March was hard.
Moise is struggling. He's angry at the injustice of life and I can't say that I blame him. He's grown so much. He's busting out of his clothes and shoes and AFOs (leg braces). Like everything else, he seems to have outgrown his medications, which wreaks havoc with his emotions and behaviors. Add in pubescent mood swings to all of the above and we have a very frustrated young man. The only way he knows how to respond is through angry, aggressive outbursts. While we understand and empathize deeply with his frustration, that understanding doesn't make such outbursts easier to deal with.
I feel a strong need to tread softly around this subject of Moise's emotions because, first and foremost, Moise deserves to have his dignity preserved. He has suffered monumental losses, losses that would make anyone angry. But, while most would use words to express themselves, we must remember that those words are locked away inside of him. Moise is not "bad." He simply doesn't have the means for socially acceptable expression.
I also tiptoe around the subject because of the fact that Moise is my son by way of adoption.
Yes!! You read that correctly. I feel a need to guard my words very carefully because Moise is adopted.
To some this will come as a shock, others will know exactly what I am talking about when I say that there are many who believe that since we chose to adopt, we chose hardship and that's nobody's fault but our own. Those people are of the "you-made-your-bed-now-lie-in-it" mentality. Those people will view anything I say about the struggles Moise faces as complaining. They will say, "if you're going to adopt kids like that then you'd better be able to deal with it." Their attitudes will convey that we should not have human emotions, that we should never feel weary or brokenhearted or lost because we "chose" this. If you think this way, then you know who you are, and I would ask that you quietly leave my blog. I write because I find healing through writing. I write because many parents of children with disablities draw courage and comfort from reading each other's blogs. I try hard to offer light, even when things seem dark.... hope, when things feel hopeless...to show that joy and sorrow can dwell together. But the truth is, I am human and sometimes it's hard to find the light, the hope, the joy.
It's true, we did make a choice. Three times in fact. We chose to love Moise and Jalayne and Kruz, until death do us part and long after that. We chose to adopt them and be their family, through the very good times and the really bad times. We knew when we made those choices that we were signing up for hard things, that life was not going to be easy, that we would make tremendous sacrifices. We knew that they wouldn't stay babies forever, that one day they would be teenagers and still disabled. We knew all this. And yes, we chose to adopt knowing all these things
We chose to love children with disabilities.
But we did not choose for children to have disabilities.
We chose to adopt Moise because we loved him, but we have never loved his disabilities. We did not choose cerebral palsy for him. We did not choose for him to be deaf. We fought, with everything in us, against blindness. Truth is, I hate cerebral palsy and the way it contracts my son's muscles. I despise the wheelchair and the cochlear implant. I would give everything I own to, just one time, hear my son's voice speak a word. I loathe all of the things that Moise endures but I love, so desperately, the little boy that suffers for them.
We certainly did not love Jacobsen Syndrome or Trisomy 9. We had never even heard of it. The rarity and lack of knowledge of Kruz's genetic anomaly was the very thing that made it difficult to find his forever family. We did not fall in love with his chromosomes, we fell in love with a precious little boy with black curls and dark eyes. Today, after two and a half years of loving Kruz, we still do not love Jacoobsen Syndrome. We never will. Never. The path ahead of Kruz is a stormy one, we have known that since before we even laid eyes on him. If we could have taken the child without the disabilities, we would have. But they came as an all in one deal. To say "no" to the disablity was to say "no" to the child.
While it is true that, somewhere along the path of Jalayne's life, we fell in love with the simplicity of Down Syndrome, we did not choose it for her. We loved Laynee, not because she had an extra 21st chromosome, but because for some reason that we cannot explain, God wrote her name upon our hearts.
No one chooses disablity for their child and those of us who adopt are not the exception. For those of you who say "you didn't have to adopt them." You are correct. You are absolutely correct. We didn't have to adopt them. We didn't have to love them. But "once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows we know and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12
We made a choice.
We chose to love our children.......no matter what.
God is good, all the time.