We’ve had our foster daughter for a year.  From the first day we met her, we’ve been in love.  She is the sweetest baby with the most easy going personality.  At her first doctor’s appointment, something was noticed.  A very scary diagnosis was mentioned.  Other appointments were made.  Specialists were contacted.  We held our breath.

As she grew older, and we fell deeper in love with her (if that was even possible), we started to notice the diagnosis everyone had been talking about.  Therapy was ordered.  Time passed.  Our fears for her development and her future started to weigh heavy on our hearts.

After 7 months of waiting to see a specialist, the day finally came. We were told we were seeing the best of the best.  This doctor is well known in the field.  An expert.  We knew that she would have answers for us as well as a clear gauge on how the future  would look for our little one.  They were right.  She is an expert.  Compassionate and understanding.  Knowledgeable and kind.

Her words shattered us.  Severe Brain Damage.  The diagnosis was the same it had always been, but those three little words made her future seem so much darker.  We absorbed everything she was saying, committing it to memory.  The following morning, the doctor called my cell phone to connect.  She explained that she was writing her report for the baby’s court hearing and was including in the report that the best interest of the baby would be to stay in our home where she was loved and is thriving.  She went on further to say that after hearing the news the day prior, she wanted to make sure that we hadn’t “changed our minds about her permanency based on the prognosis given”. I explained that we still desired to keep her and hopefully adopt her, but we were devastated over the news.  I thanked the doctor for her time, hung up the phone and wept.  I wept for her future, I wept for the challenges that she will have to overcome and the struggles she will have to face.  I know that the Lord has mighty plans for her and will use her sweet little life to do incredible things for Him, but I still worry.  My flesh takes over, and I am filled with anxiety, anger and sadness for her.  My flesh wants to curl up in a ball and live in my very own pity party.

As tempting as that is, it’s not an option.  I have 5 little ones that need my attention and presence.  I need to practice what I am always saying to my children, “we can’t chose our circumstances, but we can chose how we react”. I can’t do anything about her brain damage.  I can’t change her past.  I can’t undo the hurt done to her.  But I CAN do lots of things.  I can rejoice at the milestones she is hitting.  I can enjoy her sweet little personality.  I can research my heart out to try to learn more about her syndrome.  I can set an example to my children that even though life is unfair, we make the best of it.  I am determined to turn this devastating diagnosis into a story of hope.