I wrote my first article for the newsletter I publish at work every month. Here it is, for your enjoyment:
In 2008, our family welcomed a 12 week-old bundle of joy into our home. He was an unexpected miracle, entrusted to us by his birth parents in Haiti. S was born with a neurological birth defect and required special care that was unavailable in his country. His mother had told the American nurse who helped coordinate S'a care that they had been instructed to let him die. The villagers didn't value his precious life and saw him as a burden and a curse (voodoo is prevalent there). Thankfully, his birth parents loved him enough to seek help for him. He was lovingly placed in our arms during a mission trip.
At the beginning stages of an adoption process, it is easy to set boundaries for what type of child you would be willing to parent, based on age, health, race and behavior issues. We initially felt uncomfortable with the idea of adopting a special needs child, until we began volunteering with a non-profit organization helping care for several medically fragile children. Doctors' appointments, surgery and hospital stays, therapists, tests, life-long care, and many other things must be considered. It can be emotionally, mentally, and physically draining. However, after spending time with and caring for several medically fragile children, my eyes were opened wide to see what a blessing they are. Every single life has a purpose and important significance, and God can do amazing things!
While being cared for by a world renowned neurosurgeon, we were told that S would have major lifelong complications and that his future was bleak. We were also told that one of the reasons S'a condition is so rare in first world countries like the U.S., is because doctors would highly recommend that such a child be aborted. Hearing this broke my heart. S is the most cheerful, outgoing, warm little soul I have ever known. His smile welcomes everyone and his laugh is the sweetest sound. He has continually defied the doctor's expectation about his quality of life. He is able to do nearly every single thing a typical child can do, and he only has a few small limitations. In a visit last year with another neurosurgeon, we were asked if S could walk or talk. We pointed out the active child who was independently climbing on the patient table and talking in full sentences a mile a minute.
Becoming an adoptive parent has been the biggest gift to me and my husband. We adopted another son, E, a year later. Many times I have been told "They are so lucky to have you", or "You are so kind to adopt them". I am the one who has been blessed, many times over. The fear of adding more children to our family has been eased by watching my older children learn compassion and patience from their new siblings. The hugs, kisses, laughter, and fun these boys bring into our home is priceless. Yes, we are busy. Yes, we have a few more appointments than a typical household. Yes, the laundry pile is HUGE, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.
At the WCPC, adoption is a viable life-affirming option for someone with an unplanned pregnancy situation. We lovingly support our clients as they make a decision that will affect the rest of their lives. In that support, we meet our clients in the middle of their messes and we love them, being the hands and feet of Jesus. Those clients who do choose life through adoption will have the opportunity to greatly bless a family with a child. What a blessing it is to be part of this ministry!