Have you ever just known that you needed to write something and not sure what it is? I've been like that for a couple days. Several things keep coming to mind. Of them are special need adoption, multiples adoption, homecoming prep and relishing the here and now knowing that when we come home, nothing will be the same.
Special needs adoption:
This isn't the first time. Maybe a little more obvious but definitely not the first. Every adoption, whether of a "typical" child or one with a diagnosis (Dx) is honestly special needs. Often, once one has adopted that "healthy infant/child", one finds that there are special needs whether it be physical and/or emotional. I've had that happen. Cute little blonde haired, blue eyed doll who had "behavior problems" ended up having Asperger Syndrome which comes with a myriad of things with which to contend. Beautiful big brown eyed baby had emotional scars which she held onto tightly even with everyone's best efforts to help her heal. This time we know the actual Dx before hand, can prepare as much as possible, and deal with everything else as it comes along.
This adoption, although adopting three at once, is not the first time we have had several little bundles placed in our arms all at once! I remember May 12, 2010. So back up two days prior when we were blessed with a precious little Mexican beauty from NICU at the local hospital. She had symptoms much like that of a stroke due to abuse. She was 9 months old, but about the size of a 3 month old. Adorable little thing and so in need. Two days later, May 12, we got a call from our local DSS asking if we could take a little girl we had previously discussed. She was 10 mo and had disrupted her foster care placement. Imagine that, 10 months old? How in the world could that happen. I'll explain that in a minute. Then we got another call, because we have a big house, about taking a sibling group of three ages 8, 5 and 3. So here we are with our Mexican princess, and in walks two separate groups of kids at the same time and I'm not kidding; both sets of social workers/kids arrived at the very same time. Five kids in two days and most had behaviors which needed modification to say the least. The 10 month old could SHREEK so loud that you could not be in the same room with her without having your eardrums pierced. She was quite talented. The 3 yr old loved to beat up on her 5 yr old brother and would win! The 5 yr old would rob you blind of anything edible and eat the whole thing at once, then lie just as sweet as he could about it. He was so cute, you really wanted to believe him. The 8 year old was a calm doll who was very helpful and come to find out, in their colorful little lives, actually knew the 10 mo! It was a trip. So I remind myself this is not our first picnic and possibly won't be our last. Oh, and I didn't even mention the day all 6 Guatemalan's came to us! Three will be challenging, but no more than the other precious little challenges we've contended with in the past five years.
I've been trying to figure out how to arrange our bedroom to include three toddler beds, which we have, knowing full well that the other three will also want to join in on the Mommy/Daddy bedroom thing. We have been advised to put the beds of our three new little punkins in our room so that they can see us if/when they wake in the night. Gavin and Flora already love to come crawl in the bed with us, but I have been trying to deter it since I'm usually the one who does not get sleep. Add three in our room and Flora and Gavin are going to be rather put out that they cannot join. Of course, Ian would need to as well. I'm thinking we just move all the chest of drawers into one room and all the beds into ours. It's big enough. Honestly, I'm still not sure how we're going to arrange this, but I'm sure it will come to me/us before we leave. One thing for sure, I do not want to end up with all 6 kids in our bed. We'd need to make it a double king! How about they sleep with Daddy, who can sleep through anything, and I'll take the nursery! =)
Relishing the here and now:
I find myself staring at the kids here at home more now. I hold them as much as they will absolutely let me. I look them in the eyes more so that I can capture as much as possible. I know that once we are home with our new littles things are going to be different. Not better or worse, but different. I know it's going to be amazing, and I know that our new littles and our already littles are going to learn so much from one another. I'm excited about it, and I have to admit a little forlorn about it. Only so slightly. I remember feeling this way about Scott when I was pregnant we Jeremiah. I kept wondering if I could ever love Jeremiah as much as I loved Scott. The great thing is, I could and in this case, I will.
All of this, adopting special needs, adopting three children at once, preparing for their arrival and knowing that things will never be the same, has me often on my face before God. I am overwhelmed and humbled once again at His hand in our lives. I'm amazed at what He's taught us which has prepared us for this place in time. My heart aches as I cry out to Him asking how we can do more. Now that we know, now that we have been given what I'm sure is just a glimpse of the plight of the orphans, we can never go back. We can never not know. In just knowing we have become responsible to do. That's scriptural, Church. James 4:17 says: If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them. And James 1:27 says: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. So if you know that it is your responsibility to do James 1:27 and you do nothing, then according to James 4:17 is it sin. I'm not saying that everyone is called to adopt, but I am saying we, as the Body of Christ, are called to care for the orphans. If you cannot adopt, then donate to a particular child, someone's adoption or an adoption ministry. If you cannot donate, find a child and advocate for that child by posting their link and adorable face to your time line. One child at a time if that's all you can do. And by all means be a prayer warrior and pray! Prayer really does change things. Two children for whom I have been praying have had families commit to adopt them in the past couple weeks. Prayer makes a difference and you can make a difference too. Just knowing now makes you responsible too.