The China adoptive community has been grieved by the deaths of two little heart patient kids who died this past week. One of them died the day after arriving in the US, the other has been home since March.
As I read the blogs of the families affected, I found myself thinking, "I could never adopt a child I knew had a serious, probably fatal condition." And yet, the "I could never" part of that sentence stopped me.
I think of all the times people have said things like, "You're adopting? Wow. I could never..." Whether they finish that sentence with "afford to do that" (you know that foster adoption is essentially free, right?) or "love a child that wasn't mine" (um, you're not related to your husband, are you?) or some other way, it has kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I feel like people are putting me on a pedestal I don't want to be on. It gets worse when they find out you're adopting a child with Special Needs. Like it's understandable to adopt a "normal" kid, but somehow exceptional to adopt a child who happens to be a little different. It's not, and I don't want to be nominated for sainthood. My bio kids are every bit as quirky as my adopted Special Needs child is.
I'm reminded of the saying, "If God brings you to it, He'll bring you through it." We believe this is what God has for our family. Obviously, those families believed the same thing.
If you look at what another family is doing and think, "I could never..." as I have so often, why not turn it around and think about what you CAN do? I could never... adopt a child with Down Syndrome, but I CAN donate to Reece's Rainbow and fundraisers that allow other families to do so. I am not in a position to go on mission trips right now, but I CAN pray for missionaries, and support church plant projects, and sponsor a child overseas. Although I'm currently unable to use my crisis pregnancy center training, I CAN pass along all the baby things we are finished with to the local CPC, a cause near and dear to my heart.
As long as you are doing something, you don't need to worry about what anybody else is doing. It doesn't have to be adoption related, or child related at all. What are YOU passionate about? The environment? Animals? The homeless? Politics? Slavery? My buzz phrase with the kids lately has been, "Make the world a better place." I think it's a hold over from my Girl Scout days. I have a hard time walking past a piece of trash at the park. It's easier to pick it up and throw it away. I would love to take the kids to participate in one of the local creek clean up days, but it just hasn't happened yet.
As Kai Lan says, "Don't think about what you can't do; think about what you can do!" One of the things you can do right now is join us in praying for the Hammond family who lost their sweet new son, John Thomas, who they called JT, and the Carr family, who lost their little girl, Zoe.
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