Friday, April 16, 2010

Somebody else's problem...


Aleigha was our first adopted child and because it was our first adoption experience I admit I was taken back and not quite prepared for the 'comments' that would come our way.

Some, more than others, were down right rude.

Some, more than others, cut us to the core.

Some, more than others, kept us lying awake at night- as much as we tried to ignore them.

We got every question and comment from "Were we completely crazy?' to “How dark will she be?” to "Don't you know that this is going to hurt your 'real' children"… to "Don't you already have enough children" to "Aren't you scared because you don't know any of her family history?" to “You are just taking on someone else’s problem".

Ouch.

As we dealt with and worked through the painful comments one by one-a funny thing happened. Our faith and our confidence grew and we became even stronger. While no one expect this (even us) we became more certain than ever before that adoption was indeed for us. We developed friendships with other adoptive families that were priceless and we learned more than we ever thought possible.

We learned the truth.

These questions and comments ended up actually being good for us...

They made us dig deeper, they made us think harder.

They made us turn to God and see what He had to say about adoption.

They made us see that these ridiculously rude personal questions were exactly why so many children continue to wait...

Because people let fear keep them from taking that first step... and they miss out on so very, very much because of it.

Satan loves that.

I am so thankful that we didn't let the lies hold us back. I am so thankful that we didn't let the fears keep us from moving forth. I am so thankful that we didn't let other peoples comments and opinions paralyze us.

I am so thankful that we said yes.

So today I would like to take a moment to introduce you to our "problem child" Aleigha. :0)

Aleigha (pronounced A-Lee-a) is 6 years old and was adopted from Guatemala.

Tomorrow night Aleigha will be standing in front of the school board and be presented with an award for being the Outstanding Kindergarten student this 9 weeks- out of 6 kindergarten classes.

Her teacher reported that Aleigha is a leader in her class, a wonderful example to her classmates and is kind and accepting to all kinds of children. She was asked to test for the gifted and talented program this year and is involved in church and soccer. She is a wonderful little sister and big sister. She has tons of friends, is happy, outgoing, kind, caring, loving, and continuously makes our life all the more sweeter.

But you want to know something?

While all of that is great-none of that effects how much we love her.

We didn't go into her adoption expecting a 'perfect' child- because we sure aren't.

We chose not to put conditions on our love for her from the very beginning.

We chose to love her the way Christ loves us- unconditionally.

We chose to love her just the way God made her.

Love her just the way she is.

Our love for her is not determined by the color of her skin, the grades on her report card, on her looks, her popularity, her talents- or on any problems she may face.

We simple love her because she is our daughter.

Because being her parents is one of the most precious, amazing, perfect gift we have been given.

She will make mistakes, she will fail, and she will fall. We all do.

But you know what?

We will be there to pick her up and it won't be a problem.

It will be a privilege.

Through the good and the bad, through the highs and the lows- she is a gift- and it is our privilege to be her mom and dad.

Period.




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34 comments:

Molly said...

Your sweet girl is BEAUTIFUL! What a precious gift! :)

Dardi said...

Slam Dunk...Keep speaking the truth!!

Love you ~ Dardi

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

First, she is gorgeous! Love that last shot - great job Momma!

Second, AMEN!

Oh how I love listening to what your heart is speaking!

I love you and praise God for all the times you have said YES!

Jill

blessedfamily said...

Beautifully written! I Although I haven't adopted but I get the same "why do you want to take on someone else's problem" question. Very difficult to answer and very hurtful to hear.

Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

Sophie said...

She is a gorgeous little girl and this is such a touching post Amy. It's so sad how people can be ignorant to the truth about adoption, the truth is none of us knows the challenges that lie ahead with our biological children either. All children are created by God for his glory, that's why we are all here, for Him. These souls are precious to God and worthy of love and nurture and anyone who views them as "someone else's problem", a statement I've also heard, doesn't know about our Almight creator and how He adores these children. Look how far she has come since her life and her soul have been watered with the love of her family! You must post pictures of her accepting her award!

bbqdaisy said...

