“Wow”, he whispers in his husky, little boy way as I open the locket for the 9th time that Christmas day.
“Who is that in there?” I whisper back. He smells like juice and crackers and boy.
His dark eyes meet mine. “Mama.” and he solemnly points to himself. Leaning down he plants a wet kiss on the locket. I brush off the goldfish crumbs and close it.
Stay close to Mama’s heart. Here you are. And I’m suddenly overwhelmed with the fact that isn’t this every child’s desire? That connection…that love…to be held close to their parents’ hearts? It’s such a basic desire….so easily given to our biological children….and yet, there are so many who never feel that love.
Lian just revels in this closeness….being this sweet center of the family. Not in a spoiled way…well, sometimes…yes…
but in the undeniable way that he is something that he never was before.
A part of a cohesive group of people who just adore him.
Have you ever been in a large group of people, sometimes for many years, and yet you’ve never felt like you were ever truly a part of them? As if there’s this whole whirling universe of connection out there and you see it, but you’ve never experienced it?
You don’t know what it feels like to be a part of the group, but you see that some people have it, they are IN, they are a welcomed, beloved part.
Take that feeling, because we’ve all been there, and magnify it by about 1000….because being a part of a family, feeling that closeness is something that children absolutely long for, dream of, cry out for.
The least we can do is hear their cries, make them a part.
I’ve always kind of been a loner in my life. I’ve longed for deep relationships, longed to be included, but I’ve always struggled. Being left out is my normal. I don’t say that for sympathy at all. I say it merely because I understand it thoroughly.
I cannot even imagine what it is like for some of these children who see their friends, their bunk mates, their buddies in the cribs next to them, be taken away to be with family. And many of these older children fully comprehend what is going on….that the more beautiful or the less medically challenged children get chosen first….they get to go away to be the heart of a family….and she is left alone for a myriad of reasons.
This just kills me.
You know what else kills me? Yesterday I was scrolling down the adoption list for children 3 and under….the number 1 age group to adopt from, the most requested age group…..
And this list went on and on…and every other child was Down syndrome, Down syndrome, no other health issues but Down syndrome….quiet, healthy, has Down syndrome, extroverted, healthy, Down syndrome, VSD Down syndrome, repaired heart with Down syndrome.
Why? LOOK at the videos of our son! He is a happy, wonderful, sweet PERSON who simply has ONE EXTRA CHROMOSOME.
And yet the world says that because of that chromosome, most children don’t even deserve to LIVE and if they DO live, they don’t deserve families. They will sit, day after day, in a crib in an orphanage….
This KILLS me.
And it’s one thing to look at Lian, to look at us and say, “Oh, it’s so amazing what they’ve done, but I COULD NEVER DO THAT.”
Yes, yes you could do this! This is doable for you, for many people. These children deserve you, a family, to LIVE and thrive in.
They deserve to be put in a locket and worn close to their mama’s heart every day. They deserve to be sung to at night and to choose between whether they want blueberries or blackberries for snack.
THEY DO NOT DESERVE TO BE CONFINED AND TREATED WORSE THAN CRIMINALS in broken systems that churn out damaged human beings.
They deserve to know that God loves them, that they are valued more than they could ever imagine.
Church, Christians, we need to EXAMINE ourselves and our priorities….examine why we elevate comfort over sacrifice.
We are not called to live this way.
We are called to be leading the way to rescue these small souls.
If you are feeling called to adopt, please consider a child who has Down syndrome. They are the least of these. Trust me, their extra chromosome will fill up your family with so much love and life, excitement and wonder. You won’t know what hit you.
Let’s live life this way. Without fear. Let’s say “yes” to hard things.
What you think it the hard part will definitely be the heart part.