Laying down one’s life: the decision to adopt a special needs child—a conversation with Allison Gingras, host of “A Seeking Heart” on Real Life Radio

From my current post on Catholicmom.com:

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13

In this new commandment Jesus took, “Love your neighbor as yourself” several steps further. Now love involves sacrifice. His greatest demonstration of this commandment was his death on the cross. But because he was willing to sacrifice his life, he rose again to new life in a body glorified.

 

Waiting For The Word Resurrection 60, from Flickr Creative Commons
Waiting For The Word Resurrection 60, from Flickr Creative Commons

This is the love he requires from us. It’s a radical love, a sacrificial love.

What does it mean to lay down one’s life? Are we literally to die a martyr’s death? What other ways are there to lay down one’s life?

Recently I had a chance to hear fellow Catholicmom columnist Allison Gingras describe a way. Speaking at the Springfield Women’s Conference in late April, she told the story of how she and her husband Kevin were led to adopt a three-year-old deaf child from China. This adoption involved preparing their two sons (one of whom was reluctant) for a new brother or sister. It entailed a three-year wait followed by a grueling sojourn to China by parents who were homebodies. Their lives would be transformed by the arrival of this child in ways they could never imagine. In essence, the entire family lay down their lives in order to welcome its new member.

What does it take to make such a life-changing decision? How does one prepare to lay down one’s life in this manner? I recently corresponded with Allison and asked her to describe the experience of adopting their daughter, Faith.

from right to left: Allison and Kevin Gingras and their daughter, Faith
from right to left: Allison and Kevin Gingras and their daughter, Faith

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