October 22, 2014


How did I get here?  What happened to me?  My tiny body is slouched in a miniature wheelchair, and I have various tubes running in and out of my abdomen.  I am trying to hold my head upright and trying to make sense of my surroundings.  I am trapped in my own little world of severe disabilities.  And to make matters worse, I am trapped in the foster care system.  This is not the life I would have chosen.

It wasn’t always like this.  Once upon a time I was born into a family.  A real family with a mother and a father and siblings who loved me.  I easily passed all of my newborn screenings, and I spent the first few months of my life happy and innocent.  Developing right on schedule. 

And then one day, shortly before my first birthday, everything stopped and the seizures began.  Whether it was from an injury or from negligence or from a mysterious genetic condition that the doctors have not yet discovered, no one is certain.  People frequently take one look at me and ask, “What caused this?”  I don’t know.  All I know is that in some providential way, as part of God’s good and loving plan, this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in my life.1

Unfortunately, my many, many complex medical and developmental needs proved to be too difficult for my parents.  I was removed from the only home I had ever known, and was taken into protective custody by concerned social workers.  I am one of the fortunate ones: I was placed with a caring, nurturing foster family.  A family who makes sure I have the best doctors and therapists and specialists.  A family who truly loves me.  Who prays for me.  Who, every day without fail, prays for a miracle.2 

Still, even the most loving, committed foster parents can never be an adequate replacement for permanent ones.

I have been in foster care for almost a year now.  A year of one-hour supervised visits with my family.  A year of social workers monitoring every aspect of my care and my parents’ abilities and their commitment to me.  A year of court hearings, the judge trying to make sense of all of the reports.  Trying to decide if my parents are fit to care for me.

And now I wonder, how did I get here?  What will happen to me if I am unable to return to my parents?  Perhaps my picture will be added to the national photolisting, the one with all of the other foster children in this country who are waiting to be adopted.3  Will it do any good?  In a parents’ search for a child to adopt, for a child who will fit nicely into their family, how likely is it that anyone will notice me among all of those healthy children?   Is it possible that I will ever be chosen?

I imagine that most people dream of what they want their family to be like.  Two happy and healthy children – one boy and one girl, of course - to love and raise.  They envision a little house in the suburbs, complete with a white picket fence and a small garden out back.  The mom dreams of taking her kids to music lessons and making cookies for the class parties at school.  The dad can’t wait to teach his children how to throw a football or swing a bat.  They want to plan week-end getaways to the beach, family vacations full of laughter and memories.  Naturally, they would choose a picture-perfect life.  A life that does not include a child with special needs. 

Are there any parents out there who will remember that they, too, have been chosen?4  That they were once fragile and completely helpless, wholly dependent on the mercy of a loving, compassionate God?  That when they, themselves, were adopted into God’s family, He didn’t choose them because they were the smartest or the best looking or the most athletic?  That He didn’t choose them because they showed the most potential for accomplishment?  Because they would be the least disruptive to His well-laid plans?

On the contrary, He chose the ones who were weak.5  The ones who were utterly helpless and unable to choose for themselves.6  He rescued them from a dark, bleak, empty future, and filled their hearts with joy.7  He gave them hope.  He gave them, quite literally, a Forever Family.  He became the Father that would never leave.8

Are there any of God’s people, any chosen ones who are holy and dearly loved, who would be willing to clothe themselves with compassion?  Who would demonstrate in a tangible way the kindness, humility, gentleness and patience that I so desperately need?9

Are there parents out there who would be willing to add ramps and wheelchair accessibility to their little house in the suburbs, the one with the white picket fence? 

Is there a mom somewhere who would voluntarily drive me to doctors’ appointments instead of to music lessons?  Who would be content measuring out my daily medications instead of measuring ingredients for cookies?

Is there a family somewhere out there who wouldn’t mind, when packing their bags for their week-end trip to the beach, packing some extra medical equipment?  Who would rejoice with me when I experience the feel of sand between my toes for the very first time?

Is there someone somewhere who will accept me just as I am?  Who will adore me as the wonderfully-made treasure that God created?10  Who will welcome me into their home and into their family? 

How I long to be loved!  I am waiting to be chosen!

1.    As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.   His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”   “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” – John 9:1-3
2.    Every day his foster mother prays for a miracle. You can read about it here. 
3.    Today there are 104,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted.  Their profiles are posted at www.adoptuskids.org
4.    In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. – Ephesians 1:11
5.    God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. - 1 Corinthians 1:27
6.    “You did not choose Me, but I chose you . . .” – John 15:16
7.    The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. - Psalms 126
8.    The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:8
9.    “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.– Colossians 3:12
10. For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. - Psalm 139:13-14

No comments:

Post a Comment