Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I'm Sick and in the Mood To Tell It Like It Is

I have the flu and so does Julianne.  She is puny and doesn't want to eat or drink.  Her stubborness is usually a very wonderful thing and usually I can reason with her about things she needs to take in order to feel better.  Her throat is sore though and it is a fight to get liquids down her to keep her hydrated.  I love that little girl more than anyone could possibly imagine and seeing her sick is so hard.

I also have the constant reminder of my other five Chromosomally Enhanced children who need to come home.  Four of them are fed and some are even in places better than we imagined they would be, but they need to be home with us learning and growing.  Keith on the other hand is not fed like he should be.  He is tiny and in need of medical attention.  He will be 5 years old on April 1st and wears a size 3 to 6 months clothes.  My heart hurts for him all the time.  I worry about him and pray that God holds him in His hands while we can't hold him in ours.  I beg God to make the process go quickly. 

I usually don't say too much about the struggles we go through with "other people".  Our household is wonderful and these people here are all that I need for everything to be ok.  God is in what we are doing and I have no doubt of that.  Besides that - no one else matters. 

That being said, I am so fed up.  When we added Keith to this adoption my sister (I use that word in biology only bc in our family love not biology forms families) made some horrible comments.  She made comments about adoptive kids not being the same.  How they shouldn't be able to get social security if a parent dies, because it wasn't their real parents anyway.  She then went into how she isn't for abortion, but we don't need more people here "taxing the system" speaking of Down Syndrome.  She made comments about how the kids shouldn't be allowed to come here because they will never "contribute".  My sister had made comments in the past when her kids were acting horrid about how my kids were the issue bc it made things crowded (even though my kids were sitting quietly around a table eating).  I forgave that and some other words that were very hurtful so that my grandparents could have holidays where everyone was cordial.  I told her then that another hateful word about my kids would mean I was done with her for good.  I told her that I understood her embarassment about her kids' behavior, but my kids had better not be the ones to have it blamed on them bc of her embarassment that my kids with "special needs" can handle get togethers better. 

When the comments about Down Syndrome and adopted kids not being really the same came out, I WAS DONE!  I let the rest of the family know that I was done.  My mother said that it was a difference in "Political beliefs".  I told her that was only accurate if my sister was a "Nazi".  Since then the rest of my family (with the exception of my brother and sister in law - much more my real sister- who purely tolerate her when necessary) have continued to say she is wrong, but I don't feel they've taken a "stand".  They will say that she is very wrong, but "her kids" can't help it.  I do understand that, because I wouldn't wish anything bad of her kids, because it isn't their fault that she is a  . . . . . .

It has made a huge impact though.  I know that if she had made a racial comment about Denzell, Precious, or Unique being African American and somehow "unworthy" then our family would have had a fit.  Why then is it ok for comments about Down Syndrome???  I guess it is because our entire world seems to devalue people with an extra chromosome.  It makes me furious though.  (Did you read the story about the parents who were awarded nearly $3 million because they weren't told their child had Down Syndrome in utero and they would have aborted her!!!!  GRRRRR!!!!!)  What my sister and our world don't seem to understand is that people with Down Syndrome contribute way more than my sister.  My sister has mooched in any way that she can and gotten any help that she can.  She leaves her kids with whoever she can.  People with Down Syndrome are so stubborn that they can accomplish much more than they are given credit for.  They make everyone around them better.  They can have careers when they become adults.  They make the world smile (well except those with a scowl that they were born to begin with).  They were PUT HERE BY GOD!!  Our world employs "teachers", but people with Down Syndrome are the "teachers" that God put here. 

All I know is that I would hate to stand before God some day and give account for in anyway harboring those thoughts, feelings, or condoning in any way those who have those thoughts or feelings.  Those (like my biological sister) who have the nerve to actually say such things to a parent who ADORES their children's extra chromosome, should beware.  She was very blessed that she had that audacity over the phone.  In person, I would have knocked her down!  For my family members who have the audacity to let her name slip out of their mouths in conversation with me, I pray that I can contain my thoughts, but I make no guarantees.  God even said that you can't serve two masters and you must choose a side.  Neutral sometimes just isn't really neutral.  I only need God to approve of me, so if people wonder why I don't have more to do with family, there is the reason.  Yes, many of them love my children.  Sometimes love with no action just isn't enough though. 

I hate to end a post on such a negative note.  I realize that many of you are going "what the heck", but it is something that I've needed to get off my chest.  I just got off the phone with a family member who was giving her "prolife speech" that she had given to someone at work.  All the while, I know that she still won't take a stand as far as my sister.  That conversation added to the story about the family suing because their daughter was born just sent me into rant mode and I had to let it out.  This is the result of all those things in combination with seeing my little girl the world thinks isn't worthy bc God made her special sick, while my little boy made in God's image but considered unworthy by so much of the world lays alone and hungry.  Sorry if it isn't "nice" or "politically correct" or "encouraging", but its truthful.

