"We are going to focus on LIFE for Katya. I believe, one day, she will amaze the world."

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Monday, March 5, 2012

Suffering

Yesterday, our pastor, Dave, preached on Suffering. I don't like suffering, do you? Dave pointed out that likely none of us do--we all want to have good days at work, a good supper, and happy, peaceful conversation, a relaxing evening, and a restful night's sleep. When we don't get what we want, it's easy for us to get irritable, grumpy--or even down-right angry! Dave explained that suffering causes us to grow though in ways that we would never grow if we didn't experience suffering. We are stripped of our own ideas and forced to look hard at life from God's perspective. We learn to draw deeper from God's strength, rather than relying on our own. We re-evaluate our priorities in life, become wiser, and hopefully better, not bitter, people. Through suffering we are refined, purified, and hopefully grow more and more towards the person God wans us to be.

I thought Dave's message was timely for me. . . . This preparation for Katya's surgery feels painful. Thinking about being separated again from my children feels horribly painful. Sitting for hours in Baltimore while Katya is in surgery, without family or friends with us for support feels painful to even contemplate. The uncertainty about the out-come of Katya's surgery is the most painful of anything  . . . will she live through the risky surgery, or will our hearts be ripped in two? And if she lives, will she be changed only for the better? or will there be changes for the worse that will cause our family to suffer more?

Even though we CHOSE to sacrifice and change our lives to bring Katya into our lives doesn't mean that suffering doesn't make us feel tempted to whine sometimes. We are not some sort of super-humans! Even though we are glad beyond words to have Katya with us doesn't mean that we don't MIND some of the painful changes that Katya's presence has brought into our lives. To love Katya means we also suffer pain . . . I have shared some of the ways on this blog. Others are private, quiet pains we suffer as a family. I'm proud of my kids--proud of my husband. They have chosen to embrace Katya and all that her life with us means--both the joy AND the suffering. And because we have chosen to embrace life with Katya and all that it means, we have love and laughter along with the pain and tears. We have God to walk with us during the hard times, the lonely times, and the times when tears fall. We have God to walk with us when we laugh for joy, and when we beam in pride at her latest accomplishment! I think He radiates joy at those times too!

With God's help, I want to continue to choose to embrace all that life with Katya brings.

4 comments:

Mike and Christie said...

What a timely post. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I totally get what you are saying.

Sometimes people think "You brought this on yourself, you didn't have to." And that causes pain, because somehow, they think you don't have the right to feel, if you have adopted a child with known disabilities. It just isn't true.
The Lord SUFFERED when He willingly went to the cross to adopt US... and it was great suffering. HE has suffered at rejection, and insult. It doesn't make it easier, just because you choose to do it.
God Bless you Hope Anne. Praying for good outcomes in this surgery.

I have sat alone at many surgeries and it is LONELY. This time, our pastor came and sat with me, and I wasn't quite sure what to do! LOL
It was nice having somebody there.

Hope Anne said...

Thank you, Christie. I'm glad another adoptive parent "gets it". It's certainly been a challenging road to walk and if it were not for a small handful of IRL friends, and then my on-line friends it would be even more challenging and lonely. And yes, it seems to me that most people don't realize how important support is because they think that we chose this and so therefore are doing just fine . . . whereas if a child was born biologically with all the needs Katya has, I think the need for support would likely be more in the forefront of people's minds.

Mike and Christie said...

Hope Anne, I would hope that would be true, but from personal experience.... I felt pretty abandoned when our second son was born and then had a brain hemmorrage.
He has CP, and frankly, I was REALLY lonely. There were those who said how sad.... those who thought he would have been better of dead, and those who thought we should put him in a home. :(

Today I was REALLY blessed though. Mike put Erika in the van so I could drive the girls to their bible study group. One of the dads very sweetly helped me get her into her wheel chair from the van. (My back in toast!)
He knows not to say anything because I don't want Erika to hear anything about me.... and he so sweetly told her it was his pleasure to help ANY time. :)
I am so grateful for that kind of support. :)
Now that Mike is off work, he can go and get the girls and my back can rest some more. :)

Hope Anne said...

Christie, I'm really sorry . . . I wonder why so many people walk away from families with special needs kiddos . . . And I'm glad you have someone who is willing to give a hand to you and Erika! I know when my oldest brother was becoming slowly paralyzed by an inoperable brain tumor at the base of his brain, we had a family who was totally Jesus' hands and feet to us . . . they would support our family both spiritually and practically in so many ways! There were others who would support too. And then there were the UN-supportive ones who thought that he should be forced out of the Christian Day Schol he attended because it was "too distressing" to their precious kids to see him slowly becoming paralyzed. . . so yeah . . . The good news was that the family who loved us and supported us would even come and sometimes load him up for the weekend and take him to their farm even when they had to do everything involved with all his toileting needs AND bathing. . . and he loved those weekends . . .they were a huge highlight for him (and the rest of us when we got to go too as we did sometimes.) May God bless their family for the kindnesses they showed to ours.