Yesterday was Chloe's 4th Birthday and we had a good time celebrating with her. We took her to Chuck E Cheese, which caused a great deal of jumping up and down excitement. There was however, also extra drama yesterday. Birthdays tend to be an emotional trigger for adoptive kids and so it was with Chloe.
There is a lot of debate in the adoption world, especially in Chinese adoption, about choosing a special needs child or one with no known medical condition. Because of the extended length of wait for a child with no known medical condition, up to 5 years now, many families chose to adopt either an older child or one with some physical challenges. Our family felt a NSN child (no special needs) was best for us and so Chloe entered our family at 8 months of age. At the time there were no obvious physical issues with her. We had seen a medical report, blood work, etc. and there was nothing obvious. Those of you who have followed our blog for some time, know that Chloe did indeed have some physical delays, needed ear surgery, had a parasite and inactive tuberculosis that required 9 months of medication. However, what I was very uneducated about were the emotional scares that come with an adoptive child. No child is truly without special needs. The trauma that has come from whatever circumstance placed them up for adoption has put them in their own "special needs" category. There was a long time that I waited for Chloe to be "normal" and like my other kids, but the truth is I can't change that Chloe was adopted. It's not that she isn't a complete, loved part of our family or any less my daughter than my biological kids, but Chloe will always be impacted by her past. It will "flavor" how she looks at life and impact her decisions and thought process. We have worked very hard for Chloe's emotional healing and she has come such a long way. It will be an ongoing process, as she can understand more from her past, there will be more healing to take place. Really the change has come from my expectations. I don't expect Chloe to someday act like she was never adopted and then consider myself a success as her parent. Adoptive kids are an investment, not only financialy, but in every part of life, but I can tell you first hand, that they are so worth it :) Chloe had no choice about the past that was handed to her, but struggles or not, she is still just as precious in God's eyes.
Jesus said, "And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes Me." Matt. 18:5