Category Archives: Parenting

These Present Moments

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IMG_2354Time is elusive.  Moments fleeting.  I know that this is true because I sit here listening to water falling from the mountains in a force so powerful it carves its own path to the stream below.  The water is proof of time.  Proof of forward movement.  I recognize this moment as a moment of awareness.  Awareness of time and of life in motion.

Glacier National Park has provided me a moment that has become moments that have become space that have become experience.  A string of single moments strung together to ignite a sensory explosion so breathtaking that its existence is hardly fathomable.  Hence the need for awareness of time.  The proof that these moments have existed.

There was the moment when I stumbled across an older woman wading in the icy waters of IMG_2166Lake McDonald.  That moment inspired by this female pathfinder became a moment turned moments turned experience.  I took a chance and joined her.  I stripped down to my skivvies, climbed to the front of my kayak, became encouraged by my boys standing on the shore chanting, “Do it! Do it! Do it!”, and leaped.  Jumped right in to the ice cold waters.  Fully immersed in the icy waters and vowing to last more than just a few seconds, I had to remain focused on each individual breath.   Each spacious moment.  I swam to the woman who had inspired this jump and I learned that she was a spry 72 years old!  Her spirit and energy filled me and we swam together for a span of nearly 20 minutes or more.  Her moments inspiring my moments.  My moments inspiring moments within each member of my family who all joined in the experience for a few seconds or a few minutes.  If we allow ourselves, we find we are all pathfinders.  We are all both inspiring and inspired.

I was fully empowered and alive, simply because of a moment turned moments turned experience.  A bunch of tiny moments strung together to become part of me and my story.  Time both present and moving.

There were many other pinch-worthy moments reminding me of life and progress and the enormity of time and space.  Moments that I grasped and followed in to experience.  When standing in awareness, fully awake, only then does one become fully immersed in this journey called life.  I’m thankful that I’m finally seeing the moments presented to me and no longer sleeping through them.  May you too, reader, become more present in your moments and find in those moments a variety of experiences.

Just for my recollection, when many other moments want to take the space that these moments occupy, I want to jog my memory with these bullet point reminders:

* The most serene campsite in which daily deer would pass through and even the occasional black bear.
* Observing Marmots in play.
* 9 Blissful Days of family unity and zero electronics.
* Watching a mosquito feed on Adam and instead of finding annoyance in its need for blood, appreciating the awesomeness of sharing life and observing a belly fill with nutrients. Appreciating all life.
* Listening to each of my boys lead their first family meditations.  The perspective of  a child is something we can all learn from.
* Hearing what words the campfire and trees spoke to my boys.  The boys are still open enough to hear nature and that encourages me to keep listening and practicing mindfulness.
* The day G cried because he had hugged a tree and felt a connection so deep he grieved leaving the tree behind.
* Hiking for 3 miles with the boys and at the end stumbling across a landscape of waterfalls and vegetation that cause you to believe you could really leave your life behind and live in the wild.  The forest somehow feels more natural than returning to city life.
* Nights under the stars with your best friend and lover snuggled in a hammock made for one. Knowing that all is right with the world as long as you are together.
*MARSHMA……..LLOW!!!!
* A bike ride up the Going to the Sun Road when the road is closed to vehicles.  Just you, your boys, countless waterfalls, a river, and the occasional deer.
* Laughing hysterically when it rains so hard on that bike ride that you are not even able to see straight ahead.  Knowing that you are alive and you are teaching your boys to laugh when crying would be easier!
* Introducing the No Trouble Bubble.  Looking at the father of your children and laughing because what is being said in the bubble is both hilarious and frightening and the bubble confirms that as parents we are succeeding.
*  Meditation in a place isolated enough to believe that you are no longer human…in fact you are water.  Transitioning, fluid, and unbreakable.

 

Time may be elusive but I am determined to be present for every moment possible.  May you be present as well.  Journey On.

 

Breakthrough Moments

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P1030753Our oldest is adopted and is honestly one of the most beautiful human beings I have been privileged to know.  He’s kind, sincere, thoughtful, empathetic, funny, giving, smart, hard working,creative, introspective, and just a cool person to know.
But he’s also severely misunderstood.  He’s often socially awkward and sometimes kind of moody.  He’s super sensitive.  He cries and says hateful things when asked to do homework or if overstimulated.

