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Special Needs


I am an ordinary person. Regular as the day is long. I drink Diet Coke with my McDonald’s French fries. I love Target and People Magazine. I drive a mini-van and spend too much time NOT doing what needs to be done. I watch Grey’s Anatomy faithfully. When I first heard about the ‘Waiting Child’ program that the CCAA has in place for children with medical needs, I assumed, like most people do, that is was for kids who weren’t ‘normal’. A child that would probably have too many needs for us to parent well along with our four other children who were already at home. I don’t have the time or the energy, I thought. And I adore ‘normal’ and ‘regular’. What I did not know at the time, but soon learned, is that the children in the waiting child program ARE normal. Not only normal, but healthy. And wonderful. The more I learned about the waiting child program while we were waiting for our non-special needs referral back in 2005, the more I realized that this was something our family could do. Easily. There were definitely some needs that we knew would be too much for us, but many of the needs seemed very manageable. Even, dare I say it, easy. It took Chris a few months to come to a place where he was ready to consider taking on the additional responsibility of adopting a child with special needs. He, as the head of our household, had to consider all the logistical aspects of what it might entail. But soon we moved forward in faith that this was God’s plan and on February 7, 2005, we received a call from the WC coordinator at our agency. They offered us a referral to consider. A referral of a little 7 month old girl with a minor heart defect. We accepted her referral and have never looked back at the traditional non-special needs program. Adopting a waiting child has been such a multi-faceted blessing for us and for our whole family. We didn’t start out on our adoption journey as a rescue mission, but indeed we did rescue a child. A tiny girl with a hole in her heart that needed to be repaired. And we were, with the help of our insurance and a wonderful children’s hospital, able to have her heart repaired to normal. She will have a ‘normal’ life. We can watch our ‘regular’ child grow up with the love and safety of a family she might have never had in China. What a blessing for US!

Luke 6:38
"If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over."

Since bringing home Isabelle in 2005, we have brought home her sister Sophie, another waiting child. And we have been additionally blessed by being able to provide her the medical attention she needs while watching her grow and flourish in her new family. Every night when I go to bed, I am grateful for the opportunity that God has given me to parent these children. I have been blessed. We have all been blessed. Our children have learned that children with medical issues or disabilities are precious, capable and every bit as deserving of love as a ‘normal’ child. We have all been forever changed by knowing and loving our precious ‘waiting children’.
Certainly not every family is cut out for the waiting child program. It, in theory, does involve more risk than the traditional route. But oh, the rewards that are to be had. We can’t wait to bring home our third special needs child. In caring and providing for him, we know we will be rewarded with the sweet smile of complete trust someday. And the unsolicited snuggle of true love. We know that with his clubbed feet he might not seem ‘normal’ or ‘regular’. And we can’t wait to embrace him.

1 Corinthians 2:9
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."

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