Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whispers in your ear

Have you, as a parent or adoptive parent of a disabled child ever had one of these things said to you?

God gave you that child because He knew you could handle it.  I never could do what you do.
You chose the road you're walking, so it's your own fault if everything's not what you thought it would be.
I told you it would be hard and here you are coming crying back to me when you didn't have to have/adopt the child in the first place.
You adopted them, you take care of them.  It's not up to your community to help you to raise those kids.
If you knew life was going to be this hard for you wouldn't you have turned around before you adopted that child?
Your friends don't like you anymore because they think it's too loud at your house when you're on the phone.

Don't complain about your situation, you got there on your own.
Whatever problems you're dealing with- just remember that someone else has it worse.
Why would you ever encourage anyone else to intentionally do what you do and adopt those kids when looking at your family it's obviously hard?
Did they tell you your kids would be like they are before you adopted them or did they lie just to get you to take them off their hands?
Sorry, I can't help you because quite frankly your son scares me.
I don't see how your husband hasn't left you yet after you got all those kids.  Isn't he tired of it all?
God might want us to take care of orphans, but He didn't say to invite them all back to your house.  He only meant to make sure the ones closeby don't starve.
Why would you go adopt a kid over seas when there are so many waiting kids in Foster care in the USA that need families?  Other countries should take care of their own kids too.
Are you ever going to stop???
Are they all yours???
And the most profoundly STUPID comment that I have ever heard (and yes, was directed at me though some of the above are ones friends shared with me)...
Why didn't she stop having kids after the first one was born retarded?

First, let me say very clearly and very STRONGLY...

Those words are not from God, and are NOT a 'message' from God.  Those words are meant to kill, steal, and destroy and those things come from only one place (John 10:10).

Next, let me share this:
God intends for everyone.  EVERYONE.  EVERYONE. to take care of the orphans.  James 1:27 says that pure and faultless religion is that which cares for the widows and orphans.  It isn't a "take this, leave that" type of salad bar.  It's something everyone is told to do.

Just because you listened when God called you and someone else hasn't been called in the same way doesn't mean that it is any less his responsibility to care for orphans than yours.  It doesn't mean everyone should adopt.  It doesn't mean no one should.  It doesn't say take care of the orphans next to you.  It says to care for those in their distress.

So here's what I'm claiming.  When it comes to your disabled or adopted children, if it is not edifying and does not build up the Kingdom of God and His people, then let the words of others roll off of your back like oil on water because their words are not spoken in the Truth according to God's Word.

And.  Right, I'm not done. :)

And, if you need help, even if you've "chosen" this road.  Even though you're the one that didn't terminate your pregnancy, didn't walk away from the disabled child.  Even though you're the one that chose to adopt a special needs child-- or five.  Even if your own choices somewhere are mixed up into the family that you have (or if they aren't!) remember... always remember... that asking for help is not admitting defeat.  In fact, it's very different.

Asking for help means admitting you cannot do it alone.

If I remember correctly, God doesn't intend for man to be alone and therefore He created woman.  God doesn't intend for us to raise our families alone.  He doesn't intend for us to wear ourselves down until there's nothing left to give because we won't ask for help or won't accept help if it's offered.  He doesn't intend for us to put ourselves into the darkness because we've not had any sleep and we feel like we can't ask anyone to help us out since this "is our problem".  God doesn't intend for us to end up in dark places because we're caring for a child with a disability or because we're caring for an orphan.  He says to DO.  And He knows we need help.

God won't give you any more than you can handle.

God DOES give us more than we can handle.  ALONE.

He always gives us more than we can do by ourselves because without that dependency on Him we might not know to call out to Him.

God never gives us more than we can handle WITH HIS HELP.

And if someone that you've asked for help is feeding you those lines at the top of this post, remember that they are not speaking out of God's Word.  They're speaking out of their own selfish hearts.  Forgive them, and look to another source that has a close walk with God and will help you or find the help you need.

You don't have to be alone, and you don't have to hide.  You're answering a calling that God's placed on your life and He doesn't intend for it to ruin you, but for it to bless you in the direction that He wants to direct your life.


