March 11, 2008

Very special adoptions: When race is only a small part of the equation.

Severely disabled, non-responsive, and unknown life expectancy. These are some of the technical words that define children many of my friends have adopted. These are the hard cold facts that fill the endless pages of their medical histories and that would have condemned them to limited lives in hospitals and other such institutions, except that God raised up families to claim them as a precious treasure. In these adoptions race is so far down the list of concerns that the social workers and adoptive parents almost become color blind. I won’t argue that this is right or wrong from a human perspective, but I will say "Thank You God!" for every severely disabled child He brings into a strong, loving, and faith-filled family.

Yesterday, there was a funeral celebrating one of these fragile treasures. He lived a full life, though he was blind and limited in almost every way. For two years he was the treasured youngest child in my friend’s home, and he bound us closer to each other and brought us more often to God in prayer. I am sobered as an adoptive mom who gets tired of the daily grind created by my small children when I spend time loving these treasures that my friends have received. What if I knew that there was no healing after the 24/7 crisis care a sick child requires? What if I knew that I had to pour myself out beyond anything I could imagine because this may be the last day I have to hold this child? And what do I need to change in my own life and heart to have that savoring of every hour, every minute and every breath my children draw? Lord – I long to live like that, I long to live so present in this moment that no hour is ever lost to unnecessary things and no person is overlooked.

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