When Saying No isn’t an Option
What We Don’t Want
Next week we are taking our adopted son to Indianapolis to have the first of two surgeries.
He underwent a diagnostic procedure 6 weeks ago to develop the specific plan for the next surgery. When the surgeon was finished, he came out to sit down and talk to us and tell us what he found and what he needed to do next. He gave us details of the plan and the potential complications.
The conversation was intense. You can add it to a long list of difficult conversations we have take part in since deciding to adopt.
This conversation and the surgery are not something we have wanted for our family. We don’t want our son to have to deal with any of this. We don’t want him to feel the pain. We don’t want him to face the potential complications.
We want him to be okay. We want him to laugh and smile and play. We want him to be happy. We want to feel the warmth of his body as we hold him close. We want to know the delight of his laughter that we feel in our souls.
Making a Decision
As a parent, one of the things you hope for most is for your children to be healthy. During that conversation we had become the parents we never wanted to be. In a hospital two hours away from home, surrounded by other families with sick kids, having a surgeon tell us he was sorry about what our son was going to have to undergo.
If you had proposed this same scenario to me before we made the decision to adopt, before we met our son, chances are I probably would have given in to logic and walked away from it all.
When our surgeon finished explaining everything, he told us he was sorry. And then he paused as if waiting for us to make a decision. As if there was a decision to make
We expressed appreciation for his words and time and his care. And then responded in one simple way.
We are all in.
When we choose to live better stories we will face this tension. The road will be bumpy. While we hope for a smooth ride, our lives will be tossed around by the turbulence of difficult realities and impossible decisions.
- We will be asked to do more than we ever have.
- We will be asked to give more than we possess.
- We will be asked to go places we never wanted to be.
- We will be asked to pay a price so high that we can never be the same again.
When we arrive at this fork in the road, we have two options. We can quit or we can keep moving forward.
The Only Real Option
When I think about my son, the only thing I could possibly have done to avoid what he is facing is to not adopt him. To leave him in China where he might not even receive the are he needs. Even worse, to leave him to face this tough part of his life alone.
The only other option would have been to choose to not love him, and I can’t not do that.
I can’t wish for all of this to go away because that option is simply not an option.
We are in the place of not-being-able-to-say-no. Not because someone forces us to say yes, but because we love him and we want to give everything for him.
And this is one of the best places to be if your goal is to live a better story.
Not-being-able-to-say-no is the place that normal people avoid. Knowing that the moment will come when saying no isn’t an option, some say no much earlier while they still can.
Before they see the smile. Before they hear the laugh. Before they feel the hug. Before they give themselves over to love.
If you overcome all of the logic of the world telling you to say no now, then one day the moment will come when you won’t be able to, and you’ll never regret it.
Have you ever not been able to say no?
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