On a positive note, please go read THIS post for all the wonderful opportunities available right now to those who support us.  :)  For those in our church and those others who truly support us, we are truly thankful and thank God for you each day. 

A few quotes from Abraham Lincoln:
“Stand with anyone that is right; stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.”    Wow, how this applies to so many situations where those with an extra chromosome are being aborted, orphaned, and thought unworthy!

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."  Does this not apply to those with an extra chromosome world??

“My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.” I guess the question is WWJD???  If He were walking this earth now, would those who call themselves Christians dare to do and say the things they do about children that He created???

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”  So very true?  If we deny the freedom to live and be valued to children and adults because of God giving them a little something "extra", then should we have it??? 

Then even more important, what does the Bible say:

Never take advantage of any widow or orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, you can be sure that I will hear their cry.
Exodus 22:22-23   

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
James 1:27

Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
Isaiah 1:17

And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.
Matthew 18:5
 Joshua 24:15 - "But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”


  1. I can't believe your sister would say those things about your children! I can't even imagine why she would even think those things! When cousins visit, kids often get excited and misbehave, but blaming your children simply because they have special needs is wrong! Anyway, I decided to comment on your blog today (I've been reading for awhile but this is my first comment) because of an interesting encounter I had on the bus this morning. I had a lovely conversation with a man who has down syndrome. He is a really nice guy, he is 47 (and very excited about his upcoming 50th birthday!) and lives in a group home. He lives fairly independently, he has a part time job (3 days a week), catches the bus into town each day (by himself) and likes to watch soccer games on tv (he knows the rules, he understands what's happening and he remembers the score!). It was so cool to meet someone with ds who is 'higher functioning'. I don't wish to sound mean by saying 'high functioning' but most of the ds kids I've met are non-verbal, can't read/write, can only understand very simple sentences, etc. It was a real eye opener meeting this guy on the bus, it showed me that these kids can have a future, they can learn things and can 'contribute' to society. I hope this positive experience with a 'chromosomally enhanced' person will brighten your day. I also want to let you know that I am praying for you, your family and especially for your 5 new kids :) Oh, and I know I shouldn't have favorites, but I think Keith is the cutest little kid I've ever seen!

    1. Thanks so much! It is always great to hear of older "Chromosomally Enhanced" people doing so well. They were born in a time periods where they were believed to be able to do much. He proved them all wrong!

      Children today have so many more opportunities!

      Thank you so much for sharing. That started me day with a smile! We appreciate the prayers and believe me we are all ready to get our hands on tiny Keith. He will be thoroughly spoiled! We plan to spoil all 5 though!:)

  2. Amanda, I am so sorry to hear about how your sister is handling herself regarding your adoption. I would be so hurt. Her attitude is absurd, unkind and uneducated. Your family is very blessed by all of your children and it's a shame that some people are so narrow minded that they will never see that. God Bless.

    1. Thank you. I might be hurt if I wasn't so mad. I just think how hard and hateful her heart must be and try to resist the urge to slap her. I'm planning to stick with the "can't see her, can't slap her" approach.

  3. Vent away! I don't truly understand your sister's feelings, especially as it relates to adoption. Why shouldn't a child have equal right to a parent's assets (such as social security) whether they are adopted or not? Even the law doesn't agree with that!

    1. I don't know if she is really that dumb or was just trying to be hurtful. It really is hard to tell. I think a large part is just trying to devalue our family and knowing that my children are the only way to make me mad.

  4. I've been reading since your hubby was in EE. I love him, by the way! What an awesome, empowered Daddy! Anyway, this post made me comment. In my own family we have members who have "divorced" us. We have not heard from them in 15 years. When my mom died I did not list her sister as a survivor etc. And you know what? It's okay. There are ways to see the family you want to see and avoid the ones who are ignorant and unkind. You have a large family, I know you are creative :) so get creative for holidays, parents' birthdays etc. Sissy Witch needs to know you aren't putting up with her crap anymore. Okay, I've vented too. Take care of yourself and you and all your little ones are in my prayers.

