Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A slightly different metaphor

I realized in retrospect, that the metaphor of the burning building is not exactly the way I feel about special needs adoption, and I was reminded of a metaphor I thought about a month or 2 ago.

Rather than in a burning building, I see the abandoned, neglected, malnourished disabled children trapped in orphanages as drowning in a lake.

What is the difference?

Running into a burning building is dangerous, even for trained firefighters.  Specialized equipment is required to insulate against the extreme heat, and there is always the risk of the structure itself falling on top of you.  If special needs adoption involved that level of danger, it would make sense to say no.

However, as I learned more about the families who had blogged about their experiences, I realized that this is not anything like a burning building!  Most people can swim reasonably well.  Most people can swim even while carrying a small child.  Swimming does not take specialized equipment or extensive training.  Most people don't want to jump in a cold lake and swim in their clothes, but would do so - and deal with the slight discomfort - if the life of a child depended on it.  Some people cannot swim, and some people may have conditions which make swimming under those conditions a really bad idea.  But for most people, that is not the case.    Everything else in my previous post would still apply:  Someone needs to call 9-1-1.  Some people need to bring warm blankets and perform CPR on the rescued children.  But we don't really need to wait for a team of Olympic swimmers or lifeguards to jump in and do the rescuing.  Some of the drowning children are "heavier" and need a stronger swimmer to come out for them.  But most are not.  They just need someone to put their own discomfort aside and take the plunge.

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