I get asked fairly often why we wanted to adopt and even more, why we would choose to adopt children with additional medical and developmental needs after all we have been through with our son Gavin. It’s actually a really interesting question for me to answer. One might think we had deep reasoning, but truth is it just seemed like a natural progression of our family. We just simply kept living the life we felt God had placed before us.
But then there are times like this, that I’m about to share with you, that reminds me exactly why we do this – why we choose this life.
Jayden spent the first two years of his life in a medical facility, modeled after a home environment, sometimes known as a transitional home. He was in one of the best facilities around, yet it wasn’t a true home. He was loved by all the medical staff who gave him amazing care, but never got to experience what it means to be apart of a real forever family. He never understood what it means for a mommie and daddy to stay 24 hours a day, not just for 8 or 12 hour shifts.
Recently over the past few months an amazing thing has happened in Jayden’s life. He has come to know exactly what mommie means. He knows that I’m someone special. He knows that my love for him runs so deep, in both times of joy and times of discipline. He seeks me out. He wraps his arms around me so tight and smiles. He recognizes that in my arms he can find comfort. It’s one of the most beautiful displays of healing I have seen in my children.
I was doing a phone interview with ABC news this week and the reporter asked me if I ever think about what life would have been like for my children if life had gone a different way for them. Honestly – I don’t think about it. What I do think about is this – how could I have ever have lived my life without them -- each of my four children and their God chosen time and place to enter my world. I’m so lucky. I’m both humbled and honored to be called their mother. Of course my heart mourns for a life without suffering for my kids but I’m quickly reminded that this life that they have been dealt, doesn’t limit them, but provides them a catalyst to change the world – to change me.
We have been teaching Jayden sign language use a technique similar to the one Helen Keller used. Jayden is both visually and hearing impaired so traditional sign language can be difficult. With hand in hand gestures Jayden has been able to have basic communication with us. He has learned to say more, all done, tell us what song he wants to sing and best of all…
He has learned to say mommie.
Normally “mommie” is one the first words in a child’s vocabulary, but for Jayden this is not just a word. This is a symbol of hope and healing in his life. When I see and feel him lift his hand to his forehead and sign my name it reminds me exactly why we have chosen this life, why God has place us on this journey – to be mommie and daddy to those who have none. To be God’s hands to help heal our little ones hearts and bodies.