Tuesday, June 5, 2012

10 fingers and 10 toes

as a child i never gave much thought to adoption
the subject just wasn't on the radar in my family
and so it wasn't discussed much

i did, however, give much thought to getting married and birthing "lots" of children
because from the time i could hold a baby doll until i was well into my "tween" years
you could find me playing with dolls, dressing them, strolling them, and being a mom to them
i used real {disposable} diapers when i found them, real milk in real bottles when i could sneak it out of the fridge, and even real baby food when i could somehow buy it from a store without mom knowing
(i really did this, i remember one time i probably took money from my dad's drugstore register and walked down to a neighboring "quick sack" market and bought about $10 worth of baby food!  ha!  mom later made me take it back and return it all...sadness)
 later on when i began to consider adoption
i didn't really consider special needs
i thought it would be too difficult and so i blocked it out based on ignorance and fear
and as all new parents i wanted my child to be "perfect"
i didn't want to have to "explain" something about a physical difference as i showed pictures of my newly referred baby

years later as the wait for a non special needs baby grew longer and longer (and yes, i would still be waiting if i didn't have a change of heart) i began to read
and study
and pray
and question God

and i've said many times before 
deep within my heart i knew God was telling me to adopt a baby with a hand/foot deformity of some kind
i did not understand why
i did not even speak of it to most people
but i just knew that is where he was leading me

over the course of the years of waiting and even since adopting my sweet molly
i hear parents, expecting moms, and people in general pray for 
"all ten fingers and ten toes"
{you know the phrase everyone utters...we don't care if it's a boy or girl as long as it's healthy or when the baby is delivered a Dr. may say...everything looks good...he/she has all ten fingers and ten toes!}
and i smile and just think how eternally grateful i am that molly doesn't have all of her fingers and toes
because if she did, i wouldn't have her in my life
and that thought scares me to death!

it sounds bad, but what i mean is that her hands and feet were uniquely created for her by our God
and it's all she needs
believe me, she is in no way inhibited by her missing digits
it doesn't even phase her
i'm sure this will change when she starts preschool this fall and begins to get questions from her classmates
but this is what will build her character and will give her the strength to have self confidence beyond what outwardly "perfect" people have
at least, that is my daily prayer for her

in opening the very first emailed picture of her hands and feet i knew this was it
my child
it was the 5th referral i had looked at
and before i read her medical report
or looked at her big brown eyes
or saw that she was wearing pink
or saw her head full of gorgeous hair
i looked at her fingers and toes
and my heart melted
because God said, she was created for you!
and so that is why i'm so thankful she didn't have all 20 digits:)

in my journey of wanting a "perfect" baby i realized what God was teaching me
what may seem outwardly perfect, can be inwardly flawed
and what seems imperfect by our looks obsessed society today can be the most perfect creation of God

he was/is teaching me this in so many areas of my life...
my desire to have my dream of a "perfect" marriage
my dream to build my family through childbirth
my dream of {ever} losing weight and having the "perfect" body
my dream of perfection for my home
perfect flowers and landscaping
financial perfection
perfection in my prayer life and Bible Study
I could go on and on...  couldn't you?

But, I have to lay it down for Him
just like I laid down my adoption process at his feet
and willingly let him lead me to my daughter
i have to do that in every area of my life
and boy, is that HARD!!!!!

and so in closing i just want to say that i never look at molly as having a disability
there are far more serious medical conditions that children have
and i greatly admire all of the parents out there who adopt children with severe medical needs
but, i imagine like me, they think their child is perfect and are grateful for the lessons learned along the way

if anyone is contemplating adoption or special needs adoption i would encourage you to pray, gather information, and not to be scared about the unknown
and certainly, for all of the parents who are expecting a baby
please pray for something more significant than 10 fingers and 10 toes!

this is a wonderful organization a friend introduced me to
i'm definitely getting molly one of these tshirts!


Love for Lilly Yin said...

You blog post today made my heart smile. I often hear people praising the Lord for a perfectly healthy birth, and while I get what they are saying, it doesn't make me more "unlucky" than them. I adore my children, I adore my daughters cleft, I adore my sons cerebral palsy, because they are MY treasures, and I would not change that. Those conditions allowed ME to find them, and for that I am so thankful.

Dan and Karen said...

Oh my Amy....we are soooo on the same wavelength. Just this weekend I heard someone saying "I don't really care if I have a boy or a girl as long as the baby is healthy and has 10 fingers and 10 toes"...it stopped me in my tracks...because my baby doesn't have 10 fingers and 10 toes...she has 8 COMBINED. Less than half of what she's 'supposed' to have...and yet God made her perfect, and there is NOTHING she cannot do. I too am so thankful for my "perfect" little girl, her determination, will and undying spirit constantly amaze me and I am so blessed to be her Mama. I'm so glad that your path intertwined with ours so our baby girl could come home...and yes, I'm ordering a t shirt for Miss S too! : )

Jen said...

Just want to say "Amen!"... :)

Judi said...

Beautiful post, Amy! Being the mom of two children who the world would consider "less than perfect", I totally relate! And I am very thankful that God allowed me to be Megan's and Haleigh's mom!

Becky said...

Great post.

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