Sunday, July 22, 2012

In an ideal world

I have heard more than once that having children "naturally" is much easier than adopting.
While so far it hasn't been harder, it is definitely a different journey.

In an ideal world, two people fall in love, marry and start a family.  When you're pregnant you know where your baby is, you know, about, when you will get to meet him or her. 
I find myself thinking about our child somewhere out there.
I pray that he/she is safe, not hungry, not scared.
I pray that it won't be too long of a wait until we get matched and get to pick up our child, for all of our sakes.

In an ideal world, there is you and your spouse in the whole bringing a child into the world and your lives process.  Throw in a doctor or two.
With adoption, there's a whole bunch of people.  People who have your paperwork sitting on their desk, etc.
You have to pass the ball back and forth, hoping they don't drop it along the way.

In an ideal world, there wouldn't be any adoptions.
It hit me that we are benefiting from others misfortunes.

Another thing is when you have a baby, most of the time people are happy for you.  They don't say "Oh, that's great that you are pregnant..." and try to up the anty one or two notches.
When adopting they do.  "Oh, that's great that you're adopting and you want a child with Down syndrome.  Would you take a child with (name any form mild to severe handicap, mental and physical)?"  They proceed to make you feel guilty for not wanting to open your arms to any and every situation.

Here's where my relationship with God and hubby come in.
I know God has called us to raise Down syndrome children.  I have tried to shake it and can't.
I know He has a child for us already.
I know He will keep that child safe and give us what we need for that child.

My hubby is my anchor.
He is keeping me focused and not feeling guilty for not taking in every child they offer.
As he put it, "I can't see us having a typical child.  I see us with a child with Downs."

I am glad I can trust God and rely on my hubby.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

what can i say?

 i was feeling domestic and made homemade spinach noodles!  Certainly need to roll them flatter next time.  They took forever to cook.
Our application came in for teh adoption.  It's all filled out in the mail!

I have some nuggets about the adoption process I need to jot down, but it is late and I need to be in bed.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Common Myths

This post is inspire by a conversation I recently had with a lady about Down syndrome.  I believed some of these myths myself.  From doing research, talking to a mom of three children with Downs and being around them what I found surprised and delighted me.

MYTH: People with Down syndrome have severe mental retardation.
FACT: Most people with Down syndrome have only mild to moderate mental retardation. Individuals with Down syndrome have IQ scores of 30 to 60, but much variation exists. More important than IQ scores is the fact that all individuals with Down syndrome are capable of learning. (I was under the impression that people with Downs have a mentality of an eight year old for the rest of their lives.  WRONG!!)



MYTH: People with Down Syndrome will live at home forever.
FACT: A large percentage of adults with Down syndrome live semi-independently in assisted living facilities and group homes. Adults with Down syndrome often hold jobs and have romantic relationships. 

MYTH: Most children with Down syndrome are born to older parents.
FACT: Over 80% of babies with Down syndrome are born to women under the age of 35, and the average age of a mother of an infant with Down syndrome is 28 years.

MYTH: People with Down syndrome all have their tongue out and their mouth open.
FACT: Not so.  The reason for the open mouth is not a lack of intelligence, rather a lack of muscle.



There are many more videos on Downs on YouTube.   

Saturday, July 14, 2012

How it All Got Started

Not everyone is up for adopting.  For me it started at around age ten.  My cousin James was in the hospital.  Why, I don't remember.  What I do remember is his roommate was a baby with all of his limbs broken.  I just kept talking to him, touching him, etc.  I didn't even pay attention to my cousin.  (Sorry James.)  I asked my mom what happened to the baby.  She said that his mom (a big woman) sat in him and broke his limbs.  Whether that was the real story or not I asked my mom if we could take him home.  Of course we couldn't.  The baby never left my heart.  How could someone do that to a baby?  I felt so helpless.

Fast forward, to marriage.  Hubby knew going into our marriage that adoption was something I would like to do and we talked about it here and there.  Most of the time it wasn't something real in depth, more just two people in love talking about things they'd like to do.  Dreaming, some would call it. 

This is the part where it gets hard to explain without writing a book.  So I may just do point statements as to how God changed/worked on our hearts.

*The need to adopt became strong, for me, again about a year ago.
*I was really trying to figure out what God wanted for my life.  Where He wanted me to go.  I know I wanted to help people, preferably special needs kids. 
*I wanted to adopt.  Hubby didn't.
*I started checking into going to school and getting a degree.  While most of that seemed interesting, I didn't have total peace about it.
*We got a call about one of my pregnant cousins.  The Dr.s told her that her baby may have Down syndrome.  They may be weighing out their options.  (Later we found out differently.)  Right then and there, I said "That's it. We'll adopt the baby."  From then on I knew God wanted us to adopt a baby/child with Downs.  (I will write another post about how God changed my heart in that direction.)
*I talked more and more about adopting to hubby.  He wasn't budging.  He'd politely listened like I listened to his hunting stories.
*As adopting was REALLY weighing on my heart and not on hubby's, I cried out to God to change his heart or take this heavy burden away.  I prayed this over and over and over.
*Hubby started to seem more interested, ask pointed questions about adopting, about down syndrome, etc.  He was so interested I told him more than once, "Why don't you just say yes, you're so close."  I really thought he was going to say yes.
*The kids knew I wanted to adopt and at one point a few years ago they did too.  Then they weren't too hip with the whole idea, especially the Down syndrome part.
*I tried and tried to get involved volunteering with people/kids with special needs.  With no luck.  Until my dear friend gave me a number of a family here who have 5 special needs kids (4 adopted).  We met.  I got involved with Special Olympics.  God confirmed that love for kids with Downs.  Our son has even taken a liking to two of the boys.  We talk about one them all of the time.  He is a character!
*About 4 weeks ago, hubby changed his mind.  I was devastated.  Ready to give it up.  I cried.  I went for a drive.  I begged God to change one of our hearts.  I couldn't bear to carry this weight around if it wasn't going to happen.
*July 2nd, hubby and I went for a drive.  He told me that God moved on his heart during my grandpa's funeral and yes we can adopt.  I have to be honest here.  I didn't get all excited, kiss him or anything.  I was shocked.  He had just said no three weeks earlier.  I kept asking him, "You're for real?"  "You're not going to change your mind?"  He was for real.

We told the kids the on Wednesday.  They knew it was coming.  They had mixed reactions.  But I have already seen God move on their hearts prior to this.  So I know He'll move even more.

So, why adopt?  Why us?  Why now, when we are in our 40's or very close to it?  Why "mess up" our life?
Why not?

Please follow our adventure in this whole process.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Candy Lady

On the 4th of July I was the candy lady with the Special Olympics float.  Fun, fun!
Everything on the LO is by Sahlin Studio.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

BIG Announcement!!!

Some of you know already.
Some of you probably suspect this news.
Some will be surprised.
Some of you prayed along with me for this.

I can't tell you how this news fills my heart.
Without further ado...because I can't wait any longer...
God has answered many prayers and I know He will keep answering!

Adopting a baby/child with Down Syndrome is our hearts desire.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Grandpa

This past Monday my grandpa passed away.
He was a hard working man whose life was family and helping others.
The above photo is of my grandparents at my dedication.

They had six kids...
 
22 grandchildren (8 are present in this photo) and almost 16 great-grandchildren.
He will be missed, but especially by my grandma.