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The Gift That Keeps on Giving

It has been quite some time since the last article and this is based largely on the changes the gift of an adopted child brings to your life. When adopting a child, it is rare that you are privy to the full history of the child. Securing information about family mental and physical wellness can be "like pulling a crocodile's tooth." In a fantasy world, you can go and pick up the perfect child and know everything about the child going down to their blood type and the likelihood of their getting an ingrown toenail. With that being said, we do not live in perfect world, if we did there would be no need for adoption--all children would have responsible parents and all potential parents would be able to conceive. When you sign on the proverbial dotted line to take custody of a child, you are potentially opening a "Pandora's Box." Drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, and physical abuse are all things that could affect your child's ability to adjust to his, her or their new surroundings. That not withstanding, don't for any second think about shying away from doing one of the greatest things possible. The hug you give that your son when he is going though a tantrum caused by in utero exposure to cocaine could be the first hug he's ever gotten. Constantly reassuring her that she's beautiful can lead to the confidence she will need to battle the undiagnosed clinical depression that her parents passed on to her. In short, adopting a child can be like a game of "Let's Make A Deal." You don't know what's behind that curtain, but there is one thing you can be assured of, it is always a prize. Getting a lifetime supply of Campbell's soup does not mean that you lost out on winning a thousand dollars, it means you'll never go hungry; just as in a worst case scenario, adopting a bi-polar child doesn't mean you'll spend hundreds on medications and doctors' visits, it means you'll never go unloved.