Before we began our journey in to adoption there were a few things that I had in my mind regarding “adopted children”. It was quite unfair for me to pretend that I knew anything about adopted children or what it meant to be adopted.
I knew nothing.
After being involved in this process for 10 months and going through the adoption training I realized I was wrong about something.
I was wrong when I thought that not ALL adopted children have survived trauma.
It’s not true.
I remember filling out the paperwork and checking the boxes for the special needs category. We checked “no” next to most of the boxes that were considered “high risk” special needs.
Here I am wanting to love and help a child in need yet I am not willing to love the ones with special needs?
After praying about it for weeks, it was during our last adoption training session that our counselor said something to me that totally made sense…
“ALL adopted children have survived trauma. ALL adopted children have some form of a special need. Just because you are not willing to take a child with HIV does not mean you are not willing to love a child with special needs. It doesn’t make you a bad person.”
Wow, I had never really thought about it that way. Losing one’s birth parents is the MOST traumatic form of loss a child can experience.
And no matter what the circumstance…our child will have felt that same pain. The pain and loss of being abandoned or separated from their birth mom for life.
I no longer felt guilty for checking no next to the box about down syndrome or Hepatitis B. I no longer felt like I was struggling to understand why I wasn’t willing to parent a child with those characteristics.
Maybe if we didn’t already have three children of our own. Maybe if I had 100% of my time to dedicate to our next child. Maybe if I knew that I could handle it. But the truth was…I didn’t have any of those things.
I am not a mom of one. I don’t have 100% of my time to dedicate to one. I wasn’t sure we could provide the best care for a child with a high risk special need.
All of those things sound like excuses, but in reality, it’s the way we feel.
I had to be honest with myself. After all, this is about finding a child a forever family and I want to be the best forever family they could ever ask for. Not one that is stressed out and wondering how I will be able to care for them.
I am thankful that there are parents out there that make wonderful forever families for children with high risk special needs.
I am willing to do whatever it takes to show our child that they are loved and cared for and that we will never leave them. I realize that, most likely, no matter how much I show them they will always deal with the insecurity of trust.
They will have survived loss.
I am not asking for a flawless child. God didn’t create us to be flawless. He created us to be wonderful, but not flawless and He is already crafting the perfect child for our family and whatever that looks like…I’m willing.