Bereket received his Sclero-Shell Eye Prosthesis just before Thanksgiving and it has been a road of great challenge, great joy & the peace of watching our Savior's hand at work in redeeming the hurts of our once orphaned son.
In Bereket's 10 short months of life in Ethiopia, he was relinquished for adoption and hospitalized 3 times: 2 times for eye surgeries and 1 time with bacterial meningitis. Two of these hospital stays were 7-10 days long. When our children are sick and in the hospital, time stands still - commitments get cancelled and we sit at their bedside. We do not leave them. We hold them, rock them, snuggle them and pray over them until they are well and then we take them home. An orphan does not have parents to care for them, so they go to the hospital, alone. And they stay there, alone. Sick and in need of nurture and love, but unable to have those needs met.
Adoption is a journey that begs parents to grieve their child's hurts, losses and emotions in order to create a window of insight into the life they have experienced before they were gifted to you. It is the cry of my heart that adoptive families learn to embrace the lives our children have experienced before they came to us in order to love and parent them well. I have spent a lot of time grieving for my sweet Bereket, who cried out for the love & nurture of a mother when he was sick, but was unable to receive it. Of the many promises the Lord makes to the orphan, "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you" John 14:18, is dear to my heart because He allowed us to 'come' with Him.
Bereket was sedated for his first Shell fitting when they measured his eye and made a mold for the Shell. The second fitting, however, had to be done awake and alert in order to measure eye lid height, monitor how it fit into his eye socket, measure pupil height to paint matching eye, etc. This appointment took 5 excruciating hours of a screaming and hysterical Bear, which put him out of his mind overloaded by the experience. We left the appointment with the kind and patient prosthetist stating, "This will be a process because I can't get the measurements I need and I will have to give it a professional guess and we will adjust it as we go." As our Bear screamed and cried through that appointment, the Lord begged my heart to grieve for his losses and lovingly endure this process with him, because this time - he was not alone.
We spent the next 3+ weeks praying that the Lord Himself, who created Bereket and knew the exact measurements for the perfect Shell would work through the skilled hands of the prosthetist to do the impossible and make a perfect Shell the first time.