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Forever Changed...

This post has been brewing in my heart for awhile but in my life for over 6 years. You see, pretty much all of my life has been all about me. When I married Sean at the tender age of 17 I had no idea that things were going to have to change. No longer could life be all about Lisa. Well, I guess it could but it surely wouldn't have made a very happy or long-lived marriage! :) So after saying "I do" I was forever changed...for the better.
Three years later I again, was forever changed when we welcomed our first son into our family. My focus had expanded again and the "all about me" was slowly dying away. Thank God! As the years progressed through a miscarriage, a precarious pregnancy and another blessed son I no longer only thought about me. In fact, my focus became entirely all about my family.

Our journey into adoption was not smooth nor easy. In fact, I felt God's call 5 years(!!) before Sean did. Sean was adamant he could never love another child as his own and would not even consider adoption. HA! Look at him now!! LOL! During those long years I continued to pray and believe God's will would prevail but let me tell you, it was HARD! My journal during that time is filled with questions, doubts and tears. But finally, God moved on Sean's heart and we tentatively started the adoption process. As we waded through the paperwork and all the hoops adoption entails we held a vision of who we wanted our child to be. Most of you know the story...we were, no...demanding would probably fit better....that we only wanted a healthy child. We were not open to any special needs except low birth weight and possibly prematurity.  When we learned of Kyalynn we were told she had a slight hearing loss but that was it. We also learned that the adoptive couple who were to adopt her backed out at the last minute because of her "special need". We thought she needed us but in reality, we needed her. You see, when she entered our lives I was and our whole family was forever changed...for the better. She stole our hearts like no ones business. LOL! It wasn't until much later we learned her special needs were much more intense and severe than we knew.

As each chosen treasure was added to our family our hearts expanded and there was always room for one more. Even though each of our Korean children were considered waiting children we had no idea that their needs were as intense as they were. We were downright naive! I truly believe that was part of God's plan. :) Anyhow, when we were waiting for Nolan to be born there was some drama with the birthmom and her social worked called me early one Sunday morning. She explained that they were taking babe by c-section but the Dr. was concerned about babe due to mother's health issues and some early testing on babe. I can distinctly remember telling her that we already had 3 special needs children and I could not do another one. That if Nolan was born with problems we would back out. Typing that breaks my heart and takes my breath. I can not imagine one day of my life without Nolan in it! God again worked things out and because of the way things went down we had no idea what Nolan's needs were until we were signing consents forms around 11:00 PM at night after an emotionally exhausting day of drama with the birthmom. At that point I couldn't wait to get him in my arms and nobody or nothing (not even a "special need") would have changed that!! Thank God for His wisdom and grace! We were forever changed...for the better.

When we learned of Samuel those big what-ifs that normally cloud our judgement and thinking were not there. Those fears, doubts and concerns with his prognosis and future....not a big deal for us. Which is absolutely amazing considering where we came from! Honestly, we figured hey we already have A,B,C,D and most of the letters of the alphabet in "special needs" already what's another one? He belongs here and so he came home and again we were forever changed....absolutely for the better!

There were certain things (ok, ok, at the beginning, MOST things) that we thought we could never do. We'd see handicapped children and think "wow, we could never do that." But somewhere along the way, with each child and each added need God has allowed us to see that with Him we CAN do what we think is the impossible. Us parent 5 special need children??!! Absolutely! But only because of God!

Over the months I've seen listings for children with severe "special needs" that need families. Not only have I prayed for each one but I've also talked with Sean and our older sons about each one as well. God used a little boy named Monroe, a child that may never walk or talk, to take my heart to a whole new level. I was willing to go. Unfortunately, at this time we don't qualify for International adoption based on our income but I am fervently talking to God about that one. :) His picture, his story opened my heart to the possibility of parenting a child like him. Then I met Selah Hope. Oh my gracious! I don't know if I can even put into words what this little girl has taught me about the true value of life. As I followed along on Kim and Ben's journey at first I thought, "I could never do that" but after witnessing how this one child has touched and changed many, many lives in such a tangible way in only a short time I realize the blessing Kim and Ben have been given in her. Society would say she is worthless because she can't contribute but let me tell you how wrong they are! She has contributed more in her short life than many of us (sadly!) will contribute in our 70+ years on this earth. She has transformed her family, her birth family, friends, strangers and me!!I am forever changed by watching Selah Hope live and her family's love.

I am so thankful for God's tender love and that He knows better than us what is best for our families. After all, if I had had my way we wouldn't have these 5 unique, precious treasures around our table.

Hmmm, I wonder what other treasures are waiting for us to find them and what we will learn in the process. No matter what I can guarantee we will be forever changed...for the better!!


AMEN! ME TOOOO!!!!!!!! God NEVER says be comfortable have an easy life, and leave those with special needs out in the cold- NOPE- take them in, be challenged by my grace and love. BE FOREVER CHANGED!!!!! LOVE this post :) Selah rocks my world with HOPE!
Melissa said…
And this is another reason you are so amazing!! God is working through you in more ways than you know.

Peaceful wishes,
Dana said…
LOOOOVE this post!
And man oh man, Selah has rocked my world. Changed my view of "worth", and I think softened mine and my hubby's hearts even more!!
And I love to see how yoour ideas and expectations, and limitations have grown, stretched and changed so much through your journey! I can see God doing that to us too!!

I too cant WAIT to meet the treasures He has for us!!
Tina said…
Our lives have also been changed (for the good) because of God having our lives connect! You and Sean are a very special Christian Couple. Love and hugs to the littles and the "bigs"!!

Beth in NC said…
You have such a beautiful spirit.

What a blessing you are to so many!

NeeCee said…
Amen! I am forever blessed and changed as I have been following along Selah's story. What an amazing little girl!
Mike Thomas said…
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