Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Not our children?

Tonight begins Holocaust Memorial Day.
Last Holocaust Memorial Day I posted this.

But this analogy is more personal than I let on.  My maternal grandparents narrowly escaped Poland with their infant daughter (my mom) before the Nazi invasion.  They each came from large families. Between them there were 18 siblings.

18 siblings in 2 families.

When the war was over, only 4 had survived.  My mother's parents, her aunt who escaped with them with her husband and teen-aged daughter, and an uncle who married into a Catholic family.

4 out of 18.

How many cousins would I have had, without this tragedy?  How many 2nd cousins for my children? 3rd cousins?

The Holocaust Memorial in Israel, Yad VaShem, maintains a list of "Righteous Gentiles", non-Jews who, often at great personal risk, helped Jews during the Holocaust and other times of persecution. In many instances, these individuals were personally responsible for the saving of countless lives.  Were the children they saved "their children"?  Were the people they stuck their necks out for "their problem"?

Adoption is hard.  Special needs adoption is even harder.  There are many risks involved.  Furthermore, many people find these children repulsive, and perhaps not worth saving, thus making the job even harder.  Of course, many people felt that way about Jews, Gypsies, and homosexuals.  Many people still do.  Are any of these hardships, risks, obstacles and prejudices anywhere close to what thousands of Righteous Gentiles had taken on to save our people? Are children who are warehoused in substandard institutions any less deserving?  Would my missing cousins have been worth it?

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