Beautiful DAUGHTER!
Beautiful post!
Beautiful how our Father takes care of every detail of bringing our children HOME, Him turning the injust of the fact that there even are orphans into BEAUTIFUL families full of His miracles!
Your blog is such a constant encouragement & inspiration!
Thank you!
Maria

Debbie B said...

Beautiful, both Aleigha and this post.
Those comments have made us stronger as well. Made my love for my daughter even stronger I think in the beginning as I adjusted because I felt the need to protect her even stronger from those rude people.

Mary Ann said...

We also got alot of those cut you to the core questions when we were adopting. One of my Favs is How can you love someone elses child? I don't know if I could. My reply was," this is not someone elses child, she is ours!"

Anyway..... You daughter is beautiful!!! They all are! =0) I love adoption!! and I hope that God has it instore for us to adopt one more little girl! That is what I am praying for! Blessings

mjohnson said...

Awesome post, Beautiful daughter--your testimony continues to make a huge difference in my life.

Sean and Lisa said...

Beautiful!!

Anonymous said...

She is absolutely beautiful to boot! Beautifully written, as well! Miss you guys!

Heather

Susan said...

What a beauty she is! You are all blessed to have found each other.

The comments you've gotten amazed me a bit - just because I thought I had heard all the rude ones when I was pregnant with my fourth son. But some of the ones you heard were really uncalled for. You and your family have such a grace. It's a pleasure and a privilege to read about you and your journeys. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful beautful little girl. Bless you for being her parents Our world needs more people like you

Dave and jody said...

Again, i am blessed by your writing. My husband and i also chose to say, YES!! We're working on, and plan to turn in our ADOPTION APPLICATION... TONIGHT!!!

Les said...

Could she be any more adorable?

Doreen said...

Congratulations Aleigha....:o)

Phyllis said...

Beautiful post! I got a lot of rude comments, too. It did the same for me, just made me more determined. Aleigha is absolutely precious and I can't wait to see pictures of her receiving her award.
Phyllis

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

A BEAUTIFUL post ... about a beautiful little girl ... from a beautiful Mama!

You can only imagine the comments our family got when we decided to add 3 to our already 10 bio. Oh my! So sad!

Hugs!!!


Laurel :)

Gretchen said...

Your children are so beautiful! She is priceless!

Jenny said...

I love you Leigh Leigh...I'm so proud of you and all of you're accomplishments! The biggest one of all is that you opened your Uncle Brian's and my eyes to the this amazing thing called adoption! I thank you and cousin Mario thanks you! Titi

Donna said...

Congratulations to Aleigha!!!

My beautiful daughter may have permanant delays that we did not know about due to her severe malnutrition. It does not change the fact that she is my daughter, nor that I love her with my whole being!!

And to the comments if I would do it again? All I can say is a resounding "YES"!!!

She is my beautiful treasure, woven together for our family. We don't adopt to make a perfect family, we adopted to make of forever family of love that pours out the love of God!!!

The Straight's said...

Loved this post so much I had to link it today. Thanks for sharing! Your daughter is beautiful!!

StressedBlessed Mom in GA said...

And another Amen! All of the comments, positive and negative, for both of my adoptions, made me that much stronger and excited. I adore my girls (Russia and Guatemala) and wouldn't change a thing.
Thank you for your thoughts spoken so eloquently. I agree!

trina said...

And she sure is cute!! Such a pretty,pretty girl. :)

Debbie said...

Thanks for sharing from your heart. It is always a blessing and encouragement to see God at work.

Mrs. Michelle said...

Aleigha is precious in every way! So proud of who she is.

Bloggin' Robin said...

Oh, I needed this reminder today! Thank you. Discouragement comes with the adoption journey, thank you for reminding me to keep my eyes on Jesus! Trusting what god says and not man!

Andrea H. said...

Oh how I love your Aleigha. Its amazing when we think we already know each other so well with each post we find out more and more about our families and journeys. You are a precious friend.

A Blessed Life said...

I would like to chat with you about your Last adoption, how can I contact you. My email is kellybarnesle@yahoo.com.
Thanks so much, Kelly

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for this! We have been called by God to adopt and we have already experienced many many negative comments from family, most of which you listed. No one in our family has ever adopted. No one in our family has a child with special needs.
We have heard it all from "You can't afford it." to "You're just taking away from the kids you have." to "My son deserves a REAL son first." (This was before we had our third daughter..)

