Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Another Perfect Son

I have talked about a little boy that we were trying to get medical care for. Branson is the name he was given by the Non profit organization, Love Without Boundaries, that was taking care of him while in China. Branson was diagnosed with heterotaxy just like Gideon. Both boys came from the same area of China and were cared for in the same home. Heterotaxy is pretty rare so to have two boys from the same area have it is not common. While helping get help for Branson we fell in love with him.

At one point I began to pray that I would be allowed to be Branson's mother. I hurt for him and prayed for his safety and health. I knew his heart was bad and his prognosis was not good but that didn't stop me from loving him. I had an impression that he would not make it home. His heart would give out before that time. Part of me was grateful and part of me was sad to feel this.

Doug and I discussed bringing Branson home. We knew it would be hard on the family. Having just lost Gideon to the same heart issue we were still grieving and so were our children. Because of my feeling that Branson wouldn't make it home we felt a little safer in beginning the adoption process. Branson's file was being prepared in China while we were getting things lined up for an expedited adoption. Through the blessings of Heavenly Father we were given the go ahead to adopt. There were many hurdles that had to be overcome with the greatest being adopting so soon after losing a child to death. Social workers don't like to approve families that have gone through something so traumatic as death before a year. We prayed and knew that the adoption would only happen if God wanted it to. Hurdle after hurdle was removed and we began our homestudy update. Branson file took a long time to get through the system in China and just before we left on vacation I was informed that his file was finally available. We sent in our Letter Of Intent, meaning a letter to the Chinese government stating our desire to adopt this little boy.

Branson had been doing so well and getting excellent care. We had to shift our thoughts to what life would be like bringing home another heart baby and how we would handle his death. I began to doubt my impression that Branson wouldn't make it home. I started making plans and going through scenarios of how I would handle his medical issues. I dreamed of touching his face not just his picture and holding him close. My heart completely fell for this little boy. I wanted to hold him and see him so badly that I had to remind myself I may never get the opportunity. I wanted to guard my heart from pain but I just couldn't stop loving this boy.

Sunday night in Nauvoo there was a performance called "Our Story Goes On". The cast of the pageant sang Broadway songs and put them together in a story of life, love and loss. At one point they sang "Bring Him Home". This song has been a little difficult for me from the time I prayed Gideon would make it home. Now I had Branson in the same position. I was overcome with deep sorrow. I almost walked out because the sobs were so near the surface. I wondered where this sorrow came from but didn't feel it was about Gideon. I couldn't put my finger on it.

On Monday when we were on our way to Carthage we got a call. It was a miracle that the call came through because in Nauvoo there is almost no cell service. We initially planned to go to Carthage on Sunday but because of the crowds we chose the slower day, which was Monday. Because of this decision a miracle happened. Myriam at Agape called and let me know that Branson had passed away the night before. It was Monday morning in China but Sunday night in the states. As we talked I realized that Branson had passed away not too long before the song "Bring Him Home" was sung the night before. I recognized that I knew at that moment he was gone. I would never hold him in this life.

It has been hard. I love my son and I consider him my son in every way. The children are mourning his loss but are also filled with hope that one day they will see him. All of the kids have expressed their desire to have another child. Each person has their own thoughts. Some want a boy, some a girl, some want a black baby and others Chinese. One child wants an older boy his age but they all want another sibling. I take this as a good sign. They will heal quickly. Heavenly Father knows what's best for all of us and He knew that it would be difficult to go through losing another brother that they had attached too.

We now have an empty grave on top of Gideon. When we purchased it we didn't know who would go there but soon we realized Branson belonged with Gideon. That spot will now stay empty. A memorial and a reminder that he was here and will never be forgotten. We are finally going to get a headstone made for Gideon. Branson will share that headstone. Branson will now be known as Joel as this is the name he was to be given. Gideon and Joel may not have been brothers in life but they are brothers in death. As of last night these brothers stand side by side connected for eternity. Our two prefect sons.

Dec 2012 - July 2014


  1. I am so sorry for you loss Walker family. We lost a daughter before we could complete her adoption, thus we never actually met her. It was so incredibly painful and sorrowful. We have since been able to seal her to our family and what a joy it is to know we will see her someday. Your family is in our hearts and prayers.

  2. This was such a lovely post and tears are flowing. Thanks you for letting us be part of this sweet little one being sealed for eternity to you both and your family. It was such a sweet moment in time and I am sure those two are together. Sometimes, sorrow is very painful and sometimes it has sweetness to it. This was sweet to read. Love and hugs for you all!

  3. Praying for your family