Friday, January 28, 2011

Why Special Needs Kids?

Okay, so we've established that I'm completely nuts. Not only did I decide, fifteen years ago, to become a foster parent as a single mother, I already had two children, but what the heck??? I decide to be the foster parent to special needs children. See? Nuts. But wait, there's more!

THEN I decide to adopt some of the little boogers. Whoa. Certifiable.

Yes, I agree. People tell me I'm a freakin' saint. Not so. Not so at all, in fact.
I think it's more obedience. Foolish, sold-out obedience.

See, back when I was doing the big house, tons of foster kids, crazy ranch thing, I was also practicing a very simple faith. He said it, so I believed it.

His Word said to love as I'd been loved. I'd been transformed by His love, so I knew it was real. Therefore, I needed to love that way. Simple, right? Along came my first disabled foster children. Okay, they're a little odd. Yes, it was weird having teenagers in (gulp) diapers. But that love thing? It didn't have any strings about diapers on it that I could tell.

So, I loved them. And God took care of us.

More special kids came. Come to find out that "love" thing can cover a whole bunch of inexperience and lack. I learned about PTs, OTs, STs, and all the other "t"s. (Therapies). I learned about a whole cornucopia of medicines. Meds for Seizures, meds for constipation, meds for ADD and OCD and all that stuff. I literally had a tool box locked up filled with meds for these children.

Oh yeah, children. They were little people. On the foster care totem pole - which already has an awful lot of damaged and unwanted children - the DD/Special kids were pretty much at the bottom.

But they are children. And they are people. Little people let down by parents who probably were damaged themselves. Some of my kids were from "typical" homes where the dad couldn't hang and took off, leaving a mom alone with a child she couldn't find resources to raise. The way our system is set up, if you have a job and a special kid, you won't get much help. If you put him or her into foster care, though, then they can receive all kinds of services. Or, you can quit working and go on "assistance" yourself. Decisions, decisions.

So along the road of just loving these children, I found out a funny thing: I actually did love them.

Beyond the diapers and drool and slurred speech and repetitive behaviors and braces on body parts and range of motion and equipment needs and meds and doctors appointments and tooth brushing and IEP meetings and hospital stays and fighting with everyone to advocate for these kids . . . is the bottom line fact that they are children. They didn't ask to be born. They especially didn't ask to be born the way they are. They didn't ask to be abused or neglected or abandoned.

Someone has to care.

And I'm exceedingly glad it's me.

12He said also to the man who had invited him, "When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. Luke 14:12-14a


  1. Love this, love them, and love you, too! :o)

  2. Ahhhh, honey. Thank you! Love you, too. <3