Moments of Impact

I don’t watch television very often but was not feeling well today so sat on the couch and turned on the tube to see if I could find something to pass my time. I happened across a show called “Moments of Impact”.  Since I’m unfamiliar with most current shows I instantly thought it must be a show of inspiration, you know, the moments that take your breath away, make you stand up and take notice, people who inspire, or those great aha moments of impact in life. Well, the more seasoned television viewer in this age of reality TV is probably rolling their eyes right now, knowing it was the obvious…tragic moments! Today’s episode featured a great white shark breaking through a cage and an avalanche burying a teenager. I didn’t watch, I just read the show “highlights”. These are certainly moments of impact, just not the type in which I was hoping to find inspiration.

It did start me thinking though; what is inspiration and where does it originate? What are moments of impact, and are these moments also where we draw our greatest inspiration? Without moments of impact would anything truly have meaning? Sometimes these moments are tragic, and perhaps that tragedy turns into something wonderful; an understanding of life on a deeper level, or a connection to other people or the divine. Those moments can turn weakness into strength, hostility and anger to love and forgiveness, pain to joy, sorrow to gratitude.

In looking back on my greatest moments of impact many have been times of sadness, tragedy, loss, fear, grief, hurt or anger. In many of these moments I have come to grasp understanding, acceptance, forgiveness and gratitude. Many have not been the result of tragic moments though, but rather those moments of which dreams are made. There has been the small stuff such as playing with a new puppy, watching a beautiful rainbow appear, getting my driver’s license, or having a special person stop the car, jump out and pick me a flower. Then there are the big moments such as marrying my best friend, buying our first home, watching our children come into the world, or welcoming them into our family through adoption. I could write in great depth about any of these topics, but this is the month I have chosen to write about adoption, which has been a journey filled with inspiring moments of every conceivable emotion.

I have had the experience of both birthing and adopting children. People frequently ask which children in our family are our “real” children (see previous blog for comments on this subject). My temptation is always to use sarcasm, and sometimes admittedly I do. This is an uncomfortable question for it implies many things in my mind and my children’s. It questions who is more worthy or loved more. I mention in my blogs and on my website which children are adopted for the purpose of sharing their individual stories, but I do not do so in “real” life unless absolutely necessary. Necessary things include medical history, milestones, diseases that run in families, past history for schools, doctors or other professionals that are asked on standard forms, which I cannot completely answer because I’m not privy to that information.

The truth is they are all ours and none of them are ours. Children are not possessions, and we raise them to be as independent as possible, so we don’t own any of them; for this reason they are not ours. On the other hand if the question means which children belong to our family then the answer is all of them, none being more or less worthy than any other. They are all loved equally; have their own special needs and gifts, blessings and lessons to be learned, and each one are valuable members of our family and community. Each child has their own story, history and future. Some of our children have siblings they have not grown up with, stories we don’t know, and moments we haven’t shared as a family. That doesn’t change the fact that we love each of them unconditionally. Actually, that is what binds us as a family; our unconditional love for one another.

Each child who entered our family truly left an enormous impact on me and many others whose paths they’ve crossed. They have been my greatest teachers, biggest inspiration, opened my eyes, arms and heart, challenged me to be a better person, and have given me the opportunity to understand things I never would have recognized had I not known and loved them. I want to dedicate a blog to each one of them individually this month, and give all of you a glimpse into the journey of adoption, the world of special needs, different abilities, unconditional love and the greatest Moments of Impact!

From my heart to yours with gratitude and feeling forever blessed, Pam

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