  1. I can't believe how mean some people are! Your children are beautiful, amazing, wonderful little people - I can't imagine why anyone would think or say otherwise. You are truly blessed!

  2. I just can't believe people would say those things, especially if they are Christians. Well, actually, yes I can and that is sad. And if so, I will be praying hard for them. Hugs to the Cornish family, all TEN of them!!

  3. I had tears in my eyes as I read through those quotes, I have heard them all, I was looking at my girls today and was thinking about some of those statements, and felt so sad for the people saying it, they only see the hardship, they cannot feel the way my heart swells with love for my children, they see children and what they cannot do, I see everything they can and rejoice in every little gain made by each one.

  4. Whoa. PERFECTLY put Mer. PERFECT.

  5. Such a good word and one I need to re-read often.
    Thank you!

  6. Wow, and thank you. I needed to hear this tonight and you are so right that those words are not from God.


  7. Thank you, Meredith, for sharing this post. I needed to hear this, especially today!

  8. Yes, I've heard many of those same/similar statements, unfortunately. We live in a fallen world, most people do not TRULY see through the eyes of a risen Lord. People are pretty sure of what "not" to do (whether they do it or not is another story), but when it comes to what we ARE to do, they often fall short: "Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, mind, soul and strength (in other words ALL of you) and love your neighbor as yourself." If we could get those two things straight, we'd have no more orphans and we wouldn't have to hear statements like those.

    Praying we can all have a forgiving heart when we hear things like that, it isn't always an easy thing to do. You stated it so well Meredith :oD

  9. You totally need a like button on your blog! =0) Thank you for sharing this and I'm glad you have taken the stand you have - you're an awesome mommy and such a wonderful encouragement. Being a mommy to a special needs child is difficult, but it's also so amazing - there is so much to learn from our kiddos.


  10. Oh Meredith...I love that you wrote this. Because those lies are so hard to sift through when they are in your own heart and you keep silent about them. All of those have sat upon my heart and mind at one point or another (well, all that apply anyway) Thank you for writing this.

  11. Thank you Meredith!! It is hardest when those comments come from people who are supposed to love you, family, siblings... God is in control!! He loves us, and He loves our children, and He gives us just what He wants us to handle. Hugs to you and your beautiful family!!!

  12. That is a wonderful post. We started our first adoption journey 10 years ago. Our "support system" wasn't very supportive of us taking on the special needs that we did, but quickly fell in love with her. We gave birth 6 weeks after she came (she was 8 1/2 yrs old). We've adopted 10 more since and have one that should (praying) arrive next month. We have committed to 4 more for our 1st international adoption. People act like we are "certifiable".

    It is funny that family members ask why we don't let them spend the night or ask for a sitter often. I just can't get past the fact they didn't want us to have them here in part and the other part is that I did the work to get them where they are and I ENJOY having them with me.

    Hang in there. You have a gorgeous family! I know there are rough times, but people have those with one or two as well. You will have more blessings than them for sure. :)

    Oh, and my favorite quote is from my grandmother. She says it whenever I am trying to correct a behavior or work through and issue. Here it goes "WELL, YOU KNEW THEY HAD PROBLEMS WHEN YOU GOT THEM!". I told her someday I will write a book and that will be the title.

  13. Wow! I am amazed at how God knew what I needed to hear at 11 at night and had you write this earlier in the day. I haven't been told those things but am afraid people are thinking some of them, so I don't ask for help. That's got to change though. Thanking God tonight for good friends who reminded me they love me and want to help and for this post that just confirms that its ok to ask for it. Even if I did choose this path.

  14. Thank you!! We have heard many of those comments and I have said "if not us then who". We are truly head over heels in love with our little one. I forever marvel at God's plan to help us be in a place that we could be our little ones parents. We weren't in that place and as I kind of say tongue in cheek God knocked me up side the head and here we are - please know that I say that as a true believer in God, but truly our lives were turned around a bit and then we got our little one - definitely was not in my Mission Statement until God did some rearranging! Now to think of life without our little one - it would be so empty and not purposeful - I so love God for guiding me! Thank you for sharing your thoughts - this post was very dear to my heart.