He has struggled with school since the first day he stepped in to that kinder classroom.  By the end of first grade we were confident that he had some sort of learning disorder.  A few specialists later and he was seeing the OT each week for Sensory Integration Disorder, the PT for muscle strengthening, a speech therapist for his spelling delays, and a psychiatrist for ADHD.  While many of these services were really helping him to “perform” more appropriately in the classroom setting they were not getting to the root of his non-specified learning disorder nor were they helping him relate to his peers or manage in loud, busy settings.  As J got older and his peers got older the disparity between them became more and more obvious.  His peers were reading Harry Potter at the bus stop while J was still looking at pictures in board books.  His peers were running around playing competitive sports while J would play quietly alone in the sandbox.  His peers would breezeP1050131 through their sheet of homework each evening while J would take one to two hours to complete a simple homework assignment.  His peers played and joked with other kids of the same age while J would gravitate toward younger kids.  His peers would watch movies with more mature themes while J was still covering his ears and eyes during Winnie the Pooh.  His peers were helping their moms with grocery lists in the store while J would lean against the shelves, climb in to the small space under the cart, or simply lie down on the grocery store floor.

This is still the story of J.  A bright kid with a lot of great to offer the world but a kid who is beginning to see the disparities, who is beginning to hear and understand the harsh teasings of others, a kid who is invited to playdates mostly with kids who are 2 to 3 years his junior.  J, the kid who still cries every time a piece of homework is set in front of him and the kid who is slowly beginning to believe that he might actually be stupid.

Because of these struggles I have fought hard to get him the therapies and specialists and support that he needs.  I’ve fought to put the right people in place to help him be the best J that he can be.  It’s not that I need him to be any different.  Because I don’t.  I truly love him just as he is.   Instead I fight for these services because I believe that for the sake of J’s self worth and for the sake of his happiness, he deserves answers and resolutions to the root issue(s) of his struggles.

As any parent of a special needs child knows, finding that root cause, unfortunately, is not a simple task nor is it for the faint of heart. Over the years we have spent more hours in doctor’s offices than I care to admit.  We’ve invested in so many aids and tools to make his life more manageable.  We’ve fought the school district(s) for IEPs and special services.  We have researched schools and moved to Portland over Seattle because a slot at the perfect charter school for J became available.   And once we moved to Portland I immediately got my two special needs boys on the schedule at the children’s neurodevelopment center.  Something I had attempted in Tucson but ran in to dead end after dead end.  Six months after our move to Portland we were scheduled up the wahoo with testing and therapies.  At one point it was so overwhelming and taxing on me and J that I was ready to throw in the towel, move to Costa Rica, homeschool him and just let J manage his life going forward with the current coping skills he’s obtained.   But something in me told me to hold on.  A quietness in my being assured me that I was on the right path and that I needed to keep fighting.  Keep being the voice that he needs.  Fight the fight for him because he is not able.

In the past few weeks, hope finally found us.  And, my goodness, is she beautiful!  P1050333

One gift we were given this summer was the gift of his OT.  She has a great skill for explaining things to me in a way that helps me really connect with J.  A way in explaining things that makes me not only understand his struggles but allows me to completely empathize with where he’s at.  Her explanations have allowed me to stop being annoyed at things that he does that I don’t fully understand.  Instead of being irritated I see a boy who is working so hard and his brain is working over time for him to just keep him functioning.  This is the way that she explained his Sensory Integration issue:

Amy, imagine it’s around 5pm and you are cooking dinner in your kitchen under a disco light with your radio blasting and while you are cooking dinner the smoke alarm starts to go off because the stove is smoking and three of your kids are screaming and the mailman is ringing the doorbell, and you are trying to talk with the Dr. on the phone, and the dog is barking at the sirens of the fire engine driving by and the neighbor’s car alarm is going off and you are just trying to not go out of your mind.  J’s life is like that every waking hour of his day.  His brain cannot process all the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches the way a healthy brain can.  Our brains naturally filter out what is not important to us at the moment.  His brain doesn’t have that filter.  Can you imagine how exhausting that must be?  It’s no question that he is always leaning on you for support.  It’s no question why he’s covering his ears.  It’s no question why he seeks solitude.  When he lies on the floor randomly or leans up against a wall or person, he is trying to ground himself.  To get some sort of footing in a world that is loud and out of control. IMG_0058

