This little boy was referred to us from another foundation just a few months ago. Born with visual and hearing impairments, he was surrendered for adoption but complications and slow development made the “powers that be” decide he was not adoptable.
So for 9 years, the foundation loved him and cared for him and did all they knew to do. He watched his friends grow, develop, and eventually be adopted while he continued to struggle and grow older. And as he grew older, he would ask when he would get to have a mommy and daddy and go on an airplane like everyone else. (What other concept of adoption is there for a child?)
But he asked. And when he first met me, that is what he asked me. Was I was his mother?
For a moment, I couldn’t breathe. No child should have to wait… never mind ask, to have a mom or a dad.
After assessing and researching and reading, we decided to accept the referral of this little boy. I could see he was a fighter. Despite all odds, he had learned and he had grown and he had amazing personality.
His behavior was quite unacceptable for a 10 year old but he had been surrounded by two-year-olds for years. He was just mimicking what he was seeing. A plan was put in place. Sign language was to be his language- he had the most vocabulary in sign and was able to communicate his needs most effectively with sign. Our staff was put in lessons and a tutor has been employed to teach him further. He now has other boys his age to play with and to interact with and to learn from.
Though he can hear, he has not been taught much English. Though he can speak, it is muffled and mumbled; a language of his own. Though he can see after cataract surgery when he was three, he still tilts his head to get the right angle and he is terribly near sighted.
As I watch him study, I am amazed at his ability to learn new signs. New concepts. New emotions. I am convinced that he has the potential to be perfectly functional in society.
I am convinced that with a little more discipline and the right special education, he would learn to read fluently and blossom.
He has the softest heart, this boy. He has the gentlest spirit and he is so trusting and loving. I have seen his tears, very real tears for someone else who got hurt. And I have seen him caress a baby’s cheek. I have seen him stroke the cat and the dog with such a light hand and I have watched him leave the home he knew for 9 years and embrace us with his whole heart. He is beautiful and so very resilient.
And I am convinced he has potential to overcome all his special needs and I am convinced he IS ADOPTABLE.
What does that really mean anyhow? What a foolish notion to say a child is not adoptable- the key is finding the right parent. The parent with the right skill set, the right amount of creativity, the right heart, the right amount of love for a child that might be a little more difficult to raise and teach and to uncover his God-given potential.
God-given potential. We all have it, don’t we?
So I ask you to help me pray for a family to be found. I ask you to help me advocate for this child and his right to be loved by a set of parents.
I cannot deny that he will require work. I cannot deny that he has more physical needs than the average child. I cannot deny that it may take years to help him stand on his own.
But I also cannot deny him of his rights.
I believe he deserves to have someone to call “mommy” and “daddy”. And I have begun to pray for them to be found.
While I might not understand, and I might not hear the words, somehow, I believe, he prays for that, too.