Quite a while ago, I posted about how frustrating it was to me when people ask how things are going, but tell me that I "asked for this" when I am honest about some of the challenges we face as parents of children with special needs. I had commented that yes, we did choose to adopt but did so not anticipating the issues that we deal with on a regular basis because of our children's background.
Well, I would like to add to my previous response a little bit and also thank a fellow adoptive mom (Hope Ann) for making a comment recently that helps me to state my perspective much better.
Why am I revisiting the topic? Well, probably more for my sake than anyone else's. But, here goes.
Yes, we did choose adoption. Mark and I talked a lot about whether we should take that path when we came to that "fork in the road." We had a pretty carefree life. We could travel, do what we wanted, when we wanted with little planning. Our responsibilities were few, we were the envy of many of our friends. We knew that having children would change all of that. And we chose to pursue parenthood, expecting it to come easily. But, it didn't.
So then, we talked about adoption vs fertility treatment. What made the most sense and again, how far did we want to go to pursue parenthood. When we started the domestic adoption process, we were confident and hopeful that a birth mother would see our profile and immediately choose us as parents for her child. It quickly became apparent that this would not be the case.
Then, Mark and I began to talk about international adoption, special needs adoption - how that would look, how it would affect our lives. We talked about what we felt we could handle as far as special needs. We had a clear idea of what we wanted, a dream for our family and what it would look like.
Two and a half years later, reality looks far different than we imagined. Harder? Sometimes. Easier? Sometimes. Stressful? More than I could have imagined. Rewarding? Absolutely! The long and short of it is this.
Did we choose this? Yes, the fact is that we chose to adopt two children with special needs. But the truth is also that God chose us to adopt Maia and Matthew, specifically. He could have placed them in other forever families. Yet, He asked us to step out in faith to bring our children home. He allowed us the freedom to say "yes" or "no." We can only claim that we were obedient to His call. We chose this because God chose us.