We have been in the trenches the last six weeks with Mila in a cast from her hips to her toes. Our every day life has been different. Mila has had to sit in different chairs because the chair she normally sits in to eat will not accommodate her cast. She has had to take "baths" differently than before. She has slept in our bedroom on an air mattress so we can be close by when she is uncomfortable or has spasms in her legs. Doug and I have taken turns getting up to care for Mila as she wakes anywhere from 2-6 times a night. She has had night terrors. Life in the last six weeks has been different.
As I look back on the last 6 weeks, I realize that life was different and sometimes quite a challenge, but I would gladly forfeit sleep again. We are blessed to have Mila in our family. She is a sister, a daughter, a friend to many. She is loved. She is an orphan no more.
This thought then leads me to think of all those faces we have seen, and had to leave behind. Every little one (or big one for that matter) deserves a family--a chance in this world. I've had some comments on my blog that I have chosen not to publish. The person who commented is entitled to their opinion, but when you belittle another's life choices and leave your comment anonymously, that's being a coward.
Every child deserves a chance to be part of a family. Occasionally people will ask about us adopting an older child and how we will deal with his past. My response is typically something like this- "If I had birthed my child, I could raise him/her to the best of my ability, and they could still make poor choices in life. If when he/she made a poor choice, would I turn my back on my child and tell them that they don't deserve my love? I wouldn't think of telling my child that he/she doesn't deserve to be part of the family because of a poor choice?" Of course not! So, why would I do that to our adopted son/daughter? We each are adopted by God. I am thankful daily that despite my flaws, my mistakes, my blunders, God gives us another day--another chance to prove that we are worthy of being part of HIS family. Why should it be any different with my children?
We are aware that having an older child who has seen a lot of abuse and neglect in his life, will no doubt be a challenge. We are not going into this with our eyes closed. We know about his past. We know about the pain he tries to hide. We are well aware of the counseling and therapy he will need. We are willing to help him seek healing to better himself and help make sense of and forgive the wrongs that others have done to him.
And then I think of those little ones that have been neglected in orphanages around the world. Given just enough substance to barely sustain their little bodies.
We may not all be called to adopt, but each of us can do something. All of us are called to act. Check out my friend Shelley's blog to find a way you can help many orphans receive the medical care they desperately need.
Someday, I know, that we will adopt again. I'm not afraid of what others think of us as a family. God has laid on our heart that if and when we adopt again, it will be from the least of these. I have a heart full of love and compassion. I understand the value of a life--any life. Every child, despite his/her disability, mistakes, or faults, deserves a family to call their own--A place to belong.
I'm so thankful that God has picked me to walk this great, trying, complicated, special path of adoption. My world is better today than it was yesterday. I look forward to many tomorrows ahead!