I try to be an honest person and say things the way they are. I try not to paint a huge happy picture when things are not that way. I try to answer questions asked by others as honestly as I can so they can have an accurate view especially when asking about adopting a child with autism or what it’s like to raise a child with Fetal Alcohol syndrome. People who feel led to adopt children with special needs (or any children for that matter) need to know the truth and facts. To only proceed after deep prayer and fasting. To let God lead them into it and choose their children for them on their adoption journey. To let God build their family. I get asked all the time why we adopted special needs children. All I can say is that unless the Lord builds a house it will not stand. That Tim and I both feel the Lord brought us the children that were meant to be ours forever. Just as the Lord chose who would be in a family that is all related biologically. Ours was built the same way. Just thru a different means. We were shown by God a need that needed to be met and when God asked us to meet it, we did. We have never looked back and have been blessed abundantly for it. God is so good.
Tim and I feel just as bonded to and love our adopted children, as we do our biological ones. We treat them all as our children and the kid’s sibling bonds run just as deep as if they were all birthed by us. They know no different. We are a family. God is so good. We have been blessed beyond measure with each and every one of our children.
Many people when they are standing outside looking into our life they see it thru their own eyes. The reality that they imagine or see is not what ours really is. I mean no life is going to be perfect and everyone has their own ideas of what that entails. I mean of course I feel my husband is perfect. :) I just can’t resist the man. But me, I always struggle with feeling inadequate in all I do. I was the one struggling with her weight all her life. I am the one with no fashion sense AT ALL. I have always not been "normal". The children are home schooled! Oh my! That has its own connotations to it. We live on a farm and actually drink goats milk! Oh dear! And by the way…Do you wash your eggs before you eat them???? Then there is the children. I get approached all the time when out in public about the children. 1) Are you with a special school or something? 2) who’s kids are all these? They aren’t all yours are they? Don’t you have any help with you???? When do you have time for yourself? I could go on and on. Very kind, nice, curious, well meaning people. They all have so many questions. :) The wonderful conversations and friends we have met this way! God is so good. We are truly an oddity that is not seen often. When I do see a family like us out and about I smile and thank God for encouraging me that day! I always shoot a prayer their way.
Truly the ones living this life, is that we live a normal life. This is normal for us. Every time we add a child things might be a bit bumpy for a while but soon we achieve a new normal and that becomes our normal life. Every child is special and any child that would be added into your life, by any means, would bring great change. Change in routine, finances, time management and often that child requires a sacrifice. Maybe sacrifice of sleep. Or the time you used to watch a TV show. This is how our life has changed. It has changed for the better, over and over again, as time has gone on. As we have added each child. Life just got better and better.
Yes, when I was younger I dreamed of a perfect life. A perfect family, perfect husband, perfect children, a perfect life. But what does perfect look like to God? And to us, once we live, learn and grow in the Lord? God choose me when I was less than perfect, died for me, gave His life for me. And thru him I am able to go before the Father sinless. Amazing! HE makes something beautiful of us and our lives. HE gave His life for this less than perfect woman so that I could live my life perfected thru Him.
And my answer to you today as to why we adopted them? What has it done to our lives? How do we cope? All I can say is that adopting these children has made our lives better than perfect. God asked and we did it. He stretched us out of our comfort zone. Asked us to walk where we would have normally been afraid to walk. Shared what we thought we would never share. And lived how we never thought we would or could live. We have prayed more, cried more and laughed more. And it has only bore good fruit in our walk with God, character and in our lives. It has drawn us closer to Him than I ever thought possible. We are sanctified by the blood of the Lamb. My children are wonderful children. They are who they are and kids with special needs are great kids. If they never progressed a bit more, got to a certain grade in school or moved out on their own…I am content in that. They are who they are and they are great! We all have our issues within ourselves. Things that we struggle with. Those things are what makes us who we are. Our perfection comes by God, thru God and by living in God and His Word and ways. Our life is better than perfect. Not always wonderful. Not always easy. But I would have it no other way. One thing I can honestly say is that it is never boring! And as far as having time for myself. I choose to spend my time living in the moment of serving God, serving my husband and raising the family God gave me. That is my want, my desire, my hobby and my dreams. To lead, guide and shape the mind and life of a child is a huge gift that God has entrusted us with. I want to be there and not miss a thing.
God has used them to make my life, Tim’s and my life, better than perfect.
Psalm 127:3-5 -Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.