Saturday, December 29, 2012
A New Year.... A New Adventure...
When I married David over 23 years ago (Wow...I can't believe it's been that long!) I realize I was blessed with a name that could be, how should I say, misunderstood. As an elementary school teacher, I thought it might be a little intimidating having a name that represents what every single child in my classroom is trying desperately to avoid. No, you heard me alright. My name...is Mrs. Faile! 1 Corinthians chapter 13 has always been one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. I especially love verses 8-13 where we are simply told, "Love never fails." Hmmm...all of a sudden my new name really sounded good. OK, I know what you're thinking. There's no letter "e" in that word! But who cares? It still sounds the same. Besides...I like it.
I give you that little introduction because this is how I've always wanted our family to be. A place where "love never fails." We've been blessed and love has never let us down. Over 9 years ago, we had our third child, Cassidy Hope. A couple of days after she was born, I looked at David and said, "I want another baby." He was shocked since we had just gone through all of the nausea, sickness, pregnancy, and delivery of Cassidy. I don't know why I said it, but I really felt the need to have just one more to complete our family. I always have wanted 2 boys and 2 girls. For me, that was a perfect balance of how our family should be. Love never fails, but as you all know, 12 days after Cassidy was born, I was minutes from death as the life-giving blood was pouring out of my body. I was bleeding internally and the doctor couldn't explain it, but worse than that, he couldn't stop it. We had to make a decision to save myself or to save the organ that would produce that one more child that we so desired.
We obviously chose to save my life, but since that decision, I've been on an emotional roller coaster with many highs and a few lows. My highs are quite obvious. I've been able to be a mother and wife to my family. I think of what could have been and it pains me to think that my family would be without a Mommy to hold them and take care of them. I get to partner with my wonderful husband in ministry and have him be my Pastor, best friend and companion. I saw my daughter graduate from high school, my son run in his cross country meets, and saw my little girl in her first ballet recital. What a joy I have to be able to see them grow. I am SO BLESSED! There's really only been one obvious "low" in my life since that life-changing day. I love being a Mom and I wanted to have another baby. I am so emotionally scarred when I think about it. It does not take much for the tears to fall and for me to feel the pain and emptiness I have inside. It was not my plan to have this surgery.. It was the only choice I had to remain here on this earth. It still hurts when I hear a baby cry or even see someone who is pregnant... Of course, I am so happy for those that are expecting, but I have this scar inside that's still tender and painful.
During the past 5 years, I have been a chairperson for our church's blood drives. Because of the excellent response from the people at Patterson Park Church, the blood that we've collected helped over 1000 people and saved many lives. I am thrilled beyond measure thinking about the impact this has made on our community. Blood is so important to me. As a matter of fact, that is why I am here. There were several blood donors in Daytona Beach, Florida who sacrificially gave their blood so that I can live. Blood donation will always hold a special place in my heart! But even though I've had the wonderful privilege of doing this, it still doesn't take away the void in my life.
Someone asked me a few years ago if I would consider adoption. I said "No" because I just did not feel called to do that and I'm not getting any younger! Besides...it takes a very special family to do that sort of thing. I did say to David on several occasions that if God wanted me to have another child through adoption that HE would have to make it very clear to me. I actually said HE would have to drop that child right in my lap. I would obey what He said, but I was not going to go looking for it. I just wasn't emotionally stable to do something so big. Throughout the years, I would occasionally think about it, but still did not have the desire to pursue it.
Two years ago I went to a parenting workshop where a testimony about adoption was being given. The couple talked about their adoption adventure. As I listened to this beautiful story about God's grace, I cried the entire time. I was scared and the scars started to open up again. It was in that meeting where I did tell the group the same thing I had said to David, "If God would drop a Deaf child in my lap, that I would take him." If you know me, I have a Deaf brother and for the past 40 years, I've been signing because of him. Because of this relationship with my brother, several other doors were opened. In the past 20 years, I have worked for the Chattanooga Community Services for the Deaf, I've have been involved with Deaf ministry, been a part of a music team called "Silence Broken", started a Deaf ministry at First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, FLA, did freelance interpreting, started interpreting at my current church, and now I teach American Sign Language at Wright State University. As a matter of fact, I've just started taking classes to get certified in Deaf Studies. I am already a Certified Teacher having my degree in Elementary Education, but I thought this would be a great addition to my education. I love Deaf people. God allowed me to be a sister of a Deaf person (SODA) and for that I am eternally grateful. Deaf culture has changed my life in so many ways.
Recently, our church has started an orphan ministry called Hope 1:17. They have asked David and I to sit in their meetings to bounce ideas off of. David even preached an excellent sermon on "Orphan Sunday" which really touched our hearts! You can listen to David's sermon by copying and pasting this link on your browser:
We heard from the Scriptures about what God had to say about our spiritual adoption and saw the need for good families to rescue these orphaned children. I heard someone say right after that service if every Christian family would adopt one child, we probably wouldn't have an orphan problem in this world. I think they're right.
Well needless to say, God kept working in our hearts. We told Him that again we are willing to do whatever He wants us to do, but we had no idea what was about to happen. Some friends of ours recently adopted a baby from China. She heard what I said about finding a Deaf child a couple of years ago at that workshop. A few weeks before getting their son, she was on the website of where they were getting their baby and she saw a little Deaf boy in need of a family. She sent me that message and reminded me of what I said in that meeting. Sometimes your words will come back and haunt you! (: When David and I saw the picture and information we both started to cry. Was this God asking us to obey Him ? Was He gently placing that little Deaf boy on our lap?
Well... we asked the adoption agency about him and found out that he was abandoned and available. What do we do with this information? Do you ignore it and move on with our lives? Was this God speaking to us? Throughout the past few months, David and I have been seeking God and asking Him for peace. He gave us peace to continue the process. We happened to have an extra $300 (first miracle) and applied at the adoption agency continuing to pray for God to speak to us. Another organization told us that we would most likely not be able to get this same boy. Oh well.. we thought...we just gave our money for a good cause.. However, God was not finished with us yet. We got a call from the adoption agency and they asked us if we wanted this child. (second miracle) What do you say to that? David and I thought about reasons why we would say no, but God had an answer for each of them. We asked Him.." We have no extra money for all of the adoption fees... How can we afford this?" God said...." Trust me.".. We asked Him how we were going to manage because we are in our 40's. (Yes, I know you thought we were younger, but this is the truth.) God said "Trust me"... We asked Him how we would afford having another child when we have one in college and another one graduating in 2 years? We are just making it now with David's salary and me working 2 jobs. God said "I will provide..just like I always have." We asked Him other questions and His response was to just TRUST... Wow... this is the biggest thing we have ever done as a couple, but we are going to keep going through the doors that God opens for us. It will be a difficult process, but we are praying for God to provide the resources, energy and opportunities for us in order to accomplish His purpose.
Because of privacy issues and because we aren't far enough into the process, we can't share this little boy's picture or personal information with you, but God-willing in the days ahead, that will change. We will be doing a required home study in January and have been told the process could take up to a year. We would ask that you pray for him. Pray for his safety and health. Pray for us. Pray that we will have the opportunity to be his forever family. I know this sounds strange, but we really feel as if he's already a part of this family.
Love never Failes. I kind of like the way that sounds. The "e" is silent, but it does have a nice ring to it, wouldn't you agree? Love never fails, especially when something beautiful falls into your lap, and your last name happens to be...Faile. So, number four is on the way. More to come later.