Facing Reality with a Capital “R”

That’s me.

Facing Reality.

We received a surprise recently which has us off to Portland, Oregon tomorrow.

When we returned from our visit to Children’s Hospital last month, we were so thrilled with what God had done in putting all the pieces together for Samuel.  I mean, we were over the moon, couldn’t stop talking about it, absolutely in awe.  I mean, we still are.  And then, to top it off, I received a letter in the mail. 

Months and months ago (like, in the early days of our paper chase for Samuel’s adoption), a fellow Mom of a New Day alumni contacted me.  Her daughter had undergone surgery and been fitted with a prosthetic through Shriner’s hospital and she had great news for us.  Low and behold, she had arranged for her daughter’s Shriner’s prosthetist (Brock) to see Samuel in Beijing when Brock was there on a medical service trip.  New Day had arranged for Samuel to be brought to Brock and as a result of this fellow New Day Mom connecting us, I was able to speak with Brock over the phone and even receive the X-rays that he had taken of Samuel when he examined him in China.  What a treat! 

Well, that got us thinking.  We decided to pursue an application for Samuel to be treated by Shriner’s once home.  Forms were filled out.  I developed a phone relationship with the provincial rep.  And then we waited.  I heard rumors that cut backs had made it harder to receive acceptance into treatment for Canadians and I was hopeful, but I kind of let it go. 

So, here we were less than a week home from our mountaintop high and I received the letter we had been hoping for.  Samuel was accepted into treatment.  I keep equating it to winning a lottery, but essentially it will allow for his treatment and prosthetics to be covered for his entire childhood.  In addition, we can even ride their “Care Cruiser” bus to appointments (many hours each way) and receive accommodations and food vouchers for our time away.  I literally bawled when I heard.  Like many families in the adoption world, our kids (& in our case, both adopted and bio) have needed a wide variety of therapies and tutors and extras to help them grow and learn and heal and blossom.  And each of those come with a price tag.  For once it felt so good to be told again and again in response to my tentative questioning, “No, don’t worry about anything, it’s covered.”

So off we go.  And I should be singing and dancing with glee.

Instead I have a lump in my throat and Reality has hit the past few days.  I would be lying if I said otherwise. 

We need to once again have the conversation.  And the “A” word will be used. 


And yes, to all of you thinking it, I did know it was coming.

I did do my research before we committed to bringing him home to be our forever son.

And we do want the best for him.  We want to give him every chance at a full, healthy, active life. 

Yes, we do.

But it still stings.

We see him as perfect and active and healthy and as living a pretty full life right now.

And every time someone else asks us what the next step is we tell them.

We talk surgeries and aids and prosthetics.

We smile and nod and talk about his bright future.

But underneath there is a part of me that wants to run to him and pick him up and race away as fast as I can. 

Can’t you hear him giggle and can’t you hear him tease?  Don’t you see him climb and and dance and chase his sisters until they run giggling too? 

But I guess that is the difference of perspective.  And of parenting.

Parents have to love a child as they are and yet do the thing that is hardest for their child in order to help them sprout wings and not just crawl, but fly.

I have to fight down that urge to pick up my kids and run away at different times with each of them.  And this week it’s Samuel. 

So I pack the suitcases.  Call my sister-in-law to borrow the play pen.  Make sure the many bits and pieces we need to load into the van are ready.  And I pray.

Will you pray for us too? 

(Photos taken Mother’s Day 2011.)


  1. Oh, Shelley, your little man still has my heart. He was the first kiddo, after I began researching China adoption, that I kept coming back to and kept praying for and really grew to love and hope for and want to follow. (Which was why I was soooo tickled to learn that you guys had a blog!) I have never had to make this kind of decision for my children, the worst we’ve had so far has been lots of stitches, but looking at precious Samuel, wonderfully made JUST AS HE IS, I can imagine a little bit of it. I will pray for him. For his doctors. For you.

    What day will this conversation be held?

    (LOVE the pictures!)

  2. Thanks Kelly. I know yo and I have spoken before, but I just want to say once again that I feel very honoured that you continue to follow Samuel and especially thrilled that you followed God’s leading to pray for Samuel while he waited. It means a great deal to this Mother’s heart. And to answer your question, we will be meeting on Thursday.

  3. Shelley:
    We were yet another family who Samuel touched in a special way. We are hoping to travel to get our son in the next couple weeks! I love seeing Samuel with your family. He looks so happy. And that is wonderful that you got into Shriners. We go to the Portland Shriners for Olivia and Josiah, but to their cleft team. I don’t know anything about their orthopedic team, but I do know that everyone there is really kind and welcoming. You will love the new facility. I would love to be able to meet up with you if we happen to be in Portland the same time as you! We only live 3 1/2 hours drive from there.

    I’ll be praying for your appointment, as you and the specialists make very difficult decisions.


  4. kim denis says

    We will be praying here…for clarity! What a gift you have received from that one letter. You stepped out in faith and have been taken care of!

  5. Oh Shelley ~ you KNOW you can count on us to be praying!! I think EVERY SINGLE THING you are feeling is completely normal… and God knows that, too. He totally understands your mama’s heart and the need to protect. And because of that, He has you covered! I am praying for a peace that surpasses all natural understanding to come over you and Samuel, and for excitement and joy to take root as you enter into this next phase of life with Samuel. He is a treasure and perfect any way you look at him, and that will NEVER change!!

    Just reading about this again was so neat. I remember before we even learned you were matched with Samuel or that he had a family yet, Tami and I were talking about how she had these conversations with Brock, and how he was going to China. The next thing you know, Tami had New Day and Brock connected and then before too long, found out he was going to be seeing Samuel while he was in China. God works in mysterious and WONDERFUL ways!! It IS like winning the lottery ~ such a gift!! God is good and He will see each of you through! <

    Blessing and Hugs,
    ~ Tanya

  6. Praying for your sweet boy and for you. While much more minor, I’ve faced one of those decisions with one of my kiddos. So difficult to process all the emotions that go with such decisions.
    Wonderful pictures of your little guy!

  7. I just love reading this and hearing again how HE had all the details worked out! I will be praying. And those pictures of Samuel .. oh my word, so precious!

  8. Shelley, We will be praying all throughout this amazing next Season for you and Sam and the whole family! You are so dear to our hearts, and we ‘stand’ beside you as your walk this out. We love you and know that you have so many praying and believing God’s goodness and favor over every single one of your precious children!

  9. I’m so glad you found the blog!
    I remember when ND posted about your visit there. Can I admit to a bit of jealousy? 🙂
    I am so thrilled that all of the kids at ND have a YeYe in you. I look forward to the day when we all meet again in eternity. I’m certain Samuel will be delighted to see his “YeYe”.

  10. I can just feel your mother’s heart, Shelley. The pulling to immediate comfort and back to necessary future success. I will be praying for you and Samuel. That God would cover his heart and mind throughout the treatment. That it will go through smoothly, quickly and successfully.

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