(This post was written on Feb. 14, 2015. It could not be posted real-time because we are only now sharing this publicly.)
“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?” (2Samuel7:18)
On February 5th, a 2-month old baby girl was abandoned in Inner Mongolia, northern China (the same province where Emily is from). She was taken in to a local Social Welfare Institute (orphanage), where she currently lives. It was immediately clear to the staff that she was very sick. Many events would transpire within a matter of days from her abandonment. We had no idea how her story would become intimately intertwined with ours.
Important to mention before I continue with the events, is an instrumental lady in the story. Her name is Hannah and she is an American who works in Inner Mongolia, China, caring for orphans in various institutions. I met her when we were in the process to adopt Emily and she was actually the one who helped me find out where Emily was! Previous to that, we only had information that she’d been moved from her original orphanage and sent somewhere else. Hannah was the angel that tracked her down to Harmony House, allowing us to be in direct contact with Emily throughout the process. Fast forward to Feb. 12, 2015.
It’s Thursday evening. I’m scrolling through my Facebook feed, looking at all the Chinese orphans being advocated for, as I often do. I run across a post from Hannah who is advocating for this sick baby girl. The post read something like this, “URGENT: 2-month old baby girl abandoned with a life-threatening condition. She has biliary atresia and is in liver failure. She will die soon without a liver transplant.” This post wasn’t any different from the many I see every day. I ache for these children and pray for them daily. Except this one actually was different. Very different. It wasn’t that the post was more alarming than others. It was personal. I didn’t know why it was so personal but would soon find out. I showed Seamus the post immediately and asked him to pray. I went to bed disturbed. Not by her condition, rather by what God was doing in my heart. Who will fight for her? Who will race to save her? Are you calling US? If not us, then who? God quickly revealed that it IS us. He revealed it to us so clearly, so quickly. It took less than a day in prayer to know that God was speaking wisdom into our hearts about how to respond.
Seamus and I had no intention of reentering the adoption process at this point. We knew we’d return to China one day. We hadn’t come to a definitive decision that we would ever adopt again and assumed our next trip to China would be one of mission and showing Emily her homeland. Within 24 hours, we went from a comfortable life of praying for orphans to answering God’s call to GO and fight for this fragile little life.
We WILL fight for this little one. We will pursue adoption of this tiny girl named Yaru. There are no guarantees. We aren’t guaranteed her file at this point. We aren’t guaranteed that she’ll live to see tomorrow, much less gotcha day. We will be on the fast track version of the adoption process. We’ve already begun our home study. Our hope is to travel in a few short months. That may be the quickest we can get there. If she makes it home, we will fight for an immediate liver transplant. We are willing. HE is able. God gives us all the strength we need for this battle. And if God has called us to be her family from a distance only, for her remaining days on earth, our answer is still, “YES!” She will be fiercely prayed for every day until the end. We will ask God to grant her salvation. The world should know that she has a family who loves her, regardless of her condition. Her prognosis is not good but we also know that God works miracles and we are expecting just that. We will rest in whatever path God chooses but we will pray boldly, daily for this miracle that we so desire for Yaru.
We have learned quite a bit about this child and her circumstances over the past few days. We have been told that they may move her from the social welfare institute to a foster orphanage similar to Emily’s Harmony House. It’s called Little Flower and is located in Beijing. It appears that most of the work they do here is infant hospice. We believe she would receive extra love and care at Little Flower. We know that her condition is very serious. We know that she needs a liver transplant. She is going to a doctor after Chinese New Year (week long holiday) and we will find out if she’s a candidate for a surgery called Kaisa. We think her condition may be too advanced to receive the surgery. If she does receive the surgery however, it’s possible it could help her to stay alive until she is able to receive a transplant in the states. If she is a candidate for Kaisa, Little Flower will have to fund it. That’s the work of these foster orphanages. They receive private donations and use the funds to pay for life-saving surgeries. We will be rallying the troops to donate, in the event we hear that she can receive the surgery. We will keep you updated as soon as we know more. We have also learned that her body needs a very specific formula and vitamin drops that she is not currently receiving. We are working on getting these to her ASAP. There will be opportunity to donate these items to her orphanage, if you are interested in helping. The formula alone could help prolong her life.
We are embarking on an amazing journey. We do not know what the future holds but we are sure that God is at the forefront. We also know that He is outside of time and has already ordained the future for Yaru, and for us. Amidst all the unknowns, we fear not. We take great comfort in knowing this call is completely from the One whose plan is perfect. I’ll end with a note Seamus wrote to a friend through text. “We are stepping out in bold faith and are prepared to be used as our Lord sees fit and according to His will and perfect plan. He is all powerful and sovereign, you know! We have witnessed miracles. My wish is that you lift up little Yaru to The Lord, that He will cover her in His grace and mercy, bring healing, love and care through the people in China who are near her. We don’t know the outcome of our efforts or her ability to survive, but we serve a mighty God and stand ready to be united with her and support and love her anyway we can.”
"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here I am! Send me." (Isaiah 6:8)