"Um, Lauren's mom?" she said with a little wrinkle on her nose and her head tilted to the right. "Yes?" I answered. "Did you know that she only has one finger on her hand?" I paused so that I wouldn't giggle just a bit… "Why yes I noticed that!" I said back. She nodded and went on dancing.
"Hey, Lauren's Mom?" She was back. With her golden little curls framing her face. This time she brought a friend with her. "Yes" I smiled. "AND did you see that on her other hand, she has two fingers but they are stuck together???" I looked into her eyes and smiled "Yep- I did know that! Pretty cool huh?" She smiled at me "Can she COLOR?" I smiled back, "You bet she can". She skipped off to dance in circles with Lauren.
I wondered before we brought Lauren home what looks or comments we might get. This reaction made my heart just leap. The innocent little one, with nothing other then interest asking me if I had actually noticed her hands. And then making sure her new friend could color made my heart smile. I love that innocence. I love that reaction to a child who may be slightly different then the rest of her friends. I love that she came and talked to me about it.
The thing that surprises me sometimes are just the stares. Maybe I am reading a whole bunch into the staring. The people who stare may just be amazed at how crazy my kids are. Or just how loud we tend to get in public. Or the oddity of having two white boys and two asian girls. Or maybe I have spinach in my teeth.
But I can tell. Sometimes she is getting stared at. Her hands. The big momma part of me wants to scoop her up and give those people the what for. (Not sure what exactly that means, but I know it can't be good) What good would that do? Will their minds be changed about people who have differences? Probably not.
I guess I just never understood that mind set. Never. I can see how as a child some differences may "look" a little scary- because they might never have seen anything like that before. But the adults? That stare? And walk the other direction? Really? I don't get it.
I am thankful for this sweet little girl who happened to be born with hand and feet differences. I am blessed to watch her do anything and everything she sets her mind to. I am grateful for the sweet little ones who accept her without judgement, just honest questions. And worry about if she can color. I am in awe of a God who has given us the opportunity to love on this wonder.
I want to encourage you that adopting a special needs child is a special journey. Just as any other birth or adoption. You may have some extra challenges, some different issues…. but amazing. To encourage those who may be considering opening their home to a child with special needs. Not only will your heart be totally changed and softened, but your world will never be the same. It will be richer, more boldly colored, and mostly more full of love then you could ever imagine.
That is not to say you will not have challenging days. Or that there won't be days you don't hide in your shower to weep. What I am saying is that if you let this slip past you, you may miss out on one of the biggest blessings that the Lord can give you.
So, yes, I know she only has one finger. Yes, I know she only has two on the other hand. But, she is PERFECT. And we wouldn't have her any other way.