Wow!  That is a powerful way to describe his struggle and ding ding ding it all makes sense.  In fact I have changed my attitude so much since she gifted me these words because all I see when I see my son now is a boy who is so beautiful and is so beautiful in spite of how difficult every moment is for him.  So those who don’t know my son may think that my 10 year old is rude because he’s always touching you or because when there’s too much stimulation he stops responding or doesn’t look you in the eye.  You may judge me that I haven’t taught him manners because he’s always chewing gum to calm his anxiety or because I let him sleep where he needs to sleep (even if that place is my bed).  But I, on the other hand, see nothing more than a boy who needs me to go to bat for him, needs me to find the best tools to calm him, and needs me to educate those in his circles who are unaware of his circumstances.  That is the gift of my job.  My job as his mom is to be more than his cheerleader.  It’s to be his voice when he can’t find his.

IMG_0530Enter the second moment of hope.  Last week and this morning J saw a behavioral optometrist to test his vision and to see how his brain is communicating with his eyes.  An hour in to last week’s test the optometrist pulled me in to his office and said that without a doubt J’s learning disorder has to do with the fact that his eyes are not tracking as they should.  He told me what a smart kid he was but that while his vision is perfect there is a breakdown in communication between the eyes and the brain which would make reading and writing extremely difficult and exhausting.  Difficult enough to make a full grown adult quit trying.

At those words I just began to cry (as I am now).  I began to cry because we’ve been searching for answers for years now and we finally had some.  With answers comes hope.   And direction.  Not aimless ticking off of boxes in search of something.
This morning he continued his testing to pinpoint exactly what eye therapies he would be needing.  They tested his eyes on all sorts of cools machines and computers.  They tested his reading ability and I could watch on a computer screen to see how often his eyes lost their place or tracked back over words.  They tested for dyslexia as well.  With every test I got a better understanding and a deeper empathy of this wonderful child that I have been gifted to raise.  The therapist left me with,

There’s absolutely no doubt that J is going to benefit from therapy.  12 weeks of training those brain and eye muscles to communicate and he should jump grade levels ahead in his reading and writing skills.  In 2 to 3 weeks I’ll send you a detailed report of our findings and a therapy schedule.  He’s going to be a whole new kid.

Once more I cried.  Again not because I need him to be different but because we were now on a clear path to making life easier for him.  J asked me why I was crying and I told him that all this testing paid off.  All his hard work had led to this answer.  He smiled real big, put his hand in mine and replied,

I knew I wasn’t dumb, Mom.  I knew it.  I was starting to think that I was but I’m so happy to know that I’m not and that I wasn’t lying to myself because I always believed I was working hard even when people told me I was lazy.  Today’s a good day, Mom.  Thank you for taking me to these appointments.  I’m kind of excited.  P1050163

Heart melted.  Yeah, every moment has been worth hearing those words.  Every painful moment has been worth gaining the deep level of respect and empathy I have for this child.  I will never EVER stop helping him to reach his greatest potential.  And he will never stop teaching me to see the beauty in each and every human being.

Thank you, J, for the gift that you give me each day.  I am forever grateful and I am super excited to see you take this next journey.  Maybe soon you’ll be reading this blog without any difficulty and maybe soon after that you’ll even want to write an entry!  I am hopeful for the first time in so many years and I know you are too.

Journey on, Readers.  Journey on.

From the Mouths of Babes

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Boy 4 (age 6, G):

I volunteered in G’s classroom the other day and one classmate is a vocal know it all.  I must’ve heard her say “I already knew that.  I know that.  I knew that before you.” no less than 10x over my two hours.  And while there are many funny responses, this one came from my child.

They were walking down the hall and she (let’s call her X) says, 

X: I know so much because have a library in my house.  My very own library.  Full of books and so I know most everything

G: Well I know a lot too and I don’t even need a library to know a lot

X: My library is so great that it lets me study so I can know more than you

G: Well I know so much that I don’t even need to study

Then G looks up and pulls my head near him as he whispers,

“Mom, what does study mean?  I don’t even know what I’m saying to this girl!”  And then he laughs.

Gotta love this kid!

Boy #2 (age 6, P):

Lying in bed reading a Cat in the Hat book together and the two kids in the book were left home alone to shovel snow out of the driveway…

P: Where’s their mom?

M: Well she maybe had to run an errand or maybe she works.

P: And she left them home alone to work outside in the cold snow?

M: Yes, it appears that way.

