Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Special Need

I wrote this several months ago.  I let it sit as a draft, praying and waiting for release to publish it.  It's also been difficult to think that my heart will be out there, once again vulnerable.  I know God values transparency, He's been working on that with me for years, and I 'thought' it was time to post, yet held back, because some people won't understand and it will create questions and comments that I'm not sure I can handle without more damage to my heart.  I guess, in this subject, I started to build a wall.  But how do we fix and work on the things God wants us to do if I hide, I ask Him to break my heart for what breaks His, so I have to have the guts to DO what He asks me to do with that heartbreak.  I thank my friend Ryan, because his actions of late gave me my answer, and reminded me that the reason God gave me transparency is not for me to have the excuse to be bold, but so I could give testimony to the things He allows me to go through, so others can find Him in the midst of hurt.

"A well educated man does not have more to teach than my son, his knowledge is not more valuable"

I watched this video today that I happened to come across on a friend's page.  It ripped me to shreds inside.  It was so REAL, so poignant.  It wasn't the most dramatic display, but it was raw and deep.  It made me cry with sadness.  It made me want to reach through the screen and hold him in his moment of pain.  I felt such a connection to him because we have one thing in common.  A child with Down Syndrome.  Before we move on, please take a moment to watch the video, I'm sure most of you have watched it, but for those that haven't, you'll know where I'm coming from.

For the most part, I've stood up for my daughter.  And for the most part, the people around us have been God sent to provide love and support. But there have been moments of weakness.  Moments in which I'm already tired and feeling crushed under the reality of the hardships my child faces when I've let the "retard" comments or jokes slide.  I've been in a room with adults speaking as if they had mental delays, adults that know and love my daughter, and I didn't stop them.  I couldn't.  I felt completely overpowered with feelings of hopelessness.  Hopelessness that there will ever be a world in which my daughter and every other child with any special need will be accepted for who they are, treated and valued the same as other "perfect, normal" children.  Hopelessness that another safe place has now been violated by the practical joke at the expense of those less able than others.  I harbor anger and hurt because they joked about people like my girl.  People that read slower, or that have the inability to complete certain tasks.  I've allowed ignorance to breed.  I've harbored anger towards the other people in the room, which turned to look at me as I silently bowed my head, and they nervously giggle and encourage the practical joker's behavior.  But in reality, it's my fault.  Because I should have been stronger.  Courageous.  Like my daughter.  Who faces day after day of limitations and doesn't give up, keeps her smile and determination.  She lives each day to the fullest.  I harbor the most anger and disappointment towards myself in those moments and every time I think of them.  

I pray these words, this video reaches those people in the world that need to learn compassion, acceptance and that they are able to make the changes in their behaviors to impact future generations in a positive manner.  I pray that every parent that has a child with special needs, any special needs finds the support they need to raise a kiddo like ours.  My daughter may never leave my care, have compassion and help build my endurance as a parent.   Encourage the parents of special needs kids you know.  You know that moment of fear and loneliness that most parents usually feel every now and again when their kids are in danger, really sick, or in a bad situation?  We carry it every day.  We don't need or want your pity.  Our children are amazing!  We are blessed beyond measure for their presence in our lives.  What we would appreciate are your prayers,  understanding and cooperation in erasing the stigmas attached to our children.  And we share our kids with others in the hopes that they will attain those goals.

I'm hoping those that haven't seen the video, might because someone shares it with them now.  I'm hoping that if you know someone that makes ugly, hurtful "retard" jokes, that you share this video, maybe this small outpouring of my heart with them.  Let's make a difference.

This is my girl, Becky.  I look at her and I don't see "retard", I don't see disability, I do see strength, courage, love, compassion, empathy, determination, grit, beauty, backbone, joy, light, ability, jokester, capable, curiosity.  I see a little girl who's heart is so big, she loves everyone, her parents, her siblings, she loves that mail lady and leaves her notes and gifts in the mailbox, she loves the cashiers at the grocery store, she loves her teachers.  This girl inspires more people to love, and it's been an amazing thing to watch her impact total strangers.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The last few weeks have been brutal!!!

We shipped Alex off to New York for the summer to visit her father and siblings.  We took Yudith to the university to start during the summer semester.  Becky went to Miami for a week to vista grandma, grandpa, her aunt, uncle and cousins.  And Manny and I took a deep breath, did absolutely NOTHING for several days.

With all the transitions in our lives right now, I have had a difficult time keeping my emotions in check.  I am still crying for everything.  But I feel so much PEACE!

I'm so proud of my girls, the maturity and responsibility they are showing.  They strength they exhibit, the tenderness and compassion they have to others.

What more can a mom ask for?  My heart is so full.

And yet, in a slightly selfish manner, I am still yearning for more.  I want my Lucy girl home!  That would make everything complete right now.

We have in the last month and a half, received I800A approval, mailed all our documents to the agency, went DTC, and just today I received an email that we were LID yesterday!  That's a mouthful!!!!

Every time I hear from the agency, I feel refreshed and my energy to keep plodding along with the fundraisers and yard sales is renewed.

God is so good, all the time!  He fills my cup every day, to overflowing, and every morning He renews my spirit.  I hope that in all the back and forth, in all the paperwork, leg work, sales and interactions with people, I can somehow manage to convey the importance of finding homes for these precious children.  I pray every night that one more child finds their forever family.

As for Manny and myself, we have talked and talked and talked until we are blue in the face about what our role in the adoption community will be after Lucy is home.  We don't have the exact answers from God yet, but count on us becoming more involved with the advocacy side of things.

If you have any questions, please let me know.  I don't have many answers being new to the scene, but I've met some amazing women with a huge wealth of information and even huger (that's a word, right?!) hearts for Jesus and adoption!  I can put you in touch with someone that can guide you!

If God is speaking adoption into your heart, please, please, please, don't hold back for fear that you won't qualify, or that you can't afford adoption!  We started this process without a penny put away for adoption... God grows our dollars every month, He has provided through fundraisers, gifts, and donations of stuff for yard sales.  Yes, I've had to do some things I didn't enjoy (like selling heirlooms that were special to me, manning endless yard sales in this Florida heat, scrubbing some toilets, and learning to ask for donations, giving up little luxuries that made my life easier or better).   But, what wouldn't you do for your child?  If your child was taken and put in an orphanage right now, what would you be willing to do to get her or him back?  That's how I feel right now.  She was knit in her biological mother's womb just for me, and I will move mountains for her.