Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Reluctant Husband Syndrome - Question 8


What if the child we adopt has special needs that will take away from our current quality of life?

First let me refer you to an excellent post my wife recently published that addresses a commentor’s concern about being equipped to care for special-needs children as they turn into adults.  Go here.

Now let me tell you that I worried about how any special-needs children we adopted might affect the rest of my family.  As a man created to be the protector of my household, I dreaded having some “foreign body” enter our home and harming my other children.  Isn’t that horrible?  I think about my four adopted girls and wonder how I ever perceived them as bacteria entering a body!

What if one of them had uncontrollable fits where satan twists her head around 360 degrees and she takes a sledge hammer to one of my boys’ heads?  I couldn’t live with myself.

But really, what concerned me the most was how life would change—plain and simple.  I enjoyed taking my wife for dates once a week.  Would that
need to stop?  And how could we possibly go camping with special-needs kids?

And what about the finances?  Would my other boys be left without because we have to make the money spread thinner?  Would we not be able to send any of them to college or buy them a car? 

I can only speak for myself.  For me, it all boiled down to a spiritual issue.  I had to come to terms with a Scripture passage.  “Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it” (Luke 17.33). 

The two most important words in that passage for me are “their life.”  It’s like God calls it that on purpose, sort of tongue in cheek.  If I really heeded that passage, then there’s no such thing as “my life!”  If I lose it, how is it mine?

I was “bought at a price” (1 Cor. 6:20).  So my concern for a changed “quality of life” is ridiculous, because I don’t have a life.  Therefore, it’s a moot point to be concerned about its quality.

Like everything in my spiritual journey, I have had to come to grips with what my heart tries to protect.  If Jesus Christ is truly the head of me and my household, then it’s only logical that He knows better.  And I want what HE wants!

I can honestly say from experience, that our family’s “quality of life” is so much richer since I lost my life.  For us to choose to adopt special-needs kids was the greatest thing that has happened to our entire family. 

“Things” no longer determine quality.  Following God’s will does.  And I thank Him that His will for us was to adopt SN children.  We could not be richer for it.


  1. Morning Bro - yeah - you bride's post is some really good stuff!!

    I'm seeing it this way - sn's or not - adoption (domestic or international) is not for the weak. Last night at bed time - after my daughter and MIL (they'd been up for an over night visit)left - our next to youngest and a crying jag. This happens occasionally - in particular after a busy day and sudden change - she ends up 'going to that place' in her heart - the place of pain - the place that tells me that (maybe at a time even before she can 'remember) she suffered greatly and no one helped her. Like Haven - she becomes 'non-verbal' (Does Haven have crying spells?) and simply wails from a place deep in her heart (and as loudly as she possibly can!!).

    Time is all that cures it - I spent a good half an hour just holding her in a quiet and dark room until eventually between wails she screamed "MOM". That's the big signal that she's ready to calm down - I can hand her to mom and she'll settle. (The reverse holds as well - if Marie does the 30 minutes she'll yell for me - she's signally she's ready for a change of heart and venue).

    It took us over a year to learn this pattern...but we did...

    Physical and emotional special needs happen - and it's great if you 'know' about them up front.

    But I would submit that there is no such thing as a "non-special needs" adopted child...they will all have a commonality...they are adopted and as such they come into your family with a 'wound' (for lack of a better word).

    But bio kids can come the same way....

    And no child comes with a warranty....

    And if you are all a FAMILY then the entire FAMILY will want to do whatever is necessary for any other part of the FAMILY....

    Because families are good like that!

    continue in a like and similar fashion bro -


  2. Aus, very well put, my friend.

    God bless you for what you mean to your precious daughter. Yes, sometimes Haven just cries randomly. Not as intensely as Marie, though. You're a great dad, Aus. God hand-picked you guys just for her. So loving and patient.

    And you're right about all adoptees being non-special-needs. Even with those adopted in their infancy, we cannot possibly know the rejection they've sensed from an early age. And if they're of a different race, obviously, they learn early that they're not biologically one of the brood!

    Love conquers all, my friend. Keep loving the way you are!

  3. I remember when we got Josi's 'diagnosis' and how I thought my dreams for myself and my daughter 'died' in that moment. Ironically, most of the things I thought we wouldn't experience together we have! I also remember God reminding me that our 'perfect' child could just as easily fall and hit is head rendering him with severe special needs for his entire life. It is hard to let go of what we think is normal and what we think we can handle but thankfully we serve a God who is in the business of showing us His strength in our weakness and giving us every opportunity to depend on Him and nothing else!!!

    Thanks for sharing your heart and biblical wisdom!

  4. This is an awesome post. Thank you for once again hitting these issues of my heart head on. I love your honesty and transparency. Because when an ugly or fearful thought enters my head, I think, "I wonder what Anthony and Adeye would say to that"? And then I log on and you've already answered my questions! Thank you!

  5. Wanted to add another thought onto my earlier comment--thank you also for always leading me back to HIM with my doubts and concerns. Your scripture-laden posts are exactly what I need.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...