As I requested, my hubby and kiddos took me to the Chesapeake Bay for Mother’s Day. The shoreline at the Bay was made up large table-like rocks… The kind of rocks that beg to be walked on. As I hopped along the rocks in search of one worthy of bringing home, the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks drowned out the sounds of my family. I did not notice that Sofija was running along the rocks towards me until I heard her carton-a-day voice yell out, “Hey, Girl! Whatcha doin’?” Between her new lingo and her recent demand for nachos for breakfast I think it’s safe to say she’s fully Americanized.
Without pausing to hear my answer to her question, she moved down to a rock that gave her access to the water. As she bent and splashed her face I heard her say, “It’s okay, Sofija. If you go in too deep, Tata will save you.” And there it was. My Mother’s Day gift. A little girl with a broken beginning, who rarely shows trust or feels safe, gave me a gift I never thought to ask for. “If you go in too deep, Tata will save you.”
I think I may have laughed out loud over the beauty in that one simple sentence. And then I remembered what God did for the Israelites in Joshua chapter 3. He told them to walk into a deep powerful river and then promised that once they got wet, He would hold the waters back and allow them to cross the river on dry ground. After they stepped in and got wet, He dried out the riverbed and kept the water from overtaking them. They went in deep and He rescued them. He then told them to gather stones from the riverbed to serve as a memorial to what He had done for them.
Between Summit and my Serbian stimmer, special needs adoption has been at the forefront of my mind. I do not believe that everybody should adopt. In fact, I don’t think anyone should adopt unless they know that they know that they are supposed to. But that doesn’t excuse anyone who calls themselves a Christian from caring for orphans. There are many ways to answer the Biblical mandate to “care for orphans who need help”.
Be it finances, clothing, furniture, or prayer, families who are in the process of adopting always need something. Once they bring the child home, they need your time and energy. Make a meal. Buy a bag of groceries. Offer to babysit so they can have a date night. Take the other kids in the house out on a Slurpee, ice cream, bowling, or movie date. Stop by and do a load of laundry or dishes (this is totally my love language). Send the adoptive family a card of encouragement… they need encouragement more than you could imagine. Just ask. I have met or been in contact with more adoptive Moms than I can count who say that they feel completely isolated. We just need to know that there are people in our lives who care and we need human interaction with someone other than our adopted child/ren.
If you’re saying, “All of those suggestions involve caring for orphans who are no longer orphans and their adoptive families. What about caring for orphans while they are still orphans?”, there are sooo many ways to do just that. I’m not going to endorse any particular organization, but a simple Google search will lead you to countless ways to provide food, clothing, medical care, dental care, and education for orphans. Call your local foster care office and see what their needs are. Locally I found that there is a need for baby items and people who are willing to sponsor foster children who are going to college. Sending a couple of care packages a year and including an older teen in your holiday plans could change a life. Become a mentor. Just find something to do and do it.
And for those of you who DO feel called to special needs adoption, don’t be afraid. Step into the water. Your Father WILL take care of you. You’re not going to drown. As scary as it may seem, you will look at the water all around you and realize that you are walking on dry ground. Who knows? Maybe you’ll soon find yourself gathering your own stones. http://vimeo.com/65652954# http://vimeo.com/65652954#