I had an enjoyable conversation today with a new friend. She was seeking adoption advice. We talked about many things:
adopting more than once
the state of adoption approval in Illinois...the list goes on.
The conversation kept returning to making the biggest difference.
We began discussing different special needs. We mulled over both the short and long term issues presented by different physical and mental issues. We discussed the journeys of families in other blogs who have adopted desperately neglected children.
If you have had this type of conversation before, you know how very overwhelming it can become. A feeling of dread and despair begins to permeate your soul.
How can we manage that over the long haul?
Dear Lord, are we really equipped to do that?
She just painted a picture of what transition is like for a "healthy" child, how can we possibly navigate through all of that if we add these significant special needs?
I hope if you have these desires and these questions that you explore deeply the answers. She and I surely did.
As we spoke a very liberating thought occurred to me.
What is THE GREATEST NEED?
I believe the greatest need is love.
It is universal to every child who has no one to to call their own.
If you haven't got love, what does it matter if you can't walk?
If you haven't got love, what does it matter if you can't hear?
If there are no arms to hold you tight and kiss you when you are scared, what does it matter if you have DS, or CP, or Arthrogryposis, or Leukemia, or HIV, or TB, or Autism, or anything else?
If no one delights at the very thought of you, why does the rest of it matter?
Why does a child say yes when she has been told that "these Americans don't love you, they really just want to harvest your organs"?
She say yes because while she may die when she get there, it is worth the risk to see if perhaps they really do love me. If I don't take the chance, aren't I dead already?
Please understand this:
You are not meeting a greater need if you go to Africa over the American Foster Care System.
You are not meeting a greater need if the child is actually a sibling group of four.
You are not meeting a greater need if the child is bed-bound.
You are not meeting a greater need if the child has HIV.
You are not meeting a greater need if the child has special needs of any kind.
You are meeting the greatest if you give love to the child you can.
Everything else is just details.
So dear friend, if you are asking yourself these questions and feeling like there is no way you could do what these other people do, ask yourself this question:
Can I love a child who needs it?
If the answer is yes, then GO!
Make the MAXIMUM IMPACT.