PART TWO: THE FAMILY GROWS AND GROWS! (CONTINUED)
I. We Get Noticed:
Being home with the children was hard enough, but compared to what we faced whenever we went out in public, being home was a picnic.
More often thann not, people were supportive of our decision to adopt so many children with special needs, but you also had those who tried to discourage us or those who stared or pointed at us whenever we went someplace.
It seemed the more severely handicapped children (Bapsi, Ja Mee [who would soon be known as Jodie], Ronee' Le-Anne, Andre', and especially Bapsi [who would soon be called Deborah]) got noticed the most. Poor Bapsi was especially vulnerable to people's unkind remarks or stares, as she had been born with legs that were paralyzed and no arms (not to mention severe lung issues that required her to use oxygen to help her breathe easier).
More than one person would say to the children: "Oh, you poor little dears!", which would embarrass those who were old enough to understand. Or they would say things like "Why did you adopt children who were crippled? Couldn't you have adopted children who were healthy?"
Sometimes kids would call my children hurtful names. More than once I would have to comfort tender, broken spirits after kids called them names like "Retard". "Cripple". "Stupid". "Moron". The sight of my children sobbing after an encounter with a rude child (or adult) stabbed both Bill's and my heart; all we could do was try to comfort them and tell them how loved they were by us, their Mommy and Daddy.
II. We Get News!
While all this was going on, we got another call from our adoption counselor. Several more children were waiting to be placed; they asked us if we were interested. Included in this group was a six year old boy with Down syndreme from Georgia (Dajun), a nine year old boy with feral type behavior (Matthew), a two year old girl (Rachel) who had full blown AIDS, and two sisters, ages four and nine (Hanh Ly and Linn) from Vietnam: Linn, the yonger girl, had no arms; the older sister had severe visual impairments and was deemed legally blind.
They asked us if we wanted them.
After giving it much thought (and much discussion), Bill and I both said yes. We would take them. What were five more children, anyway?? They all needed a family or a home to call their very own.
III. We Tell The Children!
Bill and I sat the children down and told them that they were getting new brothers and sisters. Most reacted with joy and excitement; a few (Johnny, Mr. Sourpuss himself, as an example) reacted predictably: with anger and disgust. We told Johnny that he was not being replaced nor that we loved him any less: we loved him more and more with each passing day; Johnny, however, wasn't convinced.
Poor little guy. Our hearts ached for him. He was dealing with so many conflicting feelings and experiences that his worsening muscular dystrophy was placing upon him.
We knew we had to be extra supportive to our son; he was now nearlng four and a half years of age and was just beginning to understand that the world was often a scary, unfamiliar place not geared to his specific special needs.
IV. Paperwork, Paperwork, And More Paperwork!!
Bill and I, in addition to raising our brood, threw ourselves into filling out the required paperwork to handle the new possible additions to our family. It was daunting, but we were more than determined to give these waiting children a home, a family, and most important of all, love, the love they needed so desperately.
We saw the children's pictures and we immediately fell in love. They were all so beautiful!
We knew that there was a possibility that we would not get the children, but we trusted our faith in God. After all, it was God who brought us the children we had already to us and if it was His will, He would allow us to have Matthew, Dajun, Rachel, Linn, and Hanh Ly as permanent members of our family. All we had to do was trust in Him, completely and unconditionally.
~To be continued.~