Thank you for all the e-mails I have received about Haven’s appointments.
Haven did just fine on Tuesday. Of course she was absolutely terrified, but she handled it all pretty well. The CAT scan was the worst for her. They told me to make sure that she lay absolutely still on the table–um, no problems there because she was literally frozen stiff out of fear!
So dear friends, here’s the thing. In the last three weeks Haven has endured test after test, and more and more blood work. Every single one of them has come back normal! That is, all except one. The results of the bone age scan show she she is eighteen months to two years delayed in her age. That’s a lot. It means she is around a 6 or seven year old level age wise (she actually turns 9 in October). Her growth is so severely stunted.
From everything we have seen and heard the doctors say since we began this journey to get Haven diagnosed with something, there really is no medical explanation for her extreme delays (in physical growth and general development). We do know that she is definitely not Autistic as was stated in China. Her brain seems to be fine, her chromosomes are normal, her genetics are fine. Everything is in the ‘normal’ range.
Anthony and I feel strongly that there is only one thing happening with our sweet girl (and doctors agree)–Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is the only logical explanation as to why she is the way she is–crazy fears, cowering away from us if she senses at all that she may have done something wrong, uncontrollable shaking in fearful situations, drooling, low muscle tone, non-verbal, etc. After doing our research, PTSD is the only condition that fits. She displays every single symptom of a child who has suffered unspeakable trauma in her life.
You know what the crazy thing is? It would almost be easier if we heard a doctor say, “Haven has black spots in her brain due to a birth defect.” (just an example) But to know that we will never fully understand her past and what they did to her in that orphanage is so painful. Her entire past is a big black hole. There is no way we will ever know–and she has probably blacked it out from her memory completely. Her past will always be a complete mystery.
My heart breaks. To think that Haven is the way she is solely due to neglect, abuse (we know she has been physically abused and feel strongly that there has been sexual abuse too), and who knows what else, is so painful. My heart cannot comprehend what her life was like there. Why was she treated this way? Why did they strap her so tightly down to a chair to the point where she is scarred forever? What in the world did they do to such a sweet and innocent child? It is just so unfair. My human mind cannot fathom it all.
I feel such a heaviness. The things that Haven is dealing with remind me of something else–Haven is just one. She is one of millions of children who have to endure this kind of treatment every day of their lives. It’s sad, but true–the ‘special needs’ children receive harsher treatment. They are frail and weak and cannot defend themselves. This is the harsh reality of many orphanages around the world. Many, who are so sick and weak are literally left in rooms to die alone. Oh Lord Jesus.
I know that a lot of you reading this have adopted children, many of them with special needs. Friends, we need a mighty move of God in the area of families adopting special needs children. More and more families need to push past the fear of taking in ‘one of the least of these’ and just GO AND GET ONE OR TWO OR THREE. These children are literally dying in orphanages, or they are being abused to the point of being unable to cope with life–just look at Haven. I wish, with all my heart, that I truly believed Haven was just an isolated case, just one of the very few unlucky ones. But I know that is not the truth…and I cannot stay silent about it.
I shudder to even imagine what Haven’s life would have turned out like had she of remained in China. We asked our guide when we were there that very question. Her answer? She would have been transferred to a mental institution where they would make her work in a factory assembling parts on toys! She would be labeled ‘mentally disabled’ for the rest of her life. My heart cannot even go there. She now has hope and a future. It may take years for Haven to speak. It is going to take years and years of therapy. But, you know what? SHE HAS HOPE!
Time is short. I long for Jesus to come back, riding on the clouds. But my heart is broken. There are so many children out there who so desperately need mommy’s and daddy’s. What is the church going to do about it–and we are the church. Is it still enough to sit back and wait for others to go and adopt the children? Is it okay to make the excuse of not having the finances to pay for an adoption–or is our BIG God calling us to trust Him for every penny we need to bring home HIS precious angels? I can no longer be passive. The bible says it and I believe it–take care of the orphans. They do not deserve the life that Haven had there. No child deserves to be left behind. Not one.
I long, with all my heart, that on that glorious day when Jesus returns, that He would find His church (that’s you and me) faithful in the area of taking care of orphans. I pray that every time I look at my beautiful daughter’s face–that I will be reminded that her reality is the reality of millions of others who wait…and wait and wait!