God's Child, Our Joy

An adoptive family's journey in faith and life

Hero Ball

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There’s this term in basketball call Hero Ball. It refers to a player (let’s use Kobe Bryant as an example) who towards the end of a game that’s close, starts to control the ball more and take more shots. Hopefully they make the shots, and will be the hero of the game.

Hero Ball can be a good or bad thing. It’s good when Kobe, in his prime, takes over because he’s his team’s best player, and the player with the best chance of hitting that shot. It’s bad when Kobe, past his prime, takes his team out of rhythm, has other just as good options, and he can be defended by younger, taller defenders.

Just recently, we received an email from our adoption agency looking for an adoptive family for a newborn child. The child was born with a drug addiction and was being weaned at that moment. The original adoptive parents changed their mind*, so the need was there for a new adoptive family. The child needed someone to visit them in the NICU at the hospital every day for up to four weeks. The hospital was out of town, so a prospective family may have to live out of a hotel for a few weeks, not to mention the time needed off work.

* Please try not to judge them. We don’t know the entire situation, they could have a situation where they couldn’t provide adequate care for this child. They also could have changed their mind because they were worried about the potential of raising a difficult child. Since we do not know details, it’s unfair to judge them.

Steph’s heart broke while reading this. She felt sad that this bond had been broken, and they needed a hero, fast. Her heart then suddenly unbroke, and when it came back together it was twice the size it had been before. She thought “I have the summer off, no need to take off work. I know someone in the area that I could potentially stay with. I know that even though there may be complications, I can love this child and give the child a good home.”

I was washing bottles at the time the e-mail arrived. She asked me to read the e-mail. She asked what my thoughts were, but her eyes asked when we were going to say yes.

Normally, I’m the soft one in the family. I’ve recently started saving spiders instead of just smooshing them on sight. (A glass, a sheet of paper, and quick reflexes is all you need) I felt guilty squishing something that ate annoying bugs, and thought our house was a nice place to kick up their feet (all eight, I suppose….wait do spiders have feet?)

This day though, I was not so soft. We’ve reached the point in Eva’s development that she’s eating exactly four bottles a day. Since we have eight bottles, I only have to wash bottles every other day now (hurrah!) This night was not my bottle wash night, but due to a tainted nipple (yes, I just wrote tainted nipple*), we had to use another one, which meant I had to wash bottles. So I was slightly cranky.

* How do you taint a nipple? Handle raw chicken then accidently touch it, that’s how.

This crankiness led to a clearer mind in this situation. Her heart at that moment was larger than her brain. I told her that we’re not ready for another child at this time. Steph wanted to play hero ball, and I was the coach who pulled her aside to tell her that it’s not her time, let your teammates take this one.

She agreed, and replied to let them know it wouldn’t be us. I have virtually zero vacation time left, we have a child less than a year old at home, and we haven’t agreed on expanding our family yet. It made sense. It’s hard to let someone like that go, because you know you can provide the care and love that child needs, but it’s a slippery slope that ends up with five shelter dogs in the house and 20 newborn kitties in the shed. You can’t be everyone’s hero.

I think this might have been how God planned it though. This night, those moments, led us to start considering what our families future entails. I think he wanted Steph to know that yes, you do want another child, and with the tainted nipple, he led me to conclude that no, this child isn’t the one.

If you don’t mind, say a little prayer for that child and the adoptive parents.


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