After receiving the call from our social worker I read the email with all the information. I contacted Becky and the two of us questioned what all of this meant. We were surprised that there was even a condition called Aniridia.
Knowing that we only had 5 hours to make a decision the engines started and we sought out the council of our local doctor. Jon had helped us with every one of our files and we grew to trust him in knowing and selecting children that we felt we could safely bring into our home. We sent him the medical information and asked if he would have time in his usually busy schedule to look at the file.
We were surprised when he actually had a small chunk of time where he could review the file and meet with us. Becky and I rearranged our schedules and headed over to see him. We were thankful that he was able to meet with us and go over the file but this was such a rare condition, and he had not had any experience with it.
We left Jon’s office wondering what should be our next step. We had so many questions that needed answers so we drove to our agency and hoped that our social worker would be available to help us. We were surprised but happy that she was indeed in the office.
The head director started doing research on the internet and found a specialist at the University of Iowa. She printed out the web page and encouraged us to give him a call. The number was right on the page so we went to the conference room and gave it a try. To our surprise he actually picked up the phone. We spoke with him for nearly half an hour and he was willing to review the file.
The information we received was inconclusive. Aniridia can manifest itself in so many degrees. There are a number of related issues that can join with the condition and all of those can have varying degrees. Basically we were given more information to ponder and more information to add to our list of fears.
After the phone call we received more information from the director of a foundation - The Aniridia Foundation. We decided to call once we got home. I called, was able to speak with someone who was going to pass on my number to the founder of the foundation. To our surprise the founder, Jill, also has Aniridia. Shortly after the call we received an answer from Jill. We spoke for awhile and were greatly encouraged. It was good to hear and speak to someone who knew so much and was so well informed.
We took time to speak with our children to let them know what we were struggling with. We gave them the information that we knew and let them begin the same process of decision making that we were going through.
In just a few short hours we had received so much information. What was totally unknown to us at 11:50 had become a reality in such a short amount of time. A decision still had to be made but little time was left. I had to take Chloe to Kindermusik at 3:45 and Becky had to run to work. We left with all of this swirling in our minds and a promise to cry out to God in prayer to see his direction.
During Kindermusik Becky and I continued to search, pray and seek God. I called her at 4:59 to ask what she thought we should do. Both of us didn’t have a clue. We were so unclear. For some reason our hearts told us we couldn’t say no but we knew so little we couldn’t say yes. Becky called our social worker, in tears, to let her know that we couldn’t make a decision. We needed more time. Our sw basically offered to call Grand Rapids and ask what was possible. We didn’t think they would actually give us more time and that we had to have an answer in the event that more time wouldn’t be given. As much as we didn’t want to we told our sw we would have to say no if more time wasn’t granted.
Becky hung up the phone and our oldest son said, “I cannot believe you just did that. Why did you say no?” We tried to explain the seriousness of the situation and he said, “We can do this, and she needs a home.” What a blessing it is to have children whose hearts are so soft and open. We pray that God will protect that and grow it as they mature.
Well, Becky had to go to work at 5:00. I had to return home and fix meals for the kids. She struggled at work and I struggled at home. I went to the library so we could talk and catch up.
We were encouraged by so many people. Becky’s friend and boss knew something was wrong and we filled her in. She encouraged us that we could do it. I came in and spoke with her and she gave me the same encouragement.
From there I went to the church and just fell on my face and cried out to God. We didn’t know what He wanted us to do. We didn’t know if He wanted this for our family. Were we supposed to say yes or no? What was the wise thing to do? Could we handle this? Did we want this? Why? How? What were we supposed to do?
As I prayed I turned through scripture and wanted to seek in the Word what I should do. Each passage I turned to spoke of God’s power, His might, strength, preservation and planning. Then I would tell God that I needed more clarity, “What do you want us to do?” I turned to another passage and read how God was Almighty, All-knowing and All-powerful. Then in my prayers I told him again. “I know that, but what do you want us to do?” Once again I turned and His Word revealed that He is the mighty God, He is the creator, the One who holds all things together, the One who has all power. At that point I had to rest and know that God was showing me that I need to trust.
I finished my two hours of prayer and returned home to prepare the kids for bed and wait for Becky to return from work.
Becky returned from work. We shared our experiences and how God had been speaking to us. We continued to pray and seek and talk. At 11:00 we came to the conclusion that we couldn’t say no. We needed to move to call and lock this child in for us.
Becky called our social worker and she called Grand Rapids and we were locked in. We felt so much peace. We went to bed and rested knowing that we had done the right thing.
Then Tuesday morning came.
Tuesday came and we both woke up and wondered, “What did we just do?” “What did we say yes to?” The questions started to surface. The fears started to rise. At one point Becky nearly had a panic attack at work; we knew we didn’t want to say no but we were so afraid of all we didn’t know.
The medical information was inconclusive. There appeared to be inconsistencies in her abilities. Based on the research we had done on Aniridia we wanted to ask for medical testing so we would know the level of care that would be required.
We started putting together a list of things we would like to know. We wanted to have a video, we wanted medical tests, we basically wanted updated information on her abilities. We put the list together and sent it to our social worker.
Then we started getting information from other sources. Jill, from the Aniridia Foundation, sent us multiple emails with information. She put us in contact with two families who had adopted from China and had children with this same condition. She contacted us and had us talk with a urologist that worked with her. He was a Chinese national who practiced in China for 15 years. Aniridia can affect the kidneys so it was nice to speak with him.
We spent time seeking council from our trusted friends. We sought council from our Pastor and his wife. We were searching and seeking out wisdom from as many sources as we could all the while continuing to pray for guidance.
On Friday we attended our church Harp and Bowl prayer service. We think it is a blessing that we even had this service since it had been moved from its original date. We tend to think that God moved it just for us because He knew we would need it. What a blessing it was to settle down with our church body and pray, to have a time to just seek after God.
Each Day God would reveal more to us and each day we would find peace only to have it followed up with fear of the unknown. We had so little information that it was hard for us to settle on an answer. Our minds would move between all the different levels and possibilities. We would think of things she would or wouldn’t be able to do. We would think of our desires and hopes and how they may or may not be fulfilled in her. It was a real struggle for us as we pondered if God was asking us to do this.
While we waited for information about this little girl we started searching for opportunities on line. Becky found a wonderful ministry on line. She sent an email and asked if there was any way to get information on this little girl. We were thankful that they had contacts and were able to receive an updated report on her.
During this process we struggled with finding a name. This little girl’s Chinese name was difficult to say and so we were constantly referring to her as “her”, “the little girl” and “she”. It was hard to make this personal when we didn’t have a name. We had picked a number of names that we liked. We tend to go for the Bible names and wanted to select a Bible name since all of our other children had names from the Bible. The problem was that we just couldn’t find a name that fit this little girl. Chloe wanted us to name her "Princess Sparkles" but the boys nixed that fast!!
Over time our family decided to go off of the meaning in her Chinese name. Her name means Jade. So we decided to call her Jada. Little did we know that Jada is a Biblical name and a friend of ours told us that it is found in the Bible in three places. The most amazing thing is what Jada means. Jada is Hebrew for “He Knows”. What an amazing word to us. In all of our struggles our greatest struggle was that we didn’t know. We didn’t know enough about Jada’s condition but we can trust that “He knows”. God knows all that we need to know and we can trust in him. With tears streaming down our faces, we smile and know "He knows". Jada Faith