Obviously with any “special need,” there is a chance that that child will live with you forever. I’d love to know what you and Anthony think about that and the possibility of always having a child (or two) living with you. Also, have you ever considered some kind of group home for your girls as they get older? What are your thoughts?
We do get asked this from time to time. The “empty nest” question is definitely one that needs to be carefully considered by anyone adopting a child who may (or may not) live with you forever. I shared some of my thoughts on this here.
For me, the thought of whether our girls may live with us or not is actually one of the things that I think about least these days. It is truly such a non-issue. Yes, we are fully aware that one, or two, or perhaps even three of them may end up being with us as we head into our golden years and beyond. But I guess God has just given us such peace about it. Anthony and I have never really been the kind of people who have all these grand plans for our future and dream big dreams about how they will play out. We pretty much live for today and trust God for tomorrow. We definitely don’t drive past the RV lot and think about the two of us heading off into the sunset with our grey hair and wrinkly skin. Nor do we dream about lying on white sand beaches in exotic locations sans kids. We just don’t.
Truthfully, we have absolutely no idea what things are going to look like for us in our old age. Who ever does? At this stage there is no telling how much Hailee, Harper, and Haven will develop over the years. We don’t know what level of independence they will have.
Will they be able to do basic life skills? No idea.
Will they be able to take care of themselves? No idea.
Will they fall in love and get married (yes, that is possible)? No idea.
Will they live with us? No idea.
We just don’t know what God has planned for their future (or ours). All we know is that we are prepared for anything–whatever the LORD wants will be so absolutely fine with us. It’s amazing how God just gives us peace for the journey and what lies ahead when He calls us to do something. There is no stress in it. At all.
As far as the group home type environment goes, I was recently getting some help from a lady who really knows her stuff about connecting families with the right resources for their children. She asked me a question. It went something like this…”Do you think you would ever want Hailee and Harper to live in a home with others where they live somewhat independently?”
My answer? A resounding, “No way! Thanks, but no thanks.”
I immediately went into mama-bear protective mode, and told the lady that I would much rather have them here with me. Yeah, I was pretty adament about it.
As I drove away that day, I began to ponder what she had asked. Right there and then God started to change a midset that I had. He whispered to my heart, “What if one of your girls would love to move out and have their independence?”
What if Harper would love to have a roommate?
What if Haven found her voice and told you that she wanted to live in a group home?
What if Hailee decides that she would like to try it too?
Oh my! What if the day came when, just like all our other kids, we will have to release these special children?
Suddenly I realized that that day may very well come. I may have to let my little lovies spread their wings and fly a little further away from my nest. Who am I to hold them back in any way? Who am I to stand in the way of what God wants to do in and through them.
I knew instantly that I was wrong–that I was NOT the one who holds my daughters’ futures in my hand. That’s the job of the Almighty Father! And I don’t want His job, thank you very much.
I realized that while it is my job to protect my daughters fiercely now while they are young and under my wing, that may change to some degree later in life. Or it may not.
I have absolutely no idea what God’s plans are for my girls. The only thing I am sure of is that we are so open to what HE wants and what they want. And we are fully confident that He will give us the wisdom and the peace of mind to guide them as they mature into young ladies. As with all our children, our daughters who have special needs are the same….we will never hinder them nor hold them back in any way. We’re here to be their biggest cheerleaders and the ones who will go to the end of the earth to ensure that they are happy, loved, protected and fulfilling their God-given destiny.
All that to say that I am learning and growing right alongside my daughters. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know what their futures are going to look like. I sometimes think I have things figured out and organized in neat little compartments in my brain. But very often God changes my perspective on things. I only know that He loves them far more than I even do (hard to wrap my head around), and that His plans for them are GOOD–whether they end up living with us, or in some other kind of situation that would be to their benefit. The Father has already got it!
I absolutely love this quote that someone left on this post. Stacia Tauscher said: “We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that she is someone today.”
I believe that with all my heart. They’re precious, amazing, loved, treasured, and someone today! That, my friends, is what matters the most to me. That my children know that they are someone…no matter where they end up living, or what they end up doing in their lives.
I’ll keep living for today and trusting God for tomorrow.