When 9 out of 10 dentists agree on a toothpaste, we buy it.
When a funky new chair goes on 90% off, we find a spot for it.
When our gas tank is down to 9/10ths of a tank, we fill up.
Let’s face it, Target has been trying to pawn off 30% as clearance for years now, and I have stopped even browsing those racks. But 90%? 90% gets us to move. We act quickly to snatch up the item valued for ten times what we could now purchase it for, we know that 9/10ths gone is a tank in need of refueling, and 9 out of 10 experts is as close to a consensus that we are going to come to in most of our lives.
But this particular 90% is a statistic that has changed my life. Our lives. Forever.
For better. For best.
This 90% has rocked Andy and me to the fundamentals of our faith, our family, and our sacred honor. This 9 out of 10 has pursued me in my internet searches, and consumed my thoughts in the infrequent quiet of our long car rides, in the every day conversations with our cashier, with the moms at the preschool pick-up line.
I don’t want to break your heart, but I will, if it gets you to move. Because it has broken me. Us.
Never given a chance at life.
Never given a chance at all.
When 90% of a tree frog population is killed off, fundraisers happen, environmentalists go wild, and patient local capitalists protect them through ecotourism.
When 90% of a group of people are killed for their genetic makeup, however, it is genocide. Many people consider the only “cure” for Trisomy 21 is detecting it early enough to terminate a viable life. It also terminates a complex, challenging, and rewarding new family.
But, the darkness of these statistics isn’t what makes us act. It’s what breaks us. Our faith makes us move.
So, last month, it was time we faced two choices. We could accept how beautifully our family works as is, four healthy kids, a great home we’re affording, giving generously, sponsoring impoverished children. We could live happily in this life as a given, living in the gift. Or we could rock the boat and trust that the One who made all this possible can give us enough to love one more.
One of the 10%.
One of the children whose mother saw something, somewhere that made her say “not me, but someone.”
We want to be the someone.
We are opening our homes and our finances up to be considered by just such a remarkable woman. For one such remarkable child. For one such stubborn child. For one such loving child who may hold the potential to see the world through God’s eyes. For one child who might introduce us to the NICU, who might require surgery, who might need physical therapy, but who will, obviously, have the benefit of his mother’s breastmilk.
We are laying the groundwork (ok, paperwork) to become the parents of five children, one of whom will not start life from our DNA or grow in my body. One who will start life in our hearts.
One who will rock an extra chromosome.
One who may not even be born yet.
One who will knock us into the deep end.
It’s ok, we’re strong swimmers.
And without us, without families waiting in line for these children, the next one just might go into the deep end alone.
Wouldn’t you go after him, too?
A year ago, there were three things I thought were for someone more inspired, less mediocre, more brilliant, far stronger than me to aspire to. And today, I am not sure how I could have been so wrong, because today, that person is me.
I am homeschooling.
I am running my first half-marathon on Saturday.
We are adopting a baby who has the potential to change everything. For the best.
Hmm, that last one makes the others sound so lame.