• What about your other children?

    Date: 2014.05.09 | Category: Adoption, Faith | Tags:

    In the midst of Evie and Eli’s upcoming surgeries, I have been doing a lot of praying and thinking. I have been asked the question, “What about your other children?” quite a few times.  I recently read a post in one of the heart groups I belong to where the parents said they thought they could handle anything, but they were unsure of whether to proceed with adopting a special needs child for fear it would hurt their other children.

    It’s a legitimate concern.   You have to consider everything.  The problem is you can’t guess everything nor can you truly know what the future is going to bring.   There is no way to know.  Plus, everyone automatically assumes that it is going to do harm to your other children.

    I can’t talk for everyone else’s children, only mine, but I can say that they will tell you it was worth it and have been on board to adopt again, each and every time.  That does not mean that there won’t be pain or times when their hearts hurt.

    The night before we left for Boston, we were talking about how we were all going to meet so we could walk around the lake together before we left for the airport.  Little Gracie, who is 9, came to me with tears in her eyes.  She said, “I know why we are walking around the lake mama.”

    I said, “You do?  I thought we were walking around the lake because it’s supposed to be a beautiful day and we want to be together.”

    Gracie said, “We are walking around the lake together so we have a really good memory of our last time together in case Evie doesn’t make it.”

    That’s a lot for a nine year old to handle.  Her baby sister might not come home.  When we leave to get on that plane, it may be the last time she sees her.

    So I asked her, “Would you do it again, Gracie?”

    Her reply was this, “I would do it again even if I only knew her for a week mommy.”

    All of this talk got me to thinking about writing a blog post about what my older children feel about the adoptions.  I told them to be honest because it might help other people.  I asked them three simple questions:  1.) Would you do it again?   2.) How has it changed your life?  and 3.) What has been the hardest part?

    Here are their answers:

    Zachary (25 years old)

    1.) Absolutely.

    2.) It has given me a sincere appreciation for the brevity of life, and has taught me to not sweat the small stuff and instead treasure every moment, good and bad. It has also taught me how to prioritize and recognize what is actually important in life, not just what’s appealing to that desire for instant gratification.

    3.) During the moments before the surgeries, not knowing how things are going to turn out. Everyone has those situations in their life; they just tend to happen a bit more often with a heart kid.

    Cassie (21 years old)

    1.) I would adopt them again in a heartbeat. Knowing that they probably have a shorter lifespan doesn’t contradict the fact that they are the most wonderful little people. Every kiss, every giggle, every “I love you” is worth the future pain. They deserved more than to die alone and forgotten.

    2.) They have changed my life in more ways than I can possibly imagine. Because of them, I try to be more compassionate to people, I’ve learned that many people are ignorant, but willing to be taught about adoption and disabilities, while others are just jerks. I’ve learned how to laugh more, not worry about the small things, and, ultimately, to rely on God. He has a plan for them; it may not be the same plan I want, but I know that He is in control, not me.

    3.) The hardest part has been knowing they have a shorter life expectancy. If you dwell on that, everyone will be miserable. I have to think about the fact that we all have a limited number of days, their life calendars are just a bit more visible than ours; we know they have shorter lives.   Seeing them in pain, surgery or residual from the institution is also hard. It’s easy to forget where they come from and the pain and memories they bring with them. Though it hurts your heart to talk through their past with them, we need to listen when they talk. We don’t need to pry or push, but sometimes they need you to know what happened before they were loved.

    Hope (15 years old) 

    1.) Yes and I would adopt again if I felt God was leading us to them.

    2.) I have little kids to play with.  lol

    3.) Worrying about the surgeries.

    Grace (9 years old)

    1.) Yes.

    2.) A lot; in a lot of ways.  Like how cute Evie is and how she is walking and talking when she was just sitting in a chair and would probably have died.  Seeing how good Lainey is.  How far Jasmine has come and how silly she is.

    3.) Not getting them for a long time.  It’s also really hard if they’re really sick.

    I can also tell you that not every one of my children want to have a big family but they all believe in adoption.  Hope knows carrying a child may be dangerous to her health, but she doesn’t even blink and says I will adopt.  Cassie is already planning her adoption trips and the special needs children she hopes to one day be the mother too.  Gracie is in a league all her own.  Jasmine and her dream of adopting 20 and driving an even bigger bus.  Gracie and Jasmine have not given up hope that Dan and I will consider adopting more.

    All of this talk got Cassie to thinking more about the subject and she wrote a blog about it too. You can read it here:  Thankful for the Crazy

    It’s true your children will be changed. Everyone assumes that it will be for the worst, but maybe, just maybe their faith will be strengthened, your family will grow closer, and your walk with God will be strengthened and in my book those are pretty amazing things.