P: What a bad mom.  You would never do that to us.  So glad you are my mom.

M: Yes, aren’t we lucky that if we had to shovel snow we would do it together.  Some people just don’t have that option.  

P: We are lucky.

Ahhhhhh…pulls on the mommy heartstrings 🙂

Boy #3 (age 6, S):

Said at breakfast this morning:

Mom, I just wanted to let  you know that I get milk at school every day with my lunch and I always pick the one that says “fat free” so it doesn’t cost you any money.

Love this!  So damn funny.

Every Win is Deserving

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As parents I think it’s very important to celebrate the tiniest of successes.  We too often spend our quiet moments rehashing all the ways we’ve failed our kids or the many ways our kids are not measuring up. We find ourselves in the negative space of mommy guilt that is lightyears from a truthful voice of reason.  It’s time we reject the adverse voices and instead beat the drums of triumphs. Even if that drum is mouse-sized and hardly audible.

In the spirit of finding my positive zen, I am letting go of misplaced mommy guilt.  I am a damn good mom even if every moment is not fairytales and roses.  Even if some days are epic fails.  Even if I can’t always see that truth through the messy house, the fighting kids, the crapping dog, the unemployed husband and my own crazy madness.

But today I can see.  The successes are always there.  Whether or not they are elevated is my choice.

Drums to Beat:

Boy #1:
Yesterday was the agonizing IEP meeting and with new teachers, a new school, and even new state requirements I have to admit I was more than dreading this appointment.  When you raise special needs children you deal with a lot of disappointments and you have to fight to get your child’s needs met way too often.  There’s a lot of dead end roads.  So even though this triumph cannot be owned by him it is very positive progress and definitely a win.  In this case we celebrate the fantastic staff who see my son for all of his possibilities instead of all of his downfalls.  We celebrate the fact that there are people who are already working with him and developing plans to help him succeed.  We celebrate the awesomeness of our new state and the fact that they are providing all of the tools he needs (no out of pocket expense to us!).  Every headphone, ball chair, fidget, pencil…Covered!  And they were already on top of his state testing so he has one-on-one testing next week and can use all his manipulatives (including calculator) for the math section of his test.  So while the success was not by his own doing we still celebrate because he has a team of people leading him to a plethora of future successes!

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Boy #2:

This child is a math whiz.  It’s insane the way he can manipulate numbers and make sense of anything numerical.  But reading has been another story (haha see what I did there?). It has been a struggle and this is not a child who appreciates a struggle.  Enter a move to a new reading class and 3 weeks later we are celebrating the click.  Reading finally clicked!  He is now devouring books and has a whole new confidence.  Woot Woot!!!!

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Boy #3:

His successes are harder to measure.  By the world’s standard he’s highly successful.  He’s smart, reading is easy, math makes sense, he’s athletic, people like him, yada yada.  But I don’t want to measure success that way.  What makes us successful is so much deeper than what can be measured.  I want to celebrate the moments that he lets me in to that closed up world of his.  So this week I’m screaming YAHOO at this picture taken while sledding over the weekend.  I know he let his guard down a little bit when he posed for this shot and that is worth millions more than any success proved by a piece of paper or standard.

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Boy #4:

Another one of our boys very close to needing the services of a special-ed team.  Kinder started off pretty rough and he had a hard time adjusting to a full day of working on the ABCs, numbers, friendships, art…you know, all the expectations of being 6!  Mad amounts of praise for him as he hasn’t given up and this week he actually made huge progress with the recognition of alphabetical sounds and his snap words!  Way to go!

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We are far from perfect but perfect would be uninteresting and pointless and leave us nothing worth celebrating. So here’s to the failures and successes that make each of us and each of our triumphs mad props worthy!

Adoption Rocks!

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For those who have been following my blog since the beginning or who know me personally you know I am an outspoken advocate for adoption.

Since November is Adoption Awareness Month I want to give you our beautiful family story.

