"He's so lucky to have been adopted by you folks!"
Yes, I guess you can look at it like that. He certainly needed to be adopted. It scares me to think of what his life would have been like if he had grown older...unadopted...and eventually transferred to some place even worse. Already I see all that Joseph has to struggle with for the lack of interaction and care that he missed out on in his baby orphanage. So many things that would be better for him if he had started out in a family. He does so well and is working so hard but the gaps are there from lack of a family...he bangs his head a lot these days as he is being challenged to learn and connect with people and things around him.
I am thankful that he is home...and yes, he DID need to be adopted by us..that is for sure. But WE are the lucky ones, too. I think people forget that. People don't look at all that we need to do to care for Joseph and think us lucky. But we are. We have been given the chance to love more fully as God loves...to love Joseph unconditionally and to care for him even though he was not born into our own family. It is awesome to love not because he is my natural born son but because he is beautiful in the eyes of God and so he is beautiful to me. It's a gift, really...to have your understanding of love be truly enlarged like that.
He has made me love more fully...and for that I am thankful.
There is nothing sweeter than to accidentally over-hear your six year old daughter explain to some girls at the park that "That is my brother. He was adopted and he has Down syndrome. He is THE BEST brother in the whole wide world!!" She was so serious, too. Meant it with all her heart. Pretty high praises considering she has a bunch of pretty awesome other brothers as well ;). I'm sure the other boys won't take offense.
They think he's pretty great, too :)