Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wendy asked:

Hi! I've always wondered what made you guys choose a child with Ds. It seems most families who adopt a child with Ds either already have one or have been blessed by someone in their family with Ds. Just wondering:)
Wendy

While John and I were engaged, we attended a church service where the church kids got up on the stage to do a Christmas performance. In that bunch of kids was a little African American boy, about 5 years old, with something like spina bifida (?). He was in foster care and his name was Lenny. While all the other kids walked up on stage to sing, Lenny used his tiny hands to drag his entire body up the steps to the stage. I loved this kid immediately. He was so amazing! I remember leaning over to John and saying, "I'd like to adopt a kid like that someday." John just smiled.

Adoption came up in our premarriage counseling, specifically special needs adoption. Again, John smiled, and said he was "open" to it. I guess I just always loved a kid in a wheelchair, or with hearing aides or with any other special needs. I could see myself being a mother to a kid like that.

Fast forward 12 years......We had 4 great.....healthy kids. We were homeschooling and I really felt a desire to get our family in some sort of outreach/volunteer opportunities. We had bumped into a couple of kids with physical or mental challenges at homeschooling and sports events, and I had seen how graciously my kids had interacted with them. I thought it would be great for us as a family to volunteer with some special kids.

The problem was, nobody I called would allow my kids to volunteer until they were at least 16. At the same time, my friend Tina told me about a video called "Hope for the Orphan", by Family Life, which challenged christians to get involved in the problem of orphaned children across the world. John and I were both moved to tears. While we had always talked about adopting "some day", after our kids were grown, it was through that video that we decided we wanted to adopt NOW, while our kids were young and could be a part of this wonderful ministry of adoption. Thus I began my internet search for that little black boy with spina bifida. :)

Meanwhile, our kids were in basketball. There was a little girl with Down Syndrome that was the younger sister of one of the players. Her name was Holly, and I loved her! I came home one night after practice and told John I'd like to adopt a child with Down Syndrome. He didn't really acknowledge me the first time I brought it up, or the second...then when he got real honest, he gave me a list of questions and fears he had, questions mostly involving how this would affect our happy marriage, our happy family, our freedom, our finances. He had never really known anyone with Down Syndrome, and the mere thought of the lifelong commitment that it was, was just frightening. However that didn't stop me from googling "Down Sydrome adoption" and finding Andrea at Reece's Rainbow, who began answering some of my many questions, that is, while John was still praying about it.

Then in John's quiet time one morning, he read this scripture: I Pet. 3: 13-17
13 Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defence to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you; 16yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil.

That was the scripture that changed everything, and caused John's fears to turn into John's faith. The adoption journey began! And life hasn't been the same since. In a wonderful way, of course.

Any other questions? I need more blogging material!


8 comments:

Jester 5 said...

What things did you dicuss as far as ago of the adopted child...with Hope's age specifically? Or was that something that was even considered?

As the oldest what kind of "kid feedback" did Simeon give you throughout the process?

Anonymous said...

I would like to know your homeschooling story. I think
your kids attended school
before - if so what made
you decide to homeschool now.
Do you think they will go
back to school one day?
I never homeschooled but
it always interested me.
Lucie

Marlita said...

How do you know if a chickens egg is fertilized?

Wendy said...

Thanks for the story....it's an awesome one:)
Wendy

Anonymous said...

How is hs going? Why return to it? Owasso Schools are good...I just gave you away....I am LOVING them in school. Gonna be in the above town next week w/th. I will call you. Lisa A

Christina L said...

How did you choose an adoption agency? That part seems to be the most daunting task I am facing thus far. I already know that I want an asian child, but am completely unsure how to choose an agency. We are looking at Dillon and America World adoption. Any ideas in choosing the best one. I know that they would both be fine, but it is a big decision.

jennifer... said...

Great honesty, great verse, great story. 

Rita Andrews said...

Charissa
I love keeping up with your family...they are all just so precious!!

Here something fun for you to do...

TAGGED your it! Go to my blog to find out.