I’ve been asked a few questions since we began the process of adopting two little girls from Eastern Europe. The first question I am usually asked, is:
“Why are you adopting from Easter Europe when there are so many kids here in the US that need families?” This question isn’t usually asked politely, but with a bit of disdain, and many times more than a little anger. First I will explain that we are a Christian family. Before you let THAT anger you, please don’t lump all Christians into one pot. There are many false Christians out in this world who claim they are Christians yet continue to live their lives in a way that does not bring glory to the lord. My Christian faith is one of following the teachings of Christ. Christ came here to teach us. He was compassionate, loving faithful and forgiving. There was no hate and no judgement. I do my best to live my life in that manner. I am not perfect, and I will never be perfect. But I do believe in treating others the way I want to be treated, and I try to do that daily. And there are days I fail miserably, but you will not find me on a soap box preaching hell fire and damnation. It is not who I am.
I have learned in the last few years of my life to listen to God calls me. Again, I fail miserably. But the one of the calls I managed to hear, was that there were children in this world that needed a family. I know you all think it’s crazy that at “our age” we would bring small children back into our home through adoption. Our nest was almost empty and life after kids was about to begin. That wasn’t God’s plan for us. And when God calls, I DO try to answer the phone!
Ron and I prayed and felt this really was something we were supposed to do. But it wasn’t just a “supposed to” thing. We both love children a great deal and neither of us was really ready for the empty nest. However, we both knew that if we were too old to adopt, we’d answered a wrong number. I sent two email out that night. One to an international adoption agency, and one to an agency here locally that helped with domestic adoptions. I had a response from the international adoption agency in my inbox the next morning stating we were NOT too old to adopt from a country in Eastern Europe, and they would be happy to help us through the process. A few days later I received a response to the agency that handles domestic adoptions and we were told we were too old to adopt and they couldn’t help us. That was a clear indication to us that the children God had chosen for us were not in the United States. We had no idea where they were, but we knew God was going to show us. This is why we adopted from Eastern Europe. That is where God led us, and where my children were. Had they been in the US, we would have happily adopted from the US.
The other big question we get is “Why would you do this at “YOUR AGE?” I feel that question was answered above, but I will explain again. When God calls, you answer. It truly is that simple for me. God didn’t call Moses into service until he was 80 years old. Sarah gave birth to Abraham’s son in her 90’s. I was 57 when God placed this on my heart and called us to adopt. Did we question Him? Of course! Through prayer and research, we understood this was His desire and we knew it was right. Every Christian is called to help widows and orphans. Not everyone is called to adopt, but we are ALL called to help and protect. Whether financially, or otherwise, it is what we are supposed to do. We knew we were being called to adopt, not just advocate and help financially.
“Why did you adopt a child with special needs? Why would you do that to yourself and your family?” This is the question that always irritates me. Are only perfectly healthy children worthy of a family? If one of my biological children were born with spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, downs syndrome or any other special need, would I give them back and say “No thank you, I’ll wait for a healthy child?” No. I would love that child as much as my so called “perfect” children and do everything I could so to make their lives positive, and rich! Every child deserves love and a family. I didn’t get to pick and choose what God placed in my womb, and I wasn’t going to argue with the choice God made of which child to bless me with through adoption. I tried. I had chosen two other little girls and we were in the process of being matched. Another family requested to be matched with them first, and we were denied because of that. I was heartbroken, grieved, and did a lot of crying, but it was clear, those were not my children.
“What is Cara’s special need?” Cara has confirmed Cystic Fibrosis. When I was a child, this diagnosis was a death sentence. Most children with Cystic Fibrosis did not live long enough to make it to Kindergarten. It was a terribly frightening insidious pulmonary disease. As a child my heart broke whenever I heard of a child born with CF. Cara’s cystic fibrosis is not in her lungs. Her case is very rare, only affecting her intestines and pancreas. It is still very serious, and she will most likely develop diabetes at some point as her pancreas will not be able to produce enough insulin as she grows and the over production of mucus plugs her internal organs. She may need a liver transplant at some point, but both of these things most likely won’t happen until she is an adult. She takes digestive enzymes to help her digest her food properly, something she wasn’t doing in the orphanage, and large doses of the fat soluble vitamins as she has not been absorbing them. This all causes slow growth, which is why my 6 year old is the size of a 3 year old. Now that she is on the proper medication, we have great hope that she will eventually catch up.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have and I will answer them in another post.