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.
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.