Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Adoption is not about finding children for families, it's about finding families for children”

“We are willing to spend the least amount of money to keep a kid at home, more to put him in a foster home and the most to institutionalize him.”
~Marian Wright Edelman~
My oldest adopted daughter gave birth to five children. Two of the kids flew in today and are now spending the next few weeks with grandma and grandpa :) I went to pick up my grandson Gabe. When he came off the airplane I could hardly recognize 11years old he is almost as tall as me!
Because he is missing gene #13 he struggles with speech, eyesight and obsessive, compulsive disorder (known as OCD). When he was born the doctors told us he would not get older than two years old…when he was five the doctors told us he would not progress much further than 6. When he was 7 the doctors said he wouldn’t be able to read or write…and that he would never become emotionally or intellectually older than 5 or 6 years-old. At eleven Gabe can read, write and participate in class with other children his age.
After having Gabe in my house for every holiday and a few entire summer breaks (since his birth), I have learned that Gabe is an amazing child. He may not look or act like children his age. But, God has given him gifts that I wish I possessed. Gabe has gifts of kindness, forgiveness, unconditional love, freedom to express himself, and the bravery of a giant. He is so kind and knows when another child is hurting…no matter the age, Gabe doesn’t hesitate to give them a big hug to comfort them. He is not embarrassed to dance and sing when he hears a song that he likes. He has a smile that can cause even strangers to stop and smile back. If another child doesn’t understand him (because of his speech impediment) he will say, “That’s ok…I will say it again…this time slowly”. Gabe lives innocently in the moment, enjoying every day. His eyes show no judgment. With every obstacle he faces he handles it with such bravery. Nothing is impossible for Gabe. Whatever the doctors tell him he can’t do…it’s as if he knows and is silently telling them… “Oh silly doctors, I can and will do what you say I can’t”. And every year he exceeds everyone’s expectations!
Gabe’s mom was my first adopted child. She had Gabe at a young age and loved him the best she could. When you read my book you will see her as “My Child without a Birth certificate” Gabe is who he is because his mom believes in him. She is determined to change the cycle of abuse and encourage him to grow beyond what other expects of him.
My oldest daughter (Gabe’s mom) was on the streets and in institutions before I got her. What if I didn’t care…what if my husband and I saw her as a difficult child who had no hope in her future? I hate to think of all the happy memories we would have lost. The enjoyment of having Gabe’s eyes shine with every new step he takes in life. What if we hadn’t adopted at all…..? What a sad time that would be for us all. I truly believe children come in to our lives for a reason. God gives us children through birth and some through adoption….I myself see no difference. My husband and I have cried and rejoiced with every stage of every child God has brought into our life. These children and grandchildren are our many blessings and my husband and I thank God that we have had a small part in sharing life with them.

If we don't help these children we are not only depriving them of happy memories...we are depriving ourselves.
It just takes one person to look into the eyes of an unseen child and through that child many lives can be changed! If we didn't help our oldest daughter...we wouldn't have our grandson Gabe! And what a loss that would be.....

Our Grandson Gabe =)

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