Whew…Kinda’ Need to Just Say It…

A couple of months ago I was interviewed for an international radio broadcast. The gentleman interviewing me had heard of our family and wanted to know more. He was really easy to talk to and it was a great privilege to spread the word that having a big ol’ pile of treasures lovingly gathered from around the world is a delightfully beautiful joy.

He was not very familiar with adoption and during the radio interview he mentioned, It’s really nice of you and your husband to take care of all these kids.”

It’s not the first time I’ve heard that. In fact I’ve heard it so many times that if I had $5 for every time I heard that or a version of it, our family and yours could all go on a cruise together. Not really kidding. (We’d have so much fun, I’m sure – ha!)

Giving grace is part of my M.O. because many don’t understand adoption, adoptive families or the orphan crisis. Yet at the same time I am compelled to kindly help others understand the implication of what “taking care of all these kids” means to any adopted children in earshot. After all, if we don’t help people understand that words matter when it comes to adoption or special needs, who will? And knowing the show was airing internationally I knew I had to clear up any confusion.

Gently I questioned, “Do you mind if I just correct one thing?” He paused and I continued, “I am not ‘taking care of all these kids’- they are my children. It doesn’t matter how they came home, they are all mine. No matter what need any one of my children have, just like any other parent – we care for our children. I love, treasure and care for them because they are mine and I am their mom.”

He was very gracious, quickly backtracking and didn’t seem to mind the gentle correction.

Think of it this way. If a spouse becomes terminally ill no one would ever even think to say, “He’s being so nice taking care of that woman.” Not a chance! They would say, “He’s taking care of his wife.

Anyway, that story, leads me to something I just have to say…

During the eight days last January 2021 when Ruby and I were in the PICU and step-down unit after the stroke and horrible seizure three things were really troubling me.

One thing that was deeply concerning was that I had never shown any of the videos of her zipping around her brand new Make-A-Wish cement pad. I’m so thankful I was able to share one a few posts ago. If you missed it, it’s here: It’s Starting!

The second thing that was so upsetting to me was that there’s a miracle that I hadn’t shared – the most amazing miracle – maybe ever!! I will be sharing the miracle soon – and friends – you won’t believe it…well you actually will, because you know we have a Miracle-Working, Mountain-Moving, Awe-Inspiring, Gasp-Giving God!! Wait till you hear (soon!).

And lastly, there was something else was that was really gnawing at me. And that’s what I just need to say. If it doesn’t make sense, please back up and read it again because I long for every person reading to understand this next part and right now seems like the perfect time in light of sharing about the radio interview.

Here goes:

Over the years we have heard some comments that have led us to believe that some think, “They are nice people to take care of Ruby but I bet they will be relieved when they don’t have to anymore.”

Here’s the reality: We aren’t “taking care of her”… and we will NEVER, EVER, NOT EVEN FOR A NANOSECOND “be relieved when we don’t have to anymore.” She’s our miracle-daughter and we absolutely, unequivocally adore her. Daily we make sure she knows what a treasure she is to all of us – just like we do with any of our other kids. We are not “being benevolent”….we are over-the-moon smitten with our daughter and have been ever since Emmy found her.

Ruby is an integral part of our family just like any of our eight daughters and six sons are. We truly couldn’t imagine our lives without any one of our kids.

Can you imagine your life without any of yours?

IF we had lost her the day of the stroke and seizure, we would be reeling in grief just like we would if we lost any of our children. We would never feel “relief” – NEVER, NEVER, NEVER!

We think we are the most blessed people in the whole world. I tell Ruby each night when I tuck her in beside me, “I’m so grateful I’m your mama Ru, you bring me such joy, I couldn’t imagine my life without, you will always be my wee-BFF.” To which she often responds softly, “Ha.” Her word for “Yes, you’ve mentioned that like 8,543,927 times mom. And I feel the same about you.”

Maybe that thought is hard to grasp for people who have never cared for a treasure with special needs but I know I am not alone in my feelings.

Dw and I have long contended that the world would be a much kinder, gentler place if every family included a Ruby, Birdie or Jubilee. Our extra-special girlies are each a joy and we could never picture our lives without any one of them. They are all ours – through and through.

19 thoughts on “Whew…Kinda’ Need to Just Say It…

  1. Awww…I’m lying in bed snuggled up next to my sweet Lainey, who just needed a snuggle after 6 more seizures and her having a asty cold. I know what you mean. I can not imagine life without her head on my shoulder and her sweet “mamamamama’s”. She is a blessing. I get it. It’s nice to know there are others who know. I see you and I hear you and I get you. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    1. My special needs Billie lived for 34 years before she went home. She touched so many and taught me the true and pure meaning of love. When she went home a part of me went too. I look forward to the time I hold her again and my heart is filled

      1. Seriously dripping tears as I read your comment. My heart feels it all and yes, I can only imagine how part of you went with her. I’m so grateful for your Billie and how God used her to influence all she encountered. It’s such an enormous privilege to have special treasures. Sending enormous hugs and much love across the miles.

