This post is part of "Life on the Inside", which is a series that gives a glimpse into our adoptive family's daily life. Please read this series with a discerning attitude that is quick to listen and slow to speak.
Due to the sensitive nature of this series, comments have been disabled. However, you can always email me at [email protected].
Call me slow, but this year has brought a world-rocking realization: my kids have special needs.
Special needs? No, you see, that's not possible! We signed up only to adopt children who were classified as "Basic Service Level." Let's review what that means, from the Texas DFPS website:
- Transient difficulties and occasional misbehavior;
- Acting out in response to stress, but episodes of acting out are brief; and
- Behavior that is minimally disturbing to others, but the behavior is considered typical for the child's age and can be corrected.
We declined the training for higher levels of care because we didn't want to sign up for that life. We filled out a whole lot of paperwork indicating that we were only prepared for "basic" kids. We answered every interview question consistent with our intent to maintain a "normal" level of family functioning.
Well, suffice it to say, this is not what happened. At. All. That carefully filled-out paperwork is mocking me with a big, fat "WHO CARES?" I want to laugh in the face of my incredibly naïve 2010 self. We adopted kids who were eight and five (and one). Their stories are fraught with all kinds of craziness. There is nothing "basic" about this. The fact that we have one child out of three who can still be classified as having a "basic" level of care is an extraordinary grace of God, because the events of her first two months of life make it nothing short of a miracle that she is alive.
Regardless of paperwork and home studies and adoption training (and lack thereof), I know one incredibly important thing that has been the same through this whole process: our faithful God. HE orchestrated the events of our process. HE brought these kids to us. HE is working for our good and His glory. HE is the same yesterday and today and forever.
We didn't start the adoption process with the intent to parent special-needs children—in fact, we tried to avoid it. But really, who gets to choose whether special needs exist and to what degree they are present? Kids are born with them. They develop them after years of life that were blissfully uneventful. Accidents, cancer, autism, Down's Syndrome, so many others... why would I expect that I had a choice in the matter? The only choice that matters here is that God chose us to know Him and love Him and be saved by Him.
In my next post in this series, I'll share what our particular "special needs" look like. There is nothing "basic" about them. They are not transient or brief, nor are they typical and minimally disturbing. Nope. Not. At. All.