Monday, 18 June 2007

27 children

I watched a programme last night about a family with 27 children. It was an extraordinary story of a Christian couple who had two biological children and felt called by God to begin adopting the children 'no one else wanted'. They began adopting and had two more biological children. With the adopted children coming with some terrible illnesses they have had five children die, but they all work together caring for one another.
All the children could be seen clearly reaching their potential, overcoming the limitations their various disabilities have placed on them to lead full and happy lives.
I think they said that fifteen of the children have Down's Syndrome.
They are home educated and even in that they work as a team-as most home ed families do-teaching one another.
They have a son named Cody. He was offered to them at ten days old by his biological mother who presumably had known she was expecting a Down's baby and had made the (in this day and age) brave decision to allow her son to live. She had then asked the Murphy's to adopt him.
The biological grandparents went to court fighting for custody.
The programme did not explain why they objected so much to the Murphy's having the little boy- who is now a happy 16 yr old-and the biological mother was not interviewed.
I was trying to understand what the grandparents thought was better about their situation; but they simply went on about 'special schools' and the sort of 'buy-it-in' solutions that do not necessarily make a child happy.
Then I lost all sympathy when the grandmother snidely said "And she home schools," and went on to say Mrs Murphy wasn't qualified to do so!
Don't start me on that one!!!!
But I did think about this family and their amazing and beautiful attitude to life. I thought of how much grace has been poured into their lives because they asked God what He wanted of them.
And I thought, the reason they have had to be so extraordinary in their love and ability-after all 27 kids is more than even a large family- is because so few of us would answer the call.
If we all opened our hearts and homes to disabled children and offered them genuine love-imagine what we could do.
I can't have any more children. But I pray God will send me children no one else wants.

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