I am so fired up–so downright mad tonight. Truth is, I hardly ever feel this way. But today I have had enough!
When Anthony and I set out to adopt our first special needs daughter four years ago, we already had three sons. Phew, some thought we had a big family already. But still, the response we got was nothing but love and support. Most thought our family was now complete…yea, the Salems finally had their daughter. Not. Then the Lord led us to Haven. Were we looking to adopt another special-needs child? Nope. But our Father in heaven clearly had different plans. For the most part, family and friends once again supported our mission.
But this time–oh how different things are turning out to be. This time it seems that we have taken things just a tad too far for some! It seems that, for some, we have crossed over from being a family who was led by the Lord, to being a family who no longer hears from God and has taken things completely into their own hands. This time it seems that we have completely lost the plot…and some are letting us know exactly how they feel. Down Syndrome? Are we sure about that? How in the world are we going to afford to feed another child? Can we handle this? Do we know that she will be dependent on us for the rest of our lives? Do we know that she may die once she is home? What about the other children in our home? Bla bla bla!
Honestly? We’ve had it! The experiences we have had from the last week have left me feeling physically sick. Something is seriously wrong when the most support we get is on my blog–from people whom we do not even know personally–people who just understand God’s heart for adoption.
I have often heard stories of adoptive families coming up against opposition from family and friends when they stepped out in faith to adopt a child. I always counted my blessings that we never really experienced that. Until now. Now I understand.
Hailee is a child. A beautiful child. No different from any other child in the world. She is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. Like any other child, God’s plans and purposes for her are to prosper her in every area of her life. Will His plans for her be the same as my other children? Absolutely not. They will be different–her own destiny, however that may look.
What right do I have to surrender my whole life to the Lord, to serve Him with everything that is within me–only to tell Him what I can and cannot handle in this life? Does He not know that already? “Um, sure Lord, I can adopt another child, but I can only handle this or that special need.” Huh? Is that really surrender? What if my own biological child was born with Down Syndrome? Would I go crying to the Lord, “This is too hard, Lord. I just can’t do it; it is way too hard!” No way. I’d love that baby like there was no tomorrow–being assured of the knowledge that my God does everything WELL. And if He chose to BLESS us with a biological child who had a seriously medical condition, so be it, we would accept His precious gift and love him or her just as equally as our healthy children. No questions asked.
So, what in the world is the difference with adopting a Down Syndrome child? The Almighty has chosen to bless us with this gift (and she IS a gift). I absolutely love how the Message Bible translates Psalm 127:5…“Don’t you see that children are God’s BEST GIFTS? That’s right–His best gifts! No matter what is wrong with them–all children are His best gifts.
“But Anthony and Adeye–you can’t adopt them all.” Well, duh! We know that. “Why don’t you go out on the mission field and just start an orphanage?” Well, guess what, we are–it’s called the Salem home. And besides, orphanages definitely have their place–ONLY because the Christians are not taking up their mandate and caring for the orphans as they are commanded to. Yes, orphanages have their place, but they are certainly not Christ’s ultimate heart for ideal orphan care. Loving homes are. I mean seriously, have you ever met an adult who aged out of an orphanage and heard him or her say, “Yeah, I tell you, I absolutely loved living in that orphanage. I never, ever wanted a family of my own.” Not me.
In my Bible it does not say if you are called, or if you feel like it, or if you have enough money in the bank, or if you only have two children…no, my Bible commands us to take care of the widows and the orphans. Period! No excuses.
So, here we are. Counting the cost, really. Some who are close to us think we’re nuts…when all we long for is for them to embrace our new daughter as part of the family. But you know what? It really is okay–because ALL our affirmation comes from the ONE who is sending us. It’s okay when the naysayers have their little say…because when you walk so closely with the Father you can hear that still small voice speaking words of confirmation to your heart, and you know that you are right in the center of His will for your life. And that, sweet friends, is all that really matters in this life. Being obedient.
We’re pressing in and pressing on. Like a race horse running around the track, we have our blinkers on, and we are NOT being distracted by the things that could cause discouragement and doubt. We will NOT let the enemy have any foothold here. Hailee is our precious sixth child–loved and treasured already as if she were flesh of our flesh.
But as for me and my household, we WILL serve the Lord (with reckless abandon!)