On this Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share words from one of our Angels in Adoption, Alicia Quigley, as she talks about love:
I had only been dating Jim for a couple of weeks when he made a comment at dinner that probably wouldn’t mean much to anyone else, but put him on an entirely different level than any other guy I had ever known. After listening to other people discuss their great retirement plans, and their excitement about “finally being retired and able to start living,” he quietly confessed to me that when he retired he wanted to run a ranch for children with Down Syndrome.
What’s a girl to do when she finds a guy like that?! We were married a few months later and wasted no time starting a family.
It was 1990 when I saw the first 20/20 television show about the orphans in Romania, and I knew in an instant that our lives were about to change dramatically. After prayerfully considering the decision to adopt a child from a Romanian orphanage, we felt compelled to do whatever it took to pursue this unexpected challenge in our lives.
My husband Jim was the one who journeyed to Romania to find our child. After two months of starvation, emotional torture, evil, corruption and trauma, he was able to remove our beautiful son from the orphanage. The nurse at the orphanage told Jim that our new 11-month-old son, whom we had not yet seen, had muscular dystrophy and would never walk, talk or progress beyond the infant stage. And she was right…up until the moment Jim walked out of the orphanage with him.
Romanian nurses should never confuse a medical diagnosis with sheer neglect. By the time Jordan was seven he was a world-class gymnast. Jordan recently began coaching boys gymnastics full-time in Idaho Falls, at age 20. Several of his previous students have qualified for nationals.
I have never performed at a sporting event, ‘wow-ed’ a crowd with my singing abilities or run a Fortune 500 company. I feel confident, however, in saying that the feeling of exhilaration you receive from any of those accomplishments could possibly outshine the joy of taking a child from darkness and despair and watching the miracle as they blossom and grow in the light of a family’s love.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, EVERYONE!