Eliza Grabowski envisioned the way she wanted her life to be. She and her husband dreamed of “the white picket fence life.”
You know, the kind of life most Americans subscribe to.
Good jobs, a three-bedroom house, two cars, and two kids. Over time, their dreams manifested. Eventually, they started dreaming up new dreams. Dreams of adopting a child who was in need of a loving home.
“This dream was of a sweet, petite, brown-eyed little girl from China. Paperwork was completed, a dossier was compiled, and we settled back to wait the estimated 6-8 months for a healthy infant girl,” Grabowski told Love What Matters.
But this dream took several years to come to fruition.
After three years, they decided that they would adopt a child with special needs.
“Imagine our surprise when five years after our initial paperwork was begun, a file of a sweet little girl showed up in our email inbox. With great excitement, we clicked open the attachment,” Grabowski said. “There before us was our new daughter. She was not at all what we had dreamed of for the last five years. She was a chunky, blue-eyed, platinum-haired little girl.”
Lily had albinism and was a perfect fit for the family and fit in seamlessly.
It wasn’t long before the Grabowskis hearts started to call them to adopt another special needs child, and they soon did.
They adopted another Chinese girl who was named Mae and had a condition called brachial plexus nerve damage on her right arm which limits its functionality. But their wish to adopt didn’t stop there.
“While we waited to bring home Mae, God began to stretch us in ways we could never have anticipated. Pictures of little boys with albinism were constantly appearing before us. We felt that God was asking us to do more, to love more, and be willing to risk more. These little boys with albinism had been waiting for families to find them for years and we could not sit back and not take action,” Grabowski explains.
They adopted a boy that they named Nathaniel, which means a gift from God.
“The jump from three kids to five was a bit of a challenge. We adored our children, but the struggle was real. We lived in a fog of exhaustion parenting two 2-year-olds and a 4-year-old who was more like a 2-year-old. Not to mention keeping up with our busy biological boys. We decided our family was complete. Our hearts were full,” she explains.
But not for long. They ended up adopting another girl with albinism named Kaelyn.
“The years she spent in the orphanage were ones of what we can only assume as neglect. At the age of 4, she could not chew food, make any sounds, and was not toilet trained. We were told she did not even walk like a typical child,” Grabowski explained.
But under the loving care of her new family, Kaelyn made drastic improvements.
In addition to providing for the special needs their children have, they also have to deal with reactions from people who’ve never seen children with Albinism.
Most people are polite and loving, but not everyone is.
“There are occasions, though, when the pointing, stares, and whispered comments are invasive and annoying. We’ve had situations where people reach out and touch our children’s hair without asking. We have even had to step in and stop strangers from taking selfies with our kids!” the mother of seven explains.
Parenting Isn't Easy
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Despite what they’re up against the Grabowskis try to be the best parents they can be every single day. They aren’t always but they get up every single morning and try.
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