Within our group of 7, we have 31 children total. 19 of those children were adopted through DHS. These ladies and I meet once a month for dinner. We have been doing this faithfully for almost 5 years. I would guess we will continue to meet until we are so old we start dying off one by one.
To be honest, I can’t really tell you exactly when we started meeting, or really even why. We were just a group of foster mama’s who needed a place to get advice, talk freely about our cases, get support and wisdom from those who had already been there, and just be in a group of people who got it…no need to explain your weird behaviors or those darn eye twitches…they understood!
5 years later, we have been through a lot. Divorce, death of a child, screaming addicted newborns, RAD preschoolers, new placements coming in, old placements leaving when they shouldn’t, workers lying to us, crazy, scary bio parents, births, grandchildren, stressful court dates, uncontrollable longings when we here of babies in the shelters, little ones getting kicked out of school for their behaviors, adoptions, therapies (name your poison and we’ve been through them), new diagnoses, old diagnoses that are now new again, tears, sorrow, unspeakable grief, unspeakable joy.
Out of the 19 adopted children, all but 3 of them were drug affected/addicted in the womb. One of those was shaken so hard she suffers permanent brain damage. One of those is too young at the moment…her issues haven’t begun to surface. At the moment, there are only 3 of these adopted children who are not either starting or currently undergoing therapies of some sort just so they can cope with their environments.
Recently, we have begun to notice the similarities of the behaviors in our children and have been extremely stressed out as how to go about helping our children. Why would God give us these babies who are so hurt? What in the world are we supposed to do with them?? When you read up on their diagnoses and see what the “normal” outcomes are for children with such issues, the future looks extremely grim. Children with the behaviors that our kids are dealing with are highly likely to end up in prison.
But you know what? My God is big. He is bigger than the effects of meth in the womb. He is bigger than the baby born drunk. He is bigger than cocaine. He is bigger than attachment disorders. He is bigger than processing disorders. He is bigger than sensory integration disorders. He is bigger!
The Bible tells me these things:
Hebrews 6:9b-12 “…We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him and how you have shown your love for Him by caring for other believers, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.”
Hebrews 6:17-18 “God also bound Himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that He would never change His mind. So God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.”
Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.”
We are praying for our children. I believe that God has great things in store for this group of children. I believe that one day, more than one of these children will stand up and tell those who will listen about how God loved them so much that He sent HIS only Son to save them. How God made beauty from ashes…how He used their disabilities for His glory alone.
You see, even though we are working hard to get these kids everything they need medically, therapeutically, etc, we are working even harder to lead them to the Cross. Without Jesus, what good will all the time spent in different therapies be? There is no healing apart from Him.
I am so thankful to be a part of this little group that God has formed. Before I go, here is a promise to our adopted children: (Adapted from a post by one of the suckers…)
I make this promise to you, my babies/children, that when the effects of prenatal drug exposure comes calling, I will hold you close when you cannot handle loud noises. I will hold you near and we will hold our hands over your ears together. I promise to pick you up and love on your boo-boos, even though you cannot feel them. When your separation anxiety gets the best of you, I promise to keep you close to me, even if that means we both miss our classes. When you scream because you cannot stand for your hair to be brushed, I will kiss your head and tickle you through it. When you are frustrated because you want to read so badly, but your brain just has not learned how to process, I promise I will encourage you and one day you will read. When you cannot sit in a room with the lights on, I will turn them off for you and we will sit together in the dark. When you cannot regulate your emotions and have a melt-down, I promise to never leave you. I promise that together, and by God’s grace, we will overcome each and every obstacle that you will face and I promise that you will succeed in life. I promise not to cry when I watch you stand up and give your testimony and say “God chose this family for me. This family showed me Jesus. By His mercy and grace, here I stand before you.” I promise.