We have not told anyone that we are doing our home study this year. We have not told anyone that we intend to adopt a child with special needs, because that's what we're called to do. (It shouldn't surprise them, since my calling has always been, since I was a small child, to care for children with special needs!) We don't want the negative comments right now because you are absolutely right, Satan loves to use that to get to us.

Our poor girls, they are SO excited to be sisters! They absolutely LOVE the prospect of adoption-they are incredibly compassionate children. My 9 yr old has asked since she was 6 for a brother who is deaf!

I am going to post this comment anonymously (because I don't want to hurt family's feelings), but I am going to become a follower. I am excited to learn more about adoption through your family. Know that you are blessing people who don't even know you. :)

Ang said...

Dear Amy~
I've not checked in in quite some time. We returned from Ethiopia two months ago, I resigned from my teaching job, and we're moving next week. All this said to say, "We're Busy". Good Busy. Wonderful busy.

I found you again through "Chrissie's" blog. I don't know them, but I've been praying for them for just a few short days. I'm so thankful the Lord has allowed me to pray for their family.I've been blessed by Chrissie's Momma's entries.

I was SO surprised to see the face of your little girl on your blog. I figured you had decided to adopt domestically after you had left a comment on my blog, asking about agency.

I scrolled through your posts and just had to smile when I read about your vision and your doubting others who talked about having one in the past. I was in the same boat as your prior to having the vision of our son, Gabriel in November 2007. It's funny b/c I watch people's faces when they ask how we found them, how did we decide on our country, etc. I typically start with, "well, one day I was praying and the Lord gave me this little boy's face..." I suppose most are skeptical. I mean, seriously, does God really care enough to give us a very detailed vision of our future child and the names of both of the children? Absolutely!!!

I don't know. I don't know why He chose to give us this path, but I am SO thankful.

I so appreciated your post of your daughter born in Guatemala. Guatemala is where much of our adoption story first takes place. Though our children were born in Ethiopia, a part of our hearts are in Guatemala, especially at Casa Bernabe.

May the Lord continue to richly bless you with His deepest and richest blessings.

Angie

Ang said...

Dear Amy~
I've not checked in in quite some time. We returned from Ethiopia two months ago, I resigned from my teaching job, and we're moving next week. All this said to say, "We're Busy". Good Busy. Wonderful busy.

I found you again through "Chrissie's" blog. I don't know them, but I've been praying for them for just a few short days. I'm so thankful the Lord has allowed me to pray for their family.I've been blessed by Chrissie's Momma's entries.

I was SO surprised to see the face of your little girl on your blog. I figured you had decided to adopt domestically after you had left a comment on my blog, asking about agency.

I scrolled through your posts and just had to smile when I read about your vision and your doubting others who talked about having one in the past. I was in the same boat as your prior to having the vision of our son, Gabriel in November 2007. It's funny b/c I watch people's faces when they ask how we found them, how did we decide on our country, etc. I typically start with, "well, one day I was praying and the Lord gave me this little boy's face..." I suppose most are skeptical. I mean, seriously, does God really care enough to give us a very detailed vision of our future child and the names of both of the children? Absolutely!!!

I don't know. I don't know why He chose to give us this path, but I am SO thankful.

I so appreciated your post of your daughter born in Guatemala. Guatemala is where much of our adoption story first takes place. Though our children were born in Ethiopia, a part of our hearts are in Guatemala, especially at Casa Bernabe.

May the Lord continue to richly bless you with His deepest and richest blessings.

Angie

Karin said...

She is precious! The comments hurt but I agree, they make us stronger. :) There are people who make comments no matter what your situation is. The worst comments I received were when we were struggling with infertility. Oh...the comments that were made. But you know what? It made me SO much more sensitive to other people and delivered me from being one of 'those' people who make those kind of comments. :))

Liliane Doris said...

Dear Amy, as i am reading your blog, I can't help but be thankful of all the glory of our God. Him in his glory has put people like you on this earth to remind me that no matter how many hurtful things i hear from some people, I can always smile as i know there are people like you who help this world be a better place without prejudices. Thank you from the bottom of my heart :-)