I love to hear adoption testimonies! Everyone has a different story. Some say they 'knew since they were little' that they would adopt children. Some say it was never on their radar! Some say they began to talk about adoption after years of infertility. Some say it was something they discussed with their spouse from day one of their marriage. I just love to hear individual experiences!
I will never forget the first time I encountered the thought of adopting special needs children. I was standing in a parking lot talking with one of my good friends. I had shared the news with her that we were in process to adopt from China. I told her that the wait was really really really long for a healthy child, but there were many special needs children available right now.
Then she said it.
A statement that reverberated in my soul and spirit and shook my world.
"Oh Laine. I could SO SEE you and Rob adopting a special needs child."
I didn't want to hear that! Adopting special needs children scared me! That was for people with lots of faith and patience and strength. Not me.
Insert a big fat grin from God right about now.
As much as I tried to run from the thought, as much as it frightened me to the core....I could not stop thinking about what my sweet friend said.
Really? Us? Adopting a special needs child? A thousand questions ran through my mind.
But Rob? He was ALL FOR IT.
That scared me even more!
I once heard a very appropriate acronym for FEAR
that is what fear is...False Evidence Appearing Real.
All my fears?
Some of them turned out to be utterly ridiculous, like the fear that we wouldn't be able to handle all the doctor appointments, surgeries, etc. Of course we cannot handle it all! Not in our own strength! We depend on the Lord every moment, and through HIM we handle it!
And the fear that it would hold back my other children in our home? Ridiculous! Adopting special needs children has expanded their view of others, it has taught them unconditional love, it has ADVANCED their spiritual, emotional, and social growth...it certainly has not held them back.
And the fear that I wouldn't be able to love an adopted child as my very own? Ridiculous! Now of course out of the four children we have adopted, each attachment process has been unique. It is a PROCESS. It is NOT always easy. Love grows for each of my children, biological and adopted. Love grows! Sometimes it comes easy and sometimes it takes more effort, but nevertheless it grows!
And when fears materialize, and suffering comes, you do make it through. I would say if I put my fear on one end of a balancing scale, and the benefits and blessing of my special needs children on the other end of the scale, their is no doubt that the benefits and blessings FAR outweigh the fears.
As it turns out, adopting special needs children isn't just for those with lots of faith and patience and strength! It's for regular people like me and you!