Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Yesterday, my husband had the privilege to meet a family that we have "known" (virtually) for many years.  This family adopted a little boy from the Ukraine who has Down Syndrome.  Because of my husband's travels, he was able to stop by and meet this family, who we supported throughout their adoption journey, and who played a role in our decision to adopt a child ourselves.

Jon admitted that he was just a tiny bit nervous.  The truth is, while our family actively embraces special needs, we've never met a child with Down Syndrome.  Yet, we know of this child and we know how amazing he is.  Would he be amazing in person?

The answer - unequivocally - was YES.  He was even more amazing in person!  From my husband's reports, we learned just who unique and inspiring this little one is.  (Their family is pretty awesome, too!)  Jon was kindly treated by a wonderful, Godly family while on his business trip and it was the highlight of his time there.  I was, naturally, insanely jealous that he was able to actually meet a family that I've known for some time, but I hope our time will come sooner rather than later.

Yes, it can be daunting to meet a little child with special needs.  I know some feel awkward meeting my daughter, or they cannot understand why she behaves differently.  Recently, my niece, who is six years old, asked me a question that is a natural one to ask.  "Why does Chelsea repeat everything I say?"  The truth is, she doesn't repeat everything, but she often repeats.  It is part of her disability.  It is called echolalia.  Sadly, some of her older cousins will begin to notice she is different.  It is our job to work as hard as possible to assist Chelsea to be as typical as she is capable of being, while respecting and appreciating her differences.

In the meantime, I am left with heartwarming stories of my husband's travels to meet this tremendous family and a peace in my spirit of how we helped them.  One of the things I remember doing was giving them the proceeds of a savings bond I found.  Inexplicably, while we were briefly living with my parents (as we waited for closing on our new home), I discovered a savings bond tucked away behind a dresser (we were preparing to paint my father's bedroom).  With all of the accumulated interest, it was worth more than $90.  Certainly, I had plans for that cash, but I immediately felt that it was best used by this family to pay for their adoption expenses and I sent it to them. 

Was it a huge sum of money?  No, not really.  But the blessing it provided to them was enormous.  It was not the last time we helped them.  In fact, I entered a giveaway and won a Nook Color from them! 

The truth is, I wish I had done more.  I wish I could have given more to them.  Knowing what an amazing child their son is, I simply wish we could have found a way to give them the majority of the funds they needed.  That was not possible, and I am grateful for what we could do for them.

It is very likely that you will never get to meet the child (or children) you help bring home with your donations and prayers.  But if you do, trust me. I know you will feel just as inspired and blessed as my husband does. 

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