Out of the Mouths of Babes

It was a Saturday morning.  I was getting ready for my appointment;  she had been snuggling with me in bed earlier and was now joining me in the bathroom as I was putting on my makeup.

She held up the thick brush and with pleading eyes she asked if she could put on some blush. 

It was Saturday, so I nodded and continued on with my eye shadow. 

She brushed with enthusiasm and her little cheeks grew pinker and pinker and she brushed and swirled the blush on her small little face.  She kept chatting and I kept attempting something new with my eye lids.

“Ann’s skin is so beautiful, Mom. Did you notice how pretty her skin was when you saw her at my school?”
I nodded my head and gave some small agreement.  I remembered Ann.  She was the friend that shared her name.

“And my other friend’s skin is pretty too.  So pretty.” 

I decided to enter into this conversation with some motherly words of wisdom, “ Anna, your skin is beautiful. You have very beautiful skin.”  

“But Ann doesn’t need makeup.  I will – just like you.  I have white skin, but Ann has brown skin.  I wish my skin was dark like Ann’s. Don’t you think that black people and brown people have the most beautiful skin in the whole world?”

It was then that I realized what she was comparing –  and indeed she was correct – both of her friends had beautiful brown skin.  I agreed, “Yes Anna, dark skin is absolutely beautiful.  Sometimes when I see their skin I just want to touch it because it looks so smooth.  I think you are right, black and brown people have the most beautiful skin.”        

We stood there for a few moments in silence. I assumed the conversation was done.   She was still swirling and I was still working with the mascara brush.  Suddenly her voice was tense and her words were laced with fear and concern.  There was panic in her little voice when the words came tumbling out, “Would you have adopted me if I had been black?”

 The words hung thick in the air. 

The week she came to live with us. 

As soon as her terrifying words were said, deep sadness filled my heart.  Even the question of us not choosing her as our own caused my heart to skip a beat.  Just the thought of her not being mine caused me to feel like a part of me ceased to exist.  I immediately stopped what I was doing and leaned down close and met her gaze. I looked straight into her big beautiful brown eyes. 

“Yes, Anna.  We would have adopted you if you were black. We didn’t adopt you because of the color of your skin.  We adopted you because we wanted you.    We loved *you* – not the color of your skin.”   

“Oh good!” I could hear the relief in her voice.  “I wish I had black skin; but I’m so glad I have you as my Mom; and if I was black I would still want you to be my Mom.     She continued to talk about how when she is a teenager she will need to have extra time in the bathroom in the mornings when she is old enough to wear makeup.    I assured her that we will be able to accommodate that when the time comes. 

 Sometimes the most profound conversations happen when you least expect them; this one reminded me how all of us are the same.  Regardless of skin color – we all are people needing to be loved and accepted.  Had Anna been black or brown or white she was a little baby in need of a family to love her and care for her.  I am so glad God brought her to us.  I cannot imagine our lives without her. 

Jesus loves the little children
 All the children of the world
Red and Yellow, Black and White
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world. 

Zak's Next Chapter

Zak's Adoption Day

I have a feeling that all parents who have a special needs child feel the balancing act that comes with trying new things to take their child to the next level and accepting that there child will never be ‘normal’ (whatever that is).  I’ve read as many books as I could get my hands on about autism; and I have tried many things.   

Through the years there was one thing I always wanted to try – I wanted to send my son to a school that would meet his special needs -  and build his faith in God. 

I had grown up hearing about Pastor Vaughn and his wife and daughter who were badly burned in a house fire.  I was seven when I heard about the little girl who had been burned so badly.  I had prayed for her – and for her mother.  I had thought about how horrible it would be to suffer so badly.  Through the years, I had heard about how she had miraculously recovered and how her Dad had started a Christian school for children with special needs.  

When Zak was diagnosed with Autism I went on their website and looked at the school way down in South Carolina; and I wished so badly that we lived closer so that Zak could go to that school.  Then I realized that even if we lived closer – there was no way we could afford to send him to a school like that.  I can’t count how many times in the past ten years I have pulled up Hidden Treasure Christian School’s website and dreamed about how wonderful it would be if Zak could go there; only to exit out of the site knowing there was no way it could ever happen. 

The first time my husband and I walked through the school I had to keep the tears in.  To be standing on the property of the school I had longed for so many times was overwhelming.  Watching as the teachers worked with the children I knew that this school would be so wonderful for Zak.   While we were touring campus I came across a quote made by the founder of the school.  I knew as soon as I read it that God was going to somehow move us to Greenville and was going to have Zak go to the school. 

“Every child has everything he/she needs to do the will of God for their lives.”

As soon as I read that quote I burst out into tears.  The quote touched me deeply; because there have been so many times in the past ten years I had wished for the autism to be gone and Zak to be normal.  Through the Holy Spirit’s guiding I have realized that Zaks’ autism and all his other diagnosis’ are not mistakes - they are part of God’s sovereign plan for his life and for ours. 

August 2016

Zak has everything he needs to do the will of God for his life. 

Zak started school there two weeks ago.  As we walked through the school for the open house, I fought back tears. I was reminded again the significance of Zak’s name.  Zechariah means: God Remembers.    

Indeed, He does!