Mark comes from a pretty rough childhood.  One in which circumstances at home forced him to leave at the age of 15.  Between the ages of 15 and 19 many families took Mark in and cared for his needs.  The kindness of those people inspired him to one day want to do the same for a child in need.  While my family was not violent it was often volatile and I too always desired to provide a safe and secure family for an orphaned child.
Our opportunity came fall 2003.  We had decided we were ready to start a family and we gave it a good solid try for 3 months with zero pregnancies.  At that point we simply sat down and had a discussion on entertaining the idea of adopting our first child since our finances were in order, we were healthy and settled with careers.  Maybe now was the best time.  By the next morning we were rapidly researching agencies and weighing the pros/cons of international vs domestic adoptions.  We literally locked ourselves up in a snowy cabin in Colorado for the entire Thanksgiving weekend and by weekend’s end we had played about a kazillion games of Aggravation and made dozens upon dozens of phone calls.  And just like that we had concluded that our first child would be adopted, the country would be Kazakhstan, the gender would be male, we did not need an infant but we would like a child under the age of 3 and if we were to get pregnant during the process, double bonus!
We worked with a local agency called Commonwealth Adoptions and adopting through them was smooth sailing.  After our dossier was complete, fingerprints approved, background check and interviews cleared, monies paid, references submitted, and home inspected everything was set in fast motion for us.  We received a picture of a little boy that needed us and we committed to meeting him, getting to know him, and ultimately to care for him for the entirety of his lifetime.

The summer of 2004 we traveled with two other couples, rented an apartment in Almaty, KZ for 6 weeks and embarked on the most beautiful journey of our lifetimes.  I’ll never forget that first moment when we met this brown eyed boy.  He was nervous.  He had a giant bandage on his hand because he had been chewing the skin off his fingers.  Five minutes and a few cookies later he gifted us with a laugh.  That was the moment I fell in love.  That was the moment he became my son.  I can still hear the giggle while I sit here reminiscing.  We spent the next 6 weeks spending time every day at the orphanage getting to know each other, learning his routine and habits, immersing ourselves in the Kazakh culture, preparing him to feel safe leaving the only home he’d known for 15 months.  We presented our case to a judge, gifted all the wonderful women who had cared for our son, and before we knew it we were officially and legally a small, little family of three.

Caring for J has been one of the greatest joys of my life.  This is a child who loves harder than anybody else I know.  He’s kind, empathetic, environmentally conscious, a leader, an innovator, a damn good lego builder, and he’s the world’s best big brother.  And I’m jealous of the genetics that give him thick, curly hair, perfectly smooth brown skin and the leanest body!  My damn genes gave me a thick waist, acne, and man calves!  LOL
After more than a year of trying we never did get pregnant and I still so badly wanted to experience a pregnancy and birth.  It was another one of those things that I wanted to try because it was simply a new experience.  I wasn’t chomping at the bit to have my genetics passed on or to have little mini me’s or mini Mark’s.  I simply wanted to know what pregnancy and birth were like.  We weren’t willing to do IVF as it was expensive, it wasn’t worth it to us, and we would rather just adopt again.  Instead we opted to have 3 rounds of artificial insemination and eat lots of salmon!   For those who don’t know AI is as simple as Mark depositing a sample, the lab spins it down, sucks it up in to a tube and then deposits sample closer to my uterus.  Well we got pregnant the first round but I lost that baby at J’s second birthday party.  Round 2.  Nothing.  Round 3 and I was so certain that I wasn’t pregnant that I had started researching adoption again.  But it turns out that we were indeed pregnant with twin boys!  And let me tell you I should’ve just left nature alone.  Pregnancy was not for me.  I vomited nonstop for 5 months and just when I began to feel good I blew up and had ankles the size of coffee cans.  By month 7 I was on bedrest in the hospital and just a few days in to bedrest Pierce’s sac ruptured causing for an emergency C-section.  After the C-section I got a high fever and pneumonia and was not able to meet the twins for the first 10 days of their life.  I sat in a separate hospital room from them pumping milk for babies I had never met while they fought for their lives in the NICU.  It was a very trying time for our family, full of worry and heartbreaks but also full of appreciation for the fragility of life.  After 6 weeks the boys were able to come home and we became a family of 5.

At this point I’m feeling pretty beat down.  Pretty tired.  And we’ve decided this family is finished growing.  That was until we met G.  We knew G and his foster family from the time he was 7 days old.  Circumstances did not allow for his foster family to adopt him and social services was going to move him in to a group home.  That was not an option in our eyes so just before his second birthday G joined our family.  We fostered him for 6 months before finalizing the adoption on April 6, 2008.  G is the little gem of a boy who wouldn’t talk or play or let us love him in any way when he first entered our home.  And with patience, gentle guidance, and lots of probing from his new brothers he has become our socialite.  He’s the kid that is never afraid to talk, has a million and one things to say, makes up super silly stories, laughs until he can’t breathe, and fights to be heard.  He loves to sing and dance and every day he will have another crazy accident in which it looks like we are going to need to call an ambulance and instead he jumps up and laughs.  It’s become quite comical and we now refer to him as “noodles” or our permanent drunk driver.  Always crashing.  Never hurt.

