Saturday, February 19, 2011

Too Much Risk

Early in our married life, I recall declaring that I would NEVER adopt because there was too much risk with adoption!  Little did I know what God had already planned for my future, huh?!?  It seems that just about every time I have told God I would NEVER do something, He always has plans for me to do it anyway!  But He never has plans for me to do it alone; He is always the One who not only orchestrates my days, but He also equips me to handle what He has called me to do.  It's not always easy (in fact, it's rarely easy!), but His Word doesn't promise the path will be easy.  His Word promises that He will never leave me or forsake me.  And He is always faithful.

Someone recently told me that ugly kids need families, too!  I was a little bit confused at first, but this person went on to explain that all of our kids are so cute/beautiful, and what about all of the ugly kids out there?  Don't we know that they need love, too?!?  This reminded me of a reader who inquired a while back about our family only choosing cute/perfect kids to adopt. 

I must respond that we didn't CHOOSE any one of our kiddos!  That might sound strange, but it's important for you to know that GOD chose each of our children for us.  We had nothing to do with His selections!  And we've never denied a child who God has asked us to adopt, not even Chrissie, who had severe congenital heart defects that caused at least 2 other families to back out of adopting her prior to our family committing to her.  With one of our kiddos, we didn't even see a photo before we committed to the adoption.  We knew that God wanted us to adopt that kiddo, without even having ANY information about the child, including not having seen even a photo.  So, it's not like we've gone out "kid shopping" and chosen the best looking/most beautiful kiddos out there.  In fact, that couldn't be further from the truth.  With every single one of our adoptions, we were NOT LOOKING to adopt ANYONE when God placed a specific child in our path and clearly told us to adopt that child, regardless of the circumstances.  The only thing He asks of us is for obedience.  He just wants us to obey, regardless of how impossible the situation may seem.  He wants us to fully trust Him that if He calls us to a task, He will equip us.  God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. 

The other thing I want you all to know is that all of these cute kiddos come with a myriad of labels attached to them.  They are ALL precious in His sight, regardless of the labels.  And He has faithfully equipped us to handle things we NEVER thought we could handle.  Some of the labels/diagnoses God has called us to include:  Dyslexia, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, ADHD/ADD (Attention Deficit Disorders), Tourette's Syndrome, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Severe food allergies (anaphylaxis), Allergic Colitis, Ulcerative Colitis, Hydrocephalus, Seizure Disorders, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Anxiety Disorders, Diabetes, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, Encopresis (fecal soiling oneself), RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder), congenital heart defects, non-English speakers, learning disabilities, and the list goes on.   Each child God has brought into our family has come with labels attached, but God has asked us to set aside the label(s) and simply focus on the child.  He has asked us to rely more upon Him and less upon ourselves.  When we are weak, He is strong.

I happen to agree that all of our children are adorable, but I have nothing to do with that.  God has formed each of our children to be precious in His sight.  He has chosen to bless our family abundantly with many arrows in our quiver, but each arrow is far from perfect, and that's OK.  God asks us to love each child regardless of the way they appear on the outside and/or the inside.  Each child is created in His image and is worthy of His love and the love of a forever family, regardless of labels, regardless of appearance, regardless of the condition of the heart (spiritually and medically speaking!).  Love.  Regardless.

I believe that each of us is a special needs orphan who needs to be adopted by our loving and mighty Father, regardless of our labels/diagnoses/needs.  God is in the business of redeeming special needs and His heart is adoption.  Aren't we grateful that God didn't turn His back on us, allowing the fear of our special needs to overtake His love for us?

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