prayer

 

Over the next months our family got a phone call a couple of times from our adoption agency. The first time, the question was "will you take two siblings, orphaned, healthy but with some emotional needs?" The answer was yes. Due to the children's specific needs, the agency decided to place them with another family where they would be the only children.  The next call was "can you take a child with a history of sexual abuse?" Again, we answered yes, but the agency decided since we had a 11 year old boy in the house that this particular child would be better placed with a family who had no boys at all. 

We waited several more months, and despaired of getting a good match. Now Andrew was 12 and Katie was 8 and we worried that this adoption might not happen!  Taking our minds off the waiting and the worrying, we left for our family vacation in December 2000 to Orlando. For two weeks Andrew and Katie (and mom and dad) had the time of their lives! Disney, Universal, Gatorland, Ripley's Believe it or not, Airplane museums and FUN were the order of the day!  Christmas was fun with our little Christmas tree set up in our hotel room and lights around the window.  The kids had a great time and were super happy and relaxed when we returned home on December 27, 2000. 

How life can change in the blink of an eye, or in the space of one day!  On December 28th we got a call from LDS Family Services. A little baby girl had been born in Temple, Texas. She had a severe brain anomaly. A condition called hydranencephaly. She would likely not live a year. Was this something we would consider? She needed a home and a family for whatever time God had for her on this earth....

This was the call we had been waiting for, but not the situation we had expected!  This would turn our family and our world upside down. THIS was a huge decision! Kevin and I decided that, as the social worker requested, we would go to Temple and talk to the neurologist on duty, and perhaps see the baby before we made a decision.  With trepidation in our hearts and a lot of uncertainty as to whether we could do this or not, Kevin and I made the three hour drive to Temple on December 29, 2000.

Upon arrival at Scott and White Hospital, we were shown into the office of the neurologist. This doctor was the only neurologist on call over the Christmas/New Year's holiday week. He had been the one on duty when the baby was born and was the only one who had seen her since her birth.  We introduced ourselves and sat down. The first words out of his mouth were " And WHY would you want to adopt THIS baby??"  He proceeded to tell us, without waiting for an answer to the first question, that this child had no brain, she would be a vegetable, she would never know us, never smile, never move, AND if he had "somewhere to send it" he would have done so already (meaning an institution). Yes, he called the baby an "it".  I was so appalled by the lack of concern and his attitude that my jaw was literally on the floor!! When I picked it up, I remember looking him right in the eye and saying "why would we NOT want to adopt this baby?"  He looked at us like we were insane, and went on and on about all the negatives....she was irritable, she wouldn't eat, she couldn't see, she couldn't hear.....

Finally, when we had heard enough to make us turn tail and run in the other direction, he stopped talking and just looked questioningly at us.  Kevin said, "Can we see the baby?"  With a look of total disbelief and a roll of his eyes, the doctor said sure and sent us down to the nursery.

 

After washing up, putting on a sterile gown and stepping into the NICU area, the nurse came over to us and told us not to expect too much because the baby had been very irritable since birth and was very fussy all the time.  Tired of the negativity and just wanting to see the baby for ourselves, we asked her where she was. She pointed to a bed in the corner and sent us over on our own.

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