    1. Thank you! We are very creative for holidays anyway. There are enough of us that we are a party even when it is just "us". Your "Sissy Witch" comment made me literally "lol". I'm sorry you've dealt with family bull too. As I said before, families are built by love and not biology. We have some friends who have definitely become family. God always has a plan and puts people in our lives that make our lives better. :)

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  6. I have been reading your blog for only a few weeks, but would like to comment to this one. I am not an adoptive mom, nor do I think I ever will be (would love to, but not sure husband will ever be on board, mainly because of values indoctrinated in him since he was a child, so am trying to support those of you families who are adopting in other ways, so I can still be part of the big beautiful picture. : )

    But my husband's family feels very strongly that family is who you are blood related or married to, and even the married part is only grudgingly accepted. I should know! I can say this here because no one I know will ever see this, but my MIL is a nasty witch most of the time, so completely wrapped up in self-serving and self-focus that she is controlling and mean, always feeling threatened. (And of course I, the lone daughter-in-law, am the most threatening to her)

    God has really, really, really, used her in my life to show me my own self-focus, my own pride, my own ways of living our lies. So I really and truly can say I am thankful for her. But things have been very hard, and she will do the same thing your sister does of chosing moments at holidays around the extended family table to say very critical, mean things about me and my family. Makes my blood boil, but the rest of the family ignores her, so expect me to as well.

    I will ignore her around the big table, but when she and I are alone together, like in the kitchen, she knows she won't get away with anything, and God has truly been amazing, giving me patience but firmness and loads of grace when calling her out on her lies and mean words. I will be praying that you feel His wisdom as you decide how to respond to your sister now and in the future!

    That said, I firmly believe there is lots of good to be gained from temporary separations from people. It sure sounds like you need to give your sister the freedom to miss out on all the blessing that is already spilling out onto and through your family. Look at me--a stranger from across the country is drawn to your story because of God all over it! She is the one missing out, and either she will regret that one day, or she will die a bitter ignoramus. But please do consider extending your hand in peace after things have settled down--to honor the Prince of Peace. This is not the same as having a regular relationship with her--no, that I think she has to want and you are not obligated to bring your family around her if they might be wounded in the process. You go, mama bear, and protect those cubs! God created you for that role.

    God showed me over the years that my MIL's mean spirit is the result of her self-focus, and her enormous insecurity. So maybe you can think about that and see if there is insight for you too--that your sister is so absorbed in her own self that she can't see truth right before her eyes. And maybe your large, beautiful family is threatening to her, and she feels less of a mom because of you (I know my MIL does, which has helped me have compassion for her) and even DS people are threatening to her because they might crumble her shaky foundation of what her own value is. She might be like my MIL and has built her own identity and self-worth around lies, and is fighting like a cornered animal to keep it all from crashing down. . .

    Just a few thoughts. Did not mean to write this long! But I so immediately resonated with the sister/MIL side story, and wanted to encourage you however I could to not allow you or your children to be abused, and yet to view your sister as God sees her, and have pity on her.

    I'll be lifting you up in prayer about this!


    1. Just to give one example, so you know the kinds of things she will say--when we announced our third and fourth kids, she (and her mom and her sister too, women who are very nice to me, but clearly the wrong thinking stems from the same root in that family) all said to us, "Don't you know about birth control?!" Yes, seriously.

  7. Oh, mama, my heart hurts for you. I can't imagine hearing such things about my children. I've heard awful, awful things said about myself with regards to my Dear Borrowed Kids (I am doing more harm than good, sticking my nose where it doesn't belong, why should you care so much when they're not 'your kids' anyways... blech) but this one time, a kid, a six year old, mocked A's speech delay, and I had to restrain myself from going ballistic on her. And she was six. I cannot imagine hearing what you did about your precious babies, especially as you wait to be able to hold them in your arms, from someone so supposedly close to you. Yes, I would need to rant too.

    In our society today, many people are saying that the civil rights battle is continuing, only the current main target is homosexuals rather than racial groups. I beg to differ. Many, many groups are being marginalized in our society, people with special needs nearing the top of the list. Racial groups and homosexuals continue to be targeted by people with hate in their hearts, but so do people with special needs. In high school, I got so sick of hearing people say things were "gay" or "retarded", that I went around saying things were "diabetic" when I was frustrated. To the confused stares I got, I explained that using a physical disease to describe something you dislike makes just about as much sense as using a developmental disorder to describe it.

    I'm so sorry your family is being less than supportive. I like what you said about family being defined by love, not biology. I say that all the time. I have a little patchwork family, and it has three little ones in it who aren't mine, biologically or legally, but who are family just the same. We became family with every midnight feeding, every kissed boo-boo, every goodnight story, every school carnival and every "I love you." That definition of family, in my opinion, is far more apt than defining it by whose genes you have... because who cares?! Anyways... I know it's not a substitute for having real people right there with you, but you know you have a huge 'family' here in the adoption community, who loves and values you and each and every one of your children. I can't wait to see them come home. Hugs.