I've questioned in my mind whether or not to post about this, but it's been on my heart and my mind lately, and it's a big decision for Mike and I to make, so we could benefit from ya'lls prayers. (did you like that? ya'lls? I'm connecting with my inner Southern gal.)
When I was in high school, a group of about 50 of us from our church took a trip to a place called Shepherds Home, a home for mentally handicapped adults. When we first arrived, I was a little nervous, never having been around mentally disabled individuals much throughout my lifetime. I didn't know how to interact with them or what to expect from them. I prepared myself for a unique experience, as it no doubt would be. As the week progressed, and I started talking to and working with the residents, I became so comfortable around them...much more comfortable than I ever expected I would be. I literally fell in love with these people!! I loved them...all of them, of course, but the people with Down syndrome just melted my heart. I specifically remember working with this one lady who had Down syndrome. She was the sweetest lady with the most amazing personality! She left a huge impression on me. I think that's when God started working in my heart.
I've always been drawn to people with Down syndrome. I can't explain what it is that I feel for them. I know this sound cheesy or whatever, but when I see someone with DS, my heart just melts. Really. Just the joy they exhibit is amazing. And if you've ever been around someone with DS, you know what I'm talking about. They are just precious.
Anyway, getting to the point of this post, Mike and I have decided that in about 5 years, we would love to adopt a child with Down syndrome...from Eastern Europe, Russia, or Asia, as many of the orphans from these areas are sent to live in "institutions" after the age of 4 and are declared unadoptable. Reece's Rainbow is a great ministry set up to raise awareness about Down syndrome orphans. They also have funds set up to help offset the cost of adopting these precious children. If you have a few minutes (or 12) check out this video they put together.
While Mike and I would both love to be able to jump into this immediately, the reality is that we just can't. Our 5 year plan is to pay off bills, sell our house, move to a larger home (which we would need with 6 kids!!) and then start the adoption process. We're under no illusions that this will be easy. Adopting a special needs child is not something we're taking lightly. It's going to be tough. We know that. It's going to be a life-long commitment. We know that, too. But we also know that we weren't called to live a life of ease. We aren't in this life to see what we can get out of it. We are called to follow Christ, and to serve and honor Him. Those precious children each have a purpose for their lives, and we believe that this is God's will for our family. We also realize that this isn't something that every family is called to do. This is a HUGE decision that we haven't come to lightly. We have been praying about it, and talking about it for some time now.
So that's that.
Now that I've publicly announced it, does that mean it's set in stone?
I hope so!
And I realize that 5 years is a long time, and yeah, this post is a little premature. Like I've said before though, this is the only journal I have, and I want to always remember the time we made this decision.
But, if you ever think about it, please pray for us as we begin to research all the things that come along with adoption, international adoption, special needs children, and Down syndrome. We have alot to learn about it all, and I can't wait!
"Because every family deserves the blessing of a child with Down sydrome..."
I'm also posting this powerful video that impacted me and helped aid our decision to do this: