I made a Facebook announcement earlier in the week about our little Dolly. Some of our family didn’t know about her. For those of you that didn’t see it, there was a disclaimer with it about only saying kind things to us about our girlie in front of our other children. Sadly, I had to do this because when Giggles and ShyGuy joined our family, we didn’t add that disclaimer and a lot of hurtful words were spoken. Unfortunately, while I try my best to forgive those words, they will never be forgotten.
I don’t EVER want to hear them again.
You just don’t tell people you aren’t happy for them when they add to their family. You.just.don’t.
I was also very clear about the fact that we have talked a lot with the kids about the fact that we don’t know what the future holds for our Dolly’s health. This seems to be a common theme when people decide to ask questions. I’m fine answering questions, but often times the question is asked in front or our children, and phrased like this…
“If Dolly dies, what will that do to your children? Do you think about how this will effect them?”
No. I never do.
Of course I do. How our seven children feel, and what they think, factors into every decision FPD and I make. So, I’m putting this here because this is a journal of sorts that I hope to share with the kids someday, to give them some insight, from my point of view, into what parenting them was like. I wonder all the time what my parents were thinking. As I moved into adulthood, I am able to see things a little more from their point of view and I understand a little better, but I still often wonder. I hope this will help my kids understand me a little better.
If I were writing a letter to them with an answer to the question “Why did you say yes to adopting a critically ill child?” This is what I would say….
I never lie to you, and I won’t start now. The decision to adopt your sister will hurt. There will be times, as we watch God heal her very broken heart, that we will all wonder if we made the right choice. We will look at the pain she has to endure, and we will all wonder if we’re brave enough. We’ll wonder if some other family shouldn’t have stepped up, a family with less people to be hurt if we should lose our baby, a family where she is the one and only, with no other children that will be shattered, or a family with a mom and dad with less commitments and more time.
There was no family like that, guys.
She has no one.
While that plays a large part in the decision, that isn’t all that factored into it though. You all factored into it. Everyday I watch the people you are, what you have become because of the family God built you, because of each other, and I KNOW. I know we can do this. I know that we can take this risk, that this is part of THE plan for us. I KNOW in my own heart that should the worst case scenario happen, should we lose our daughter, your sister, that we’ll be okay. We’ll be broken for a long time, but we have each other to lean on. And that even if we aren’t together on Earth, that we all have enough faith to know that we’ll be together again in eternity.
She will have us. Forever.
And on Earth, she will have someone to hold her, to love her, to comfort her, for as long as God allows.
And you know me now. You know me well enough to know that I never go down without a fight. I fought for all of you.
I promise to fight just as hard for your baby sister. I promise to be strong for all of us.
I know you will learn from her too, just the way we all will. Just like I learned from all of you. I learned how to really love from the four that came first. From our first baby from Ghana, I learned how to love even when you’re broken, even when the people you trusted the most have hurt you unimaginably. From the next two, I learned how to love even when you’ve lost everything you once knew. From all of you, I’ve learned how to love fearlessly, even when you’re so scared of what is to come that you can barely think. I’ve learned that you love because it’s worth it.
Your sister is worth it.
I firmly believe that there are moments in life that will shape who you will become.
This is one of them.
If I had one wish for you in adulthood, it would be that you walk away from our family, and into your own, with the ability to love fearlessly, to look at the world around you and not be afraid to put your heart on the line, to risk it all, because you know that no matter what we’re here for you.
You have us.
And that will make it alright, because I love you all so much.
It’s time to be brave together.