We took the kids to the playground yesterday. It was overcast and in the low 70's, unusual for September in central Texas. No surprise, then, that there were a gazillion other kids there too.
Parents were conspicuously absent. There were a few doting parents here and there, usually associated in some way with toddlers who were just learning to climb. Many parents were sitting in their cars, texting, talking on their phones, or listening to ipods.
One dad immediately stood out to me. When he wasn't cuddling with his son on the bench, he was beaming with joy, watching his young boy explore the playground equipment. The dad was attentive, calm, and happy to share the nice afternoon with his son.
I didn't notice it immediately. But when I did, I couldn't stop thinking about it. That little boy was the first black child I had ever seen with Down Syndrome. And he was beautiful.
I wanted to tell the dad many things. Thank you, thank you for letting him live. Thank you for being a wonderful testimony of what it means to parent a special-needs child. Thank you for letting me witness your joy.
But I didn't. I thought that might be too strange coming from an absolute stranger. Instead, we smiled at each other as our kids played peek-a-boo through the playground equipment. We chuckled together as our boys beat out a rhythm on a table top.
I'm still thinking today - Lord, how do you want us to grow our family? What comes next after this next round of embryo adoption? Are you calling us to special needs adoption? I sometimes have to avoid reading descriptions of waiting children because I want to rescue them all; I get very emotionally attached and feel pain at the grievances in their lives.
God, I'm not quite sure where You're sending us long term (or really even short term!), please lead us to the little ones who need us the most.