Stop and think about this quote. Each person, black or white, fat or thin, rich or poor, healthy or sick....each of them are Jesus in disguise.
The coming post is not to sound judging because if it were, the finger would be pointed back at me. So don't go getting your feelings hurt or think that you are being judged if you feel differently. This is a call to move.... to move the hearts of people who may be straddling this issue....to push them over to where they know they need to be.
I have said in many previous posts that we are not all called to adopt children, whether domestic or international, but we are called to do something. This is directed at those of you called to adopt...those of you looking into it, know it is in your future, or are in the process. This is for you!!!
I have never been pregnant. There are days when I wish I had experienced that blessing that so many of you have.....that I witness everyday at work. Yet, if I had, I would not be up at 23:49 typing this...I would not have my Ethiopian son sleeping in his boxer briefs in the next room and awaiting another son who is awaking in Addis Ababa. So while I have not been pregnant, I do know a couple of things about it.... The biggest thing I know is that you don't get to choose.... (lets pretend that the world IVF where you can pick everything down to the right chromosomes does not exist)......
You DO NOT choose:
Gender: boy or girl
Hair color: Blonde, brown, red
Hair texture: curly, frizzy, thick, thin, straight
Health: healthy, heart defects, infections, spina bifida, Down Syndrome
Date: the date they are born (unless you have perfectly orchestrated C section)
and much more....
But I find so many of us in the adoption world dictating so much about our future child(ren).... for example: only girl, aged 0-8 months, 100% HEALTHY. I am to blame just as much as the next person. Our first adoption we wanted a child between ages zero to five years, only healthy...and lets be honest, as cute as possible. With that said, I understand that age is something important to choose, especially if you have other children and gender is understandable if you have all boys and want a girl and are unable to or are not called to conceive one. However, I beg you to think about the "healthy" thing. Think about "heath".... that little ole' special needs line of your application.
I have a friend from college, Neil and Kristi Hayden, who thought they were having a healthy baby until 32 weeks when they found out she has a bad heart defect. Now little Jordan fights for her life in the children's hospital where I work. Jordan, despite her health, has amazing, Godly parents who are fighting for her, sitting by her bedside, giving all of themselves, regardless of the outcome.
But now think about the kids out there in the US and abroad who are orphans. Kids who are not blessed like Jordan, who despite her broken heart, has parents by her side. Not only are these children "rejected" in that they don't have parents (regardless of the means by which they came to orphan status, there is an underlying sense of rejection in not having parents or not being wanted by one's parents). Then these children....children who are just that... children.... who happen to have a special need, are then rejected for that need... They are not "special needs kids" but rather children, who happen to have a special need..... They have Down syndrome, they have HIV, they have had TB in the past, they have hearing problems or a heart defect....All these, while seeming serious, are manageable, some more than others... I can only speak directly about HIV but have experience with all being in the pediatric medical field.
Think about that.. Rejected twice....once by not having their first, natural family and second by those wanting to adopt but not wanting them because of their HIV status (or other need).....which is something they did not ask for or get by their own choices, but by the sins of adults. Just think about it.... What if Christ rejected us because of the sins our parents? We could say nothing, do nothing to earn His forgiveness and kingdom because of something someone else did? Man, I am glad that is not the case for us. But it may be for them.
You may think HIV is too expensive to manage, that they may not live long, they may give it to your other kids...that your car pool/play group/work/country club/even church friends may judge you or worse, NOT BE YOUR FRIEND..... GUESS WHAT: HIV meds run $0-$200 per month depending on insurance but the government is required by law to provide them if you can not afford and offers assistance programs in such cases.... and their lifespan, if managed with medication appropriately, is predicted in British literature at 65 years old.... and they won't give it to others, even in the home, without having sex with or sharing needles with someone. Seriously. And maybe, just maybe, those people who don't want to be around were not really the people who were real friends in the first place....
Maybe you are not called to special needs or do not feel you can do it, but think about it... pray about it. Speak up for these children, sponsor these children, help families adopting these children.... ADOPT these children. These children, like the healthy, "normal" kids are JESUS IN DISGUISE.
www.projecthopeful.org. The video has so much to say about the stigma with HIV and gives resources to learn more. Project Hopeful also has tons of info on HIV, HIV and adoption, info for family and friends, medical information, and waiting children. Check them out....or email me and I will get you more info..
For interest in Down Syndrome adoption: http://reecesrainbow.org/
Our agency: Lifeline Adoption, contact Lesley Scott (205) 967-0811 for the Ethiopia program.
Please feel free to email us with questions. Save yourself the time if you have negative comments. These blogs are meant to help those intending to adopt and to advocate for those who can not do so for themselves!