  15. Yep, heard some doozies myself. Like the two ladies at the grocery store who passed us a few times in the isles, then got around to the other side and one said 'Too bad, finally has a girl and she's handicapped'


  16. Inspired by your lovely words, and your beautiful children. Of course,it's not the journey's end, it's the road.... what a wonderful thing. Bless.

  17. I loved this post!The one we get is ..Dont you wish you would have never adopted him Now?My son has a trach a gtube sence comming home.I get upset when this is asked.I am glad he is my son.I am Honored to raise him why would i ever think that.Peoples words can be so mean.You hit the nail on the head and i could of never said it better.GREAT POST!

  18. Wow. I really needed this tonight. In fact I am in tears reading it. I have bought into the "you asked for this" jab until I feel like it is wrong for me to ask for help! Everything you have heard I have had said to me! In fact, I am scared to tell anyone we are adopting again because I do not want to hear the naysayer's opinions. Family is the worst! And I have repeatedly been asked if I knew it was going to be "this hard" would I still adopt? These are my children!!! And it has not been "that hard". Of course I would do it a million times again. Thank you for this post. It empowers me! I am called by God to care for orphans in their distress. Jesus told me to care for the least of these. I am going to send this post to my family, along with the news we are adopting again!

  19. Great post, Meredith! Thanks!! I may link it in a future post on my blog - it's a message that people on both sides of it need to see.

  20. Great post. Great words. Great family picture! Great family! Great God we have who loves us so much!!

  21. We only have one child with special needs ~ a precious 17 year old son born with Downs. You are blessed among women to hold so many in your arms and heart. I am so blessed to read your post this morning. May the Lord grant you rest and the tender care of many brothers and sisters in the Lord as you glorify His Name by loving the least of these. Much Christian love to you today, dear sister.

  22. Yep I've heard a few of them. It's hard. And it's particularly hard trying to be truthful about how our life is, showing how utterly wonderful and amazing my girls are - but at the same time being able to ask for (and receive) help.

    I have found that we have grown new friends. Some dear friends have backed away, whilst others have become family. Some family have backed away whilst others have become friends too. Not easy, but so worth it.

  23. It doesn't surprise me, sadly because we've heard similar comments! It's sad! Awesome post Meredith! You are blessed with those awesome kids!

  24. Wonderful post. I'm not an adoptive parent, but have two delightful young lady cousins from U. who joined our family five years ago, via adoption. The elder wears glasses for a lazy eye and has a limp due to mild CP. Otherwise she's absolutely typical and is not hampered significantly by her gait - yet I've heard loud comments to the effect of "Look at that little girl!! She's crippled!" when we were leaving an extended family dinner in a restaurant, and an acquaintance asked me "Couldn't they find a child who didn't need glasses??" I just said they knew she was their daughter when they met her and our family was all so thankful she and her sister were theirs - but I thought a few things!

    So thank you so much for eloquently putting into words what many in the special needs adoption community have experienced and felt. It is a boon to have this so clearly expressed and the reasons for caring for orphaned children with special needs so well defined.

    Susan in Ky
    Cousin to Two from U.

  25. Love the new header picture! Beautiful and perfect each and everyone!

  26. I will never forget when I read Joni Erickson-Tada's devotional regarding God never "giving you more than you can handle" and she pointed out so clearly that the scripture specifically refers to temptation, never to pain and suffering. Now when I feel overwhelmed I realize God never meant for me to do it alone, we are to share one another's burdens! Love this post!

  27. I so needed to hear this tonite :( I had a really bad day . 2 things I hear over and over IF I dare to vent a bit is ' oh well it's the downs you know ' and ' don't even think of saving another one , your done ya know ' seriously ?? gggrr !!! I think I handle things pretty good ...why can't people think how hurtful they are ?
    Hugs. And thank you for following Gods plan :) Maria