We love helping families adopt. We love it even more when we get to help them adopt again! Doug and Mary Morris are an ordinary couple that have stepped out in faith and seen God work in extraordinary ways! They have adopted two children already and are adopting their third child – all in less than two years. Furthermore, they have a special burden for children with medical needs. I asked Mary to share some her perspective on this as this is an area that so many folks wrestle with when adopting:
“When we first looked at adoption, we went through the list of “minor special needs” and were comfortable with most of them, except for heart issues. That was just a big no-no for us, something we immediately shook our heads at and stubbornly said, “No way!” Isn’t it amazing how the Lord changes hearts?
It began with our first adoption when we met Lydia in China. The thing that struck us was how her special need (cleft lip/palate) did not define her. She wasn’t a cleft-affected child who happened to be our daughter. She was our daughter, who happened to be cleft affected. The visit to the orphanage was even more eye-opening. Children waiting for homes, unacceptable because of a club foot, a hole in their heart, or their age alone (which still continues to shock me). The thoughts — “What if he died?” “What if he needed a heart transplant?” “What if he always walked with a limp?” — they just swarm you, until one thought pokes through. “What if I’m saying ‘no’ out of fear?”
We returned home to the US, and after a few days of prayer, started our paperwork to adopt Sam, a heart baby!!!! The Lord had obviously done a chunk of work in both Doug’s and my heart while in China!!!
Sam was born with tricuspid atresia and hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Both are life-threatening. The surgeries needed are just ones that enable the heart to work more efficiently with all of its problems, but they do not “fix” the problem. When Samuel came home in February, 2008 (picture of meeting at airport above), we were shocked at how “normal” he looked. He ran. He played. He was never out of breath. He was just our son, who happened to have heart disease.
This is not true of every story….not every child comes with the best case scenario, but it does happen frequently!
We are so blessed to have been given the chance to see past the scars and the speech issues and to have been given a glance at what God sees — the heart of a child! What an amazing gift!!!
This past October Doug and I celebrated our 9th anniversary. We got a babysitter and went out to eat and to the movies. Sometime during supper, we started talking about if our family was complete, and we both said, “No.” Somewhere out there, there is another child for our family. Little did we know…
A few hours later we came home with the kids, and I was checking email before going to bed, and there was a message from Ben’s sister. It said, “Hey, do you want to adopt again?” or something along those lines. I opened the email and just melted…She talked about Pierre, in the US on a medical mission, and VERY, VERY sick. He has, besides a cleft lip and palate, a condition called Panhypopituitarism. He could not return to Haiti because he would die in just a few days without the proper medical care. His birthmom made a choice to place him for adoption. Doug and I read this with our mouths open!
Through the help of the ABBA Fund we are able to adopt Pierre and provide him with the medical care the he needs!