For my first blog post I thought it fitting to talk a little about the poem below. The first time I read it was an “ah ha” moment for me, and perhaps it will be for you, as well, if this is your first time reading it. Now that my children are young adults, we can joke with each other about how tough some of their disabilities make their lives and my life. In those moments where I’m expressing my displeasure with the messy state of the house that I share with my 18 year old, he likes to playfully tell me “you knew what you were signing up for, Mom! “. I always reply “I had no idea, son!” in a joking way. But that answer is truthful.
When I adopted 3 children from foster care who all had significant challenges, I was still naive enough to believe that lots of love and good parenting would wipe away any problems that arose. Instead, it has been a transformative journey that has been so challenging at times that I did not think we would all make it out alive. I think I got the Mount Everest version of this Holland poem.
Well-meaning acquaintances who don’t quite understand ask “do you wish you would have given them back?” and I want to harshly reply “would you give back your child?” but I don’t. I know what they are asking. Would I avoid all the pain, heartache, stress, financial expense, and chaos? And no, I wouldn’t, because without all those challenges to strengthen me, I would never have been able to see the view from the top of Mount Everest.