Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"...we just hope it's healthy!"

Last night I came across this show called "I'm Having Their Baby" about girls who are giving their babies up for adoption. It was basically a cryfest. I think because motherhood and caregiving is my true calling and a huge part of my identity in this life, it just tears my heart out imagining having to make the choice to give your child to someone else.

Anyways, as I'm watching, something one of the adoptive families said really struck me. One of the mothers had a history of addiction to painkillers, and the adoptive parents said they hadn't really wanted to commit until they followed her pregnancy, saw sonograms and were sure the baby was unaffected. I get it. I know many adoptive parents have already been through the heartbreak of infertility, miscarriage, infant loss, stillbirth, you name it. I really do get it, but it bothered me. So, if the baby wasn't "perfect" they didn't want it...

When parents are asked during pregnancy if they want a boy or girl, oftentimes the reply is "Oh it doesn't matter. We just want a healthy baby!" I know this is just something people say and that no one wishes for an "unhealthy" child, but what happens if the child is born less than perfectly healthy? You adapt. I didn't choose this life. Without having lived it and having the honor of being McLaine's mom, I can't say what I would or wouldn't have chosen. I'm no more special or strong than any other parent who loves their children fiercely. I think that's a common misconception-that all mothers of special needs children are somehow different or more than other mothers. While my everyday is a little different and, sure, maybe more difficult in a lot of ways, it doesn't make me more of a mom. Don't tell me you couldn't do this because if you love your child you totally could! If, God forbid, your child had an accident and ended up with special needs, you wouldn't just walk away saying "I can't do this!" Nope, you'd adapt because you love your child. My pastor has said before that "God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called." By all accounts, I was not "qualified" to be a special needs parent. I was not in a really stable place in life, but I was given this child and I rose to the occasion. Another popular sentiment is "God gives special children to special mothers." This is not always true either. Some mothers to special children choose to terminate, some choose adoption and then there are the sad cases of special children growing up in homes where they are not well cared for.  I firmly believe that God has a plan for us all, but the special baby, unfortunately, doesn't always get the special mother, and the special mother isn't always the one who carried and birthed the child.

I suppose I just want to remove the stigma for people. I want people to know that while it's sometimes a hard life, more often it's a good and rewarding life! I want parents facing this life to know that you can do this and you will be happy. I want adoptive parents to not desire only the "perfect" child and maybe consider giving a home to a child with special needs (though I do not judge any who have prayed and know that is not the path for them in their adoption). Overall, I just want people to get how amazing these kids are and how they change your life for the better. I'm definitely one lucky, if not special, mom.

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