As hard as it is for some people to understand the 'whys' it is equally (and maybe even more difficult) for me to understand your 'why not'.
As long as I have known about abortion and the silent holocaust, I have felt a need to protect and care for those who have no voice. I am 100% pro-life. I just cannot fathom the idea of ending the life of a baby - due to bad timing, bad circumstance, or prenatal diagnosis. I think God strengthened my convictions when He challenged Paul and I with the cross of infertility.
There were times when I would have been so grateful for someone -anyone- to walk up to me and offer me a child. I could have cared less about race, ability level, nationality. We simply wanted to be parents. After going through one home study/paper pregnancy, I completely felt like adoption was something in our future.
God threw us for a loop when we were gifted with our two precious sons. Adoption was put on the back burner for the time being. A page had been turned and a new story was written.
We have enjoyed our time raising our sweet boys. They are a blessing and a pleasure.
However, God had planted a little seed in us. He opened my eyes to the gift of children with special needs by placing both of our sons at a local Early Intervention program - The Bell Center. Being here is like home. It's a beautiful place where children with all levels of ability can thrive and grow. Little did they know how huge their impact on my life was and still is. These children, teachers and parents are incredible! They love their babies and cannot help but proclaim the joy it is to share their lives with someone who is special needs. One of my good friends from the Bell Center was Jennifer. She has an amazing daughter, Addie, that I have been blessed to know. Addie is one of those kids that LOVES to prove doctors wrong. She is such a miracle.
Another wonderful mother was placed in my life. Paul Vincent and Natalie were both born in April, 2006. Natalie's mother, Lori has taught me what a blessing it is to know and love someone with Down syndrome.
And yet another mom and writer, Kelle Hampton shared her real, not always pretty, account of motherhood and caring for her surprise, Nella. She has proven to the world that different is BEAUTIFUL. She tells a lovely story of friendship between her daughters.
Lori and I have a friend in common, who also has a child born in April, 2006. Ashli is the proud momma of a precious group of children! One of her most gorgeous children came from an orphanage in Ukraine. You can read about their journey to Everlyn here.
For the past -um, 5 or 6 years, I have been following a fantastic ministry - Reece's Rainbow. Reece's Rainbow has also changed my life. My eyes have been opened to the orphan crisis in the world. Many of these children happen to have special needs. Reece's Rainbow specifically advocates for children with Down syndrome. I have had the awesome experience of seeing children listed on the site, chosen by families and brought home to live wonderful lives. My first 'love' was a little boy they called Danylo. He is now home with a fantastic family with a LOT of siblings! It is wonderful to see him grow and thrive.
My second little heart breaker was Phoebe. Oh sweet girl! I would have loved to bring her home. I was thrilled when she moved to the "My Family Found Me" page! I promised that I would help her family bring her home, and I donated to her FSP as much as I could. I am so excited to see her pictures when her momma posts! It brightens my day!
And this is how we met our Rose! One day I was innocently going about my daily 'stalking' of the newly listed children and BAM! There she was.
My Brown Eyed Girl
I saw her sweet smile and her loving eyes and I knew there was something extraordinary about her. And I knew when I saw Paul's face light up that he thought she was special, too. Every day I thank God that she is loved by her Foster Mother and that her Biological Mother loved her enough to give her a chance at a beautiful life. We can't wait to hug you sweet girl! We're coming!
Next post.... Adoption and Sibling Relationships