So now I (we) are completely finished.  A family of 6.  Two adoptees with a pair of biologicals sandwiched between.  It’s balanced and perfect.
I feel that I have a pretty good grasp on adoption.  And I can tell you, Adoption Rocks!
The only thing I would do differently is have open adoptions.  I do wish I had more information for the boys about their birth families.  I hate not having those answers for them and I know it would fill some of the holes that sometimes leave them feeling empty.  But maybe one day we will find the answers.
I think Adoption Rocks and here’s why:
Pregnancy is not all it’s made out to be.  Really, ladies, I can tell you from experience that bringing home a child that someone else had the privilege of carrying really is ideal.  No vomiting.  No stretchmarks.  No ugly veins.  No premature labor.  No pushing a big headed baby out of your vagina.  No ripping.  No c-section scars.  No apologies for all the horrible names you called your significant other,  No clogged milk ducts and saggy breasts.  No post baby weight gain.  And if you are lucky like us and you bring home toddlers instead of infants you don’t have to do all the sleepless nights!                                                                                                                 For those who are stuck on thinking they could not love a child they did not birth or that does not share their genetics, this is just plain ignorance!  My adopted children are just as much mine as the ones I birthed.  So much so that I often forget that they are not biologically mine.  For example the pediatrician recently told me that wetting the bed is genetic so when we were speaking about my oldest wetting the bed I responded with, “Oh that explains a lot.  Mark has family who wet their bed for a very long time.”  The pediatrician then went on to say, “Amy, I hate to break it to you but you are not in any way responsible for J’s genetics.”  Ha!  I totally forgot.  Because in my mind he’s the same as those I nurtured, grew, and passed my DNA to.  I live and die for these boys and where their life began has nothing to do with the depth of my love.
People often think they cannot adopt because it’s too expensive.  While International Adoption can be expensive there is a tax credit that gives you nearly half of your expenses back.  And you can claim that credit for three years after you adopt.  And with foster/adopt we actually get paid to have G as part of this family.  The state pays us each month until he’s 18.  That was certainly an unexpected benefit.
People think they will get burned in the process and cannot handle the heartache.  This does happen.  But if you are willing to adopt a child that is already in the foster care system or who is slightly older your chances of having a failed adoption are far less.  Going international can also lessen your risk.   I know there are those of you out there who are shaking your heads at my endorsement of international adoptions.  Just read Without Borders and that will explain my take.
People often say to me, “Well, you know adopting a kid really is scary because you never know what problems they are going to have.”
Yep, you are absolutely right.  We don’t know and we take that risk.  But you take that risk when you get pregnant too.  My twins were not healthy and one has severe asthma and the other has some speech issues.  And, yes, my adopted boys both have special needs too.  Starting life in an orphanage or in the womb of a cocaine addicted birthmom challenges the way one approaches life.   And while their needs are challenging the love that we receive from them and the knowledge of how much better off they are with a loving family than in an institution far outweighs the day to day challenges.  We gain more than we give if we choose to accept what these children are here to teach us and how rich they make our lives.
I know adoption is not for every one but with the millions of orphaned children in our world there are numerous ways you can help without having to commit to raising a child.  Find a group home in your area and make sure the needs of those children are being met (I know of a great one in Tucson!), sponsor a child in any orphanage across the globe, spend time volunteering (if you want a very eye opening experience I’ll connect you with the organization I volunteered with in Haiti), or become a foster parent.  There are so many ways you can make a difference in the lives of these children.
And if you really are brave and willing, go out and adopt!  I promise you won’t regret it.  Will it be difficult?  Yes!  But will it be worth it?  A million times, YES!
I wish I could start a campaign called,
Stop Birthing.  Start Adopting.
How different would our world look if we started caring for the least of us?  Now that’s a movement I’d be proud to see.
Happy Adoption Month and kudos out there to all of you adoptive families.
Photo Credits:
Kazakhstan Flag: Maps of the World
Orphan Stats: Hearts and Hands International
USA Money: GovLoans
Adoption is the New Pregnancy: Adoption Mama