Monday, February 19, 2007

A dream deferred for now...

In the midst of all of the wonderful things happening in our family right now, I have some not so happy things to write about today.
I don't write about it much on my blog, but many of you know that Eric is a Type I Diabetic (with low vision) and some of you know that his kidneys have been failing slowly over the last 5 years. Every month or two we go to the kidney doctor to check out his function, waiting for the time when it's going to be below 19.9% (this is when transplant preparations will begin). On Thursday he was at 23.8% (about the same it's been since last June). So things are okay on the kidney front except...

The kidney is closely connected to the heart. When one starts to go the other starts to go as well. So a sick heart causes kidney failure and sick kidneys cause heart function to decline. Eric has had high blood pressure pretty much since I've known him (going on 11 years). He's always taken medication for it and it's stayed pretty much in control. The last few years it's become harder to control, but still pretty manageable. The last few weeks it's been very difficult to keep in a "safe" range, and this past weekend has us both very concerned. Eric pretty much spent the last 5 days with blood pressure so high that he could have a heart attack at any moment (over 200 on top and well over 100 on bottom). He can feel a difference. He can feel that things aren't right. We're doing what we can to get things under control (checking into the doc every 4 hours right now) and I have faith that the docs will find a way to get him back down to a safe range, but this health scare has been a reality check for us this weekend.

We always have a good chunk of time to talk on the 3 hours drive back from my mom's house (kids always sleep). Yesterday we had a heart to heart about Eric's health stuff, and also talked about kiddo #4. At one point I asked Eric what I could do to help lower any stress he feels in his life and he immediately told me that it would help him a lot if we would table plans to adopt a fourth child for right now. The idea of providing for 4 kids is stressful for him, but more than that the money needed to afford a fourth adoption is REALLY stressing him. We have debt and he feels a huge burden to get it paid off--which we can't do when we're saving every penny to adopt a fourth child. In addition, when a fourth child comes home we will also need a larger vehicle (no more empty seats once Bright is home). Since Eric brings in 90% of our income all of this is a huge burden to him.

I told him that if it would help him we would stop planning for #4 right now because of course he and our current family (that includes Bright) is more important than a child we haven't even identified yet. I've got to do what I can to preserve what we have, ya know? I would much rather have 3 kids WITH my husband than 4 kids WITHOUT my husband!

I have peace about this decision (the kind of peace you have when you've been hard-headed about something that YOU wanted and then finally give in to what you know is ultimately best), but I also feel a pretty deep sorrow. It doesn't mean that we won't ever bring home kiddo #4--I know that. It's just something I've got to stop planning for...for now. I feel sad that we're not going to be AAI clients anymore. I feel sad that when we visit orphanages in Ghana I've got to guard my heart from thinking that we could adopt one of those kids right now. I feel sad that Bright won't have the African sibling we had planned for him so that he didn't "stick out" quite so badly in our family.

At the same time, nothing can take away the unspeakable joy I have when I think of Bright. We DO have another son and he will be home soon! This past year wasn't for nought. We accomplished our goal of becoming parents again. Hopefully in a few years after Eric's transplant has been done (and therefore his heart will be much better)...and after our debt is paid down considerably...we will be in the place we need to be in to welcome our last child into the family.

P.S. For those that know me well, you know I will never be able to completely stop considering very special kids that come across my path. I told Eric I would try my best not to bring any kids to his attention unless I felt VERY strongly about them. I just don't feel like we can completely tell God "NO!" I just can't do that. =-)


Anonymous 1:08 PM  

Dear Anita & Family,

My DH had a kidney transplant almost 9 years ago and it has gone great since then.

We completed two adoptions 4 years ago.

Just wanted to let you know how much better the transplant made things.

All the best to you and your family!

Rhonda (Happy mami to 2 born in Guatemala)

Barbara C 1:13 PM  

Sad with you, but fully supporting that this is the right thing for you to do right now!!

Kim 4:22 PM  

Perhaps this is why you were unable to come to a real decision on where child #4 was to come from. It is in God's plan for you to wait awhile longer. Your husband's health is God's next plan for your family and he will bring your final child to you when ever that perfect child for you is born. I have an 18 year old nephew who has serious kidney problems and is at risk of losing one of them which is barely functioning now. Take care of your husband and enjoy your time with Bright while he is so young. There is so much time to complete your family later. You will all be in my prayers.

Jenn 9:01 PM  

you are a great wife... and you will be blessed. :-) may God keep you all healthy and safe.