        (My favorite cousin is also Billie – never hear that name!) Still dripping tears probably because it’s coming upon the anniversary of Ruby’s stroke. It forever changed me and I’m sure I have PTSD from the hospital stay. It was horrible (and I’ve done dozens of hospital stay! Ugh.

  2. My son once asked me if I could please go one day without telling him that I loved him. He said it was getting really annoying. I said nope, part of my job is to make sure that you know you’re loved!!

  3. Absolutely all your treasures are YOUR children. I KNOW how much you love each and every one of your sons and daughters. You are mama. I can’t imagine anyone knowing you and thinking you would be relieved if one of your children passed away. It’s as you said, there would be tremendous grief because they are your children. Love you ❤️

  4. You are spot on with your words about Ruby. My daughter’s long-time physical therapist has a daughter who was profoundly developmentally delayed. She was born with agonists corpus collosum. Abby was 17 when she died. Her mom grieved her death just like she would have for her other 2 daughters. Eight years later, she still misses Abby terribly. Even though Abby was severely disabled, she was very much a part of the family, and was included in nearly everything the family did. Oh, and Abby also helped save her youngest sister’s life by being a bone marrow donor 16 years ago.

  5. I’m so glad you could clarify this. I always knew you were “mama” to every one of your treasures, but many folks don’t really understand adoption. It’s a choice, but they don’t realize that for those who adopt a treasure, that choice was a lifetime, chosen commitment to another life, not a “well, let’s see if it will work” deal! God put you on this path and God is taking care of you and every single treasure you have, have had, and will have! I love and often cry at the stories you share. You and your entire family AND all your precious treasures are just awesome!❤❤❤

    1. Well it was troubling me so much while we were in the hospital that I knew I had to say something just to make sure people understood. And thank you for your kind words about my treasures. They are such gifts!

  6. I have tears welling in my eyes as I read this, in July of 2020 our adoption was finalized for our baby, Case Nathaniel. Every time I think of the miracle that we were blessed and chosen to adopt him, I think of a post you made a long while ago where you said something along the lines that anyone can adopt, even if you think you can’t…you can because God will make a way where it is His will. Case was still in his other mommy’s tummy when she sent me a message one day, “I need to talk to you and [your husband], when you get a chance will you guys call me together?” And without skipping a beat, within milliseconds of reading her message God spoke to me that she was going to ask us to adopt her baby. I immediately began searching because there are obstacles in our life and in this situation that could have prevented us from being able to adopt him, however, God made the way and now, baby Case is our beloved son forever and ever. I cannot imagine my life without him, I love him every single bit as much as my biological son and despite any hurdles we may face, I would give my last breath for any of my sons, I would walk through fire or go to the ends of the earth and it is awe inspiring to me the level of unwavering love I have in my heart for each and every one of them. Our baby also has some special needs, as I was typing this comment, ironically Phoenix Children’s called to discuss an extensive test he needs to undergo to determine our next steps with helping him but I just wanted to say thank you Linny for saying all of this because I think sometimes for those who have never walked this path, they just may not have the full picture. Thank you for also being an ever-resounding reminder in my mind and heart whenever any doubt would creep in, God used your post from many moons ago to remind me consistently that He has the final say and that He is in control despite any obstacles I or the world might think are in the way. God is so good.

    1. Oh how my heart needed to hear all this today. Thank you for encouraging me about writing through your life story and your writing. I am so grateful you said, ‘YES!’ – God is sooo good and you really get it – you couldn’t imagine your life without Case! Sending a giant hug (I am a hugger) across the miles!

    1. Oh Shelly!! How wonderful to read your comment! Ruby and I were praying for you again last night as we were heading to sleep! We all love you and continue to pray for you and your hubby’s COMPLETE healing! xoxo

  7. I’m surprised how someone can look in on your life and not understand this. Your love for your kids is so evident. There’s no difference in your love for any of your kids. I haven’t met them, and I love them, too, just from following along!

    1. Awww Mindy – thank you for your beautiful and comforting words. And because a few people have hinted towards the idea of “relief”…I just had to say something because in the hospital with her stroke, I could not stop thinking about it. Love you friend!!

  8. I loved this post so much as I have said similar things to the many family, friends, doctors, and nurses who don’t get what a privilege God has given me and my husband in caring for our daughter Gabby and her brother Alex. It’s a very hectic busy life with almost as much time in the hospital as out. But I thank God for all these precious moments the good and bad a like because we still have them with us, and there will be a day soon that they will go to there reward and we will long for these exhausting days back. Privileged doesn’t even touch how I feel in caring for my treasures.

    1. My eyes welled with tears as I read your comment. You put it so well…beyond a privilege to care for our special treasures. God bless you mama – may He continue to give you strength, grace and joy! Sending a hug from Phoenix!

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