When does a mother of six who also works outside of the home full-time find time to blog? I want a solution! And it cannot involve staying up until 2:00 am to write!
This will be yet another part of our adoption story in a nutshell. We finally completed our home study and were planning on forwarding it to two different organizations who helped children with special needs find families. One even specifically works with children with Down Syndrome. We actually thought that we were specifically being called to adopt a child with Down Syndrome. We began to plan more fundraisers while we waited for a while (a year or more) to be contacted. We knew that we were approved to adopt a child with minimum / mild needs.
Our home study agency primarily works with international adoptions and domestic infant adoptions for infertile couples. They really do not have a "special needs adoption" program to speak of. They do have children become available from time to time who have very severe needs, but these children are usually cared for by experienced parents who have adopted before.
This is when we believe (including our wonderful social worker and staff) that God had His hands all over this adoption from the beginning! A child became available that was 18 months old with fairly manageable special needs. We were all very shocked, excited and cautious. Everything began to happen in a whirlwind! We met with this little boy and his foster mother at our agency. We read all of his medical and history that we could. We were counseled by our social worker and went home to talk together and pray for guidance.
We researched hundreds of websites, organizations, blogs, and resources which had information about his needs. Finally, my husband calmly and quietly stated this to me one day, "I just do not see one single reason that we should not adopt this child. I am strangely at peace after meeting him, discussing his needs and background, and praying about this. I think this is what we are meant to do." It was exactly what I was feeling.
So, we signed a mound of paperwork and received a mound of blessed information from his foster family, and we took our son home! We are in the process of finalizing his adoption. And.....this journey is far from over. I will chronicle some of the many challenges we have faced so far. These are not "negatives" by any means. But - I would like to say that there are many challenges and obstacles and a range of emotions that we never expected. I believe that the adoption of a special needs child is so unique. You can never really plan or prepare yourself for all that will happen or for all the things you will feel. I have experienced the birth of five children but am still amazed at the new, wonderful, blessed, painful, challenging things that I am experiencing. It is a journey like no other I have ever travelled.
God has been so good to our family. I am still so humbled and thankful to Him for all of my children. My husband and my children are truly the greatest people in my life. They are what makes me rich - rich in heritage, glory, and love. They are why I strive every day to become a little bit better. Thank you for following along with us. Part III is coming as soon as I can find time and words to write.