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Monday, October 5, 2015

What My Eyes Have Seen! Part 3 of...

This blog post is the 3rd in the series entitled "What My Eyes Have Seen!"  Part 3 - Deaf Adoption, Up Close and Personal continued.

Part 1 - Is Sign Language the Natural Language of the Deaf Child?


Part 2 - Deaf Adoption, Up Close and Personal

These posts are shared in an effort to help me and others along with me gain a deeper biblical perspective of some of this world's injustices because of the fall and most often those injustices against the least of the least...in my opinion...deaf children.  

After a year of filling out the required paperwork and waiting on both countries to do their work it was time for me to join soon-to-be-Deaf-mom, again, on the first required trip to visit with this precious "little man".  To see him with our own eyes and confirm the official commitment of soon-to-be-Deaf-dad-and-mom to in fact embrace him as their own son.   Dad had recently started a new job, therefore he would not travel with us on this initial trip of confirmation, but would join with us in a few months on the trip to bring their son home. 

This boy's adoption was already confirmed by both mom and dad, over a year ago, this was just a formality in their minds required by their son's country of birth.



How does one prepare for something like this?  I knew God would have to do a work in me prior to my visually seeing this "little man", with my own eyes. He is now five and a half years old and weighs 11.2 pounds and is 29 inches in length, not height, as he does not yet walk. 

One of the things my Father has been reminding me of in various ways, during the past year of waiting/preparing, is the sanctity of every human life and the many ramifications of what that truly means on so many different levels and in many different arenas.  The ways He has done this are mind-boggling for me.  I needed to be led through this process before I arrived here for 'such a time as this' and as always my God knows before I do what I need. 

Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Matthew 6:8

I was intentional to ask Him for weeks prior to our trip to help me not react inappropriately to what I saw, but to respond, instead, in an appropriate way with an accurate perspective, His.  Many times before our flight, my mind visually took me back to previously seen pictures embedded forever in my memory. Through the years I had seen photographs of young African children with distended malnourished-bellies and photographs of the men literally starving to death in the Auschwitz concentration camp in the 1930's. But never...with my own eyes.

 

Our first morning visit, the unknown was the hardest.  We were all three a bit nervous.  This was our adoption guides' first time to see a child like this, too.  Mom and I had already discussed so many things prior to this first morning meeting, we each knew we were nervous, but were both trusting our God to give us what we needed that moment our eyes saw him for the first time.   

After the formal introductions with "home" staff, we were all asked to put on, over our garments, green disposable gowns, shoe covers and masks.  Mom instantly explained that covering my mouth would make our communication very difficult as she is skilled at reading lips and depends strongly on this.  Our guide shared mom's concerns and it was waved off as not a problem. We proceeded down the hall a short way to a small room with five of the "home's" staff.  They were not wearing any protective gear.  It was obvious we were on display for all that morning and this felt very awkward, too.  It was very warm and humid, as well, and the additional gowns and masks made things more uncomfortable in that overly crowded tiny room.  





In a few moments, another "home" staff came in carrying a tiny frail body with dark hair, eyes and skin in the crooks of her arms, swinging them a bit back and forth.  We awkwardly just stared at him.  I suggested mom sit on the built-in child-sized bed on one side of the room and he was placed in mom's arms for the very first time.  Mom has raised five children of her own and adopted two others, but it was clear she had great concern she might cause this little one pain or injury...just by holding him. 

She and I both pulled our masks down around our necks so we could communicate, as moms hands were both full, now.  No one seemed to notice or to care.  Praise God!


Mom studied him intently counting his fingers and to her delight he could grasp her finger with both hands.  She began to lightly rub his face, head and then his torso and he did not seem to mind this at all.  In fact, he would place his hand on hers as she rubbed up and down slowly on his torso.  She kept him in the same position for most of the hour, in the crook of her left arm, studying his face and body as best she could since he was clothed in two shirts and heavy denim pants and socks. 

Miraculously, for the afternoon visit, we were left alone with only our adoption guide to monitor us.   This had been a prayer of ours from the beginning.  Mom wanted to see his legs and feet, so she pulled his socks and pants off, very gingerly.  That is a preemie size diaper he has on in the photo.  I took many pictures and video of this sweet "little man" that will be shared with doctors and others in the states before he comes home. No, I did not ask permission, but was very discreet in my actions.  We thank the Lord for allowing us to do this!


His legs are bent at the knee in this photo. 
His club feet will likely require surgery.

These are some of the verses that His Spirit brought to mind which helped to sustain me throughout the week while we were there and beyond.  

"I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.


Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:16-21

Just to clarify...

Signs for Hope pays the travel expenses for a qualified ASL interpreter to travel with Deaf mom and dad when they adopt.  The ASL interpreter donates his/her skill and time to provide this service.  If you would like to help support this great need, please click on the "DONATE" button above and choose the "ASL Interpreter Fund" when given that option. 

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