This post is shared by Tori Rayle from her blog, Tori’s Stories.
Last night I was reading a book that related earthly adoption to God’s adoption of us. I’m not sure I agree with that. Yes, 1 John 3:1 says “See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” I wholeheartedly agree that I am a child of God and he is my father, but I also believe this was true before my earthly parents even thought of me.
But, this viewpoint got me thinking. You may believe the same way this book does and that is totally fine, I know I do not have all the answers. From now on, we will not be thinking the way I think, but rather the way the author of this book does.
As soon as we accept God into our hearts he becomes our dad. He has adopted us. It doesn’t matter who we are, what we’ve done, what we are capable of doing, or where we came from: we are His children. He accepts us as we are no matter what.
We are each special in our own way and we are very needy. We need to be forgiven, we need to be constantly redirected and taught lessons, we need to learn to walk, to eat, to tone our spiritual muscles. We take a lot of work. We take a lot of work the rest of our lives. We will never have it all figured out. But yet God still takes us with open arms and loves us as his own.
Here at COTP alone we have fifteen children with various special needs waiting for families. They are not matched and have no one anticipating their arrival into their homes. One has been waiting here for over five years. There are countless more across the globe.
If you spend a few minutes with these children you will fall in love. Most of them are immobile and cannot communicate like someone their age should be able to, but they are full of life. They love touch, to be tickled, to be held, to laugh, and to love. They are always putting a smile on our faces by just being their cute little selves. They love unconditionally and need a family to love them unconditionally the rest of their lives.
I wish I could post the sound of their laughter, I wish there was some way I could share the way they cuddle on here, I wish you could get the chance to know them like we do. I wish you could see the way they love, I wish you could see their smiles when their favorite nanny interacts with them, I wish I could portray them for who they really are.
John 9:1-3 says “As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Powerful. Our Father is definitely displayed through each of these children. He’s displayed through each of our kids but it’s in a way that is explainable through our children with special needs.
We have recently been able to send our children to physical therapy so they can learn to use their muscles in the proper way and we have seen great progress. Tense, hard to move muscles are looser and limp ones now have more tone. As a result of this therapy (and continued work here) we have one learning to walk, another so close to sitting by himself, a few with open, relaxed hands (where tight muscles used to be constantly clenched), and regular exercises for them to do more often.
After a few months of sending them to therapy we had a therapist come here to do the therapy one afternoon a week. Now we have an international staff member (me) and a Haitian staff member learning, assessing, and deciding what therapy is best for us to give our children every day. With the help of visiting therapists we have also developed a therapy program that our visitors do with our kids everyday. We now have two children learning to walk (and the one talked about in the previous paragraph is now home with his forever family), a few close to sitting by themselves, a few with more relaxed hands, some with better eye contact, and several working on better head control.
Psalm 139 talks about how we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. He didn’t say that to just those of us who are “normal”. He created each and every person on this earth with a purpose. He knew what he was doing when he created these kids. He also created family units and he desires children to grow up in them.
We love these kids so much, but when we see what therapy does and how much they love interaction, we desire so much more. We desire for them to be in a loving home with more attention and love. We long for them to have adequate medical care, the best therapy they can get, and proper diagnoses. We want them to be in the best environment so they can thrive. They have so much potential, would you consider bringing one of these little cuties into your home?
We have full confidence that here is not the best place for these incredible children to grow up. They are loved, but they are not thriving. They are not in a family. We know their general diagnoses, but do not know anything in depth because there is no place to go here that is qualified to do so. We often wonder what is best for our kids, but without knowing their individual makeup we are at a loss. We do what we can and aid them in improving their lives as well as administering any needed medicine, but it’s just not enough.
Doesn’t adoption cost a lot? Won’t it cost a lot for the ongoing care of a child like this? Yes adoptions cost a lot-too much. But, rates are reduced for special needs children. There are grants you can get for adoption in general and even more available for the adoption of special needs children. There is help available. Some of our children even have money already collected in an account through another organization that helps adopt special needs children. If God is calling you to do this, He will not leave out any detail. He has a plan and a way for the money to surface. He doesn’t promise it will be easy and I’m sure it will take a lot of trust, but He will see you through. He always does.
But, won’t it be hard? Yes, it will be hard and it sure will change your life as you know it. You will be stretched and challenged (but you are in any adoption—you are in any parenting situation). Your life will be changed by this little one.
Luke 14:12-14 says “He said also to the man who had invited him, ‘When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast,invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” You will be blessed. There is no doubt in my mind.
They will put a smile on your face each and every day. They will show you unconditional love like so many of us fail to do. They will teach you a lot. You will rejoice in their little triumphs just as much as you would rejoice in any child’s triumphs. They will teach you how to slow down and just enjoy the pure bliss of living. They will teach you how to find joy in the little things that we all take for granted. They will show you Jesus in ways you never knew existed.
Your other children and the people your family interacts with will have changed perspectives. They will learn how to love those that appear different. They will fall in love with your little e one. They will be stretched and challenged. Their hearts will be open to a whole new population.
Exodus 4:11 says “Then the LORD said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?“ I love that God not only allows special needs, he thought them up and planned them out, even if we can’t understand why. His purposes are always far greater than we can understand. Sometimes they seem to make sense and other times they don’t.
The other night I was holding a child and praying so hard that his family would find him. I could feel God hearing my prayers, letting me know that he loved that child more than I did. I felt him telling me he had plans for that child–plans to prosper and not to harm him. I know God holds these children in his hands and near and dear to his heart, but I can’t help but to continue to pray for these kids to have families to call their own. Can you make that wait (for them and us) a little shorter?
Please prayerfully consider if adoption is right for your family. Prayerfully consider if a special needs child would make your life better (not easier, but better). Prayerfully consider how you can help a child find a forever family—making a little one yours, advocating, telling a friend, raising money, donating money, praying, or something we haven’t even thought of. If you cannot adopt for whatever reason at this time, pray. Pray that these children get to join a family soon, that they know they are loved, for the funds to surface, for obedient parents to find them, for them in general. There are ways you can donate to help the cost of adoptions for those that are in a position to do so (if you want more details let me know).
These kids need families!
P.S. Here is a link to an organization that helps adopt children with special needs. On this particular link our kids are all of the ones without pictures (we are not allowed to photo list our kids) http://reecesrainbow.org/?s=H-C.
These children deserve families. They deserve access to the best. They deserve to thrive. God has accepted us into his family which allowed us access to the best and has allowed us to thrive. Yes, I whole heartedly believe God has already accepted them with open arms, but being able to experience a portion of that feeling tangibly on earth is something everyone should get to experience.
Children of the Promise has given explicit permission for the posting of photos on this site. Photos taken of children in the care of Children of the Promise are not to be posted publicly without explicit permission given by Children of the Promise.