Some of you may remember that my sister-in-law and brother-in-law adopted a little guy from China back in the winter. As extended family, my husband, myself and our family began loving on Toby as soon as we met him. Through our smiles and hugs, he could feel the love of his parents and siblings, as well as his extended family, which includes our immediate family. Toby has an extra physical need because he is deaf. Long before he needed a family, God prepared my sister-in-law, MaryBeth, to be his mama. MaryBeth grew up with a deaf brother and learned sign language fluently; both of these life circumstances were part of God’s future plan for Toby. Teaching Toby how to communicate was at the top of the priority list when he was adopted, but helping him begin to understand that he is loved has been even more important than that.
I’ve not adopted a child, but through being a small part of Toby’s life over the last six months, I’ve seen the strong need for helping adopted children understand they are loved. MaryBeth and David, Toby’s parents, made the decision to love Toby. Oh, they fell in love with Toby, no doubt, but Toby didn’t come into their family by natural methods. They decided to love Toby.
A big part of showing Toby that he is loved is helping him understand that there are differences in each of us. Toby chose signs for the names of each person in our family. The signs sometimes symbolize a strong physical characteristic of that particular person. For example, my daughter, Tarah, has very long hair. Toby’s sign for her includes a long sweep of his hand to mimic her long hair. Toby understanding the differences between each of us was a part of assigning sign names for us.
Toby is still very young; he’s just 4 years old. He has three older siblings, my nieces and nephews, who are crazy about him. But as he grows older, he may question the love of his parents for their natural children versus their love for him. I don’t know- maybe he will grow so confidently and securely in their love that he will never question that.
Either way, I do believe that it is important for all children to know that each of us are unique and that no matter the color of eyes or hair or skin, God loves each of us. As parents, we love our children, no matter their differences.
Donna Keith is a writer who wants all her grandchildren to know just how much how they are loved and cared for. Her sweet book for children, I Love You All the Same, is a tremendous resource to help children understand that no matter their differences, they are loved. No matter the means of becoming their parents, whether natural labor or the labor of adoption, children need to know that they are loved.
I’m so privileged to be giving away a copy of this fabulous book today! This book would be great for the church preschool classes or to give as a gift to families newly adopting. Check out this fabulous book here: I Love You All the Same
Follow the Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway and I’ll see you tomorrow with the next part of the series, Lessons in Hope.
Have a terrific Tuesday!
PS: Check out this awesome video of Toby signing the National Anthem this past weekend!
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