Today I don’t really have much to say about special needs adoptions.
Actually, that isn’t really true.
I have plenty to say about special needs adoptions. It’s just that I have this adorable little quad that keep me away from my keyboard more and more these days…
You want to talk SN adoptions? Come by the house one morning we’ll sit with an over sized cuppa joe and chat over the quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) roar.
I’ll tell you all about how the heart surgery one of our children received at 9 months was an unconventional one that will cause the valve replacement to come before age 20 yet was a blessing because it allowed the heart to grow properly in the main growth years…We’ll talk about how my husband and I were disappointed that after a year of steadily dropping eye pressures, glaucoma is rearing its ugly head again and that if these new drops don’t do their job that one child is going to have a mini-valve implanted in one eye…I’ll explain that yes, that child really did come through the SN program even though to this day we aren’t sure why…And we’ll talk about the long road that brought us to our first child ~ the only one we adopted through the NSN program ~ the child whose life intersecting with ours revolutionized how we view life…
I’ll also tell you that today I was smothered with kisses from my two year old (and held my own during a few full fledged tantrums by said child), I cheered my four year old on as she practiced new strokes in the pool, I put my four and one half year old in time out two times ~ for the same offense ~ and I practiced sight words with my five year old in preparation for her first day of kindergarten in three weeks. I’ll explain that I did chat with a friend about watching three of my kids when we have our next marathon day at Duke, but I also changed diapers, read books, kissed boo-boos, drove a train around the train track singing the theme song to Dinosaur Train at the top of my lungs, smiled as my girls flitted around the playroom dressed as princesses, moderated a fight between the boys over Lightning McQueen with white wheels, discussed with one child that if drinking milk with dinner wasn’t in the super hero handbook that it should be, bought a pair of multi-colored glittery, Hello Kitty-adorned mary janes in secret for one child’s Christmas, and got dinner on the table. Mostly just your typical mom stuff…
Then, when we are done chatting, I’ll offer you a challenge.
One that we realized my husband’s co-worker and his wife had when we had them over for dinner one night last week. They knew we had adopted and asked if we would share our adoption story with them as they are considering the same path for building their family. Just after we introduced all our kids to them, they looked at us rather confused and asked how we had adopted four children from China that were all so young. They believed that the wait would prevent us from having four preschoolers in the house. They almost fell over when I replied that the process to adopt three of our kids took 16 months, 11 months, and 9 months from start to finish because they came through the special needs program. Her response to that (out of earshot of our children) was, “I don’t mean to sound stupid, but which three were special needs. I can’t tell.”
And just by looking at them, can you?
All this to say that SN adoption doesn’t mean “SN life” ~ whatever “SN life” means. For us, life is pretty typical. We nurture, we hug, we kiss skinned knees, we fix snacks, we laugh, we pray over and for our children, and some days we see various specialists.