Adoption Timeline

Friday, May 27, 2016

Special Needs Adoption

" I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:14

I went back and forth on whether I would write about this or not. But, maybe there is someone out there, considering adoption from China, and this post will help ease their fears and encourage them to step out in faith and consider a special needs adoption.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, China is no longer a country where orphanages are full of healthy girls.  In fact, the wait time for a healthy child in China is currently 5-7 years.  Most agencies don't even offer a healthy child program.  China is considered a special needs adoption country and the medical history and birth history of the children are not known. 

But, their definition of "special needs" is very broad, and not at all what I had thought.  This could mean anything from a birth mark to a child with more major needs that would require multiple surgeries, life-long medical care and even a shortened life expectancy.

Here is a graph that summarizes the special needs that one particular agency had seen when matching children. 
As you can see the list is quite extensive.  So, what exactly does this look like for an adopting family?  Each agency will have a Medical Needs List that you go through with your spouse, social worker and agency.  On this list are about 50 different special needs...again, anything from a birthmark to a terminal diagnosis.  This list is by no means an absolute, but it helps guide your agency in what is best for your family, what you are comfortable with and ultimately help them find the right family for EVERY child. To some families, the idea of having a child that would require surgery is very scary, to another it may not be.  That does not make one family better than's just a way to again find the best home for each unique child God created. 

We not only have met with a social worker to discuss various special needs, but we also met with Children's International Medical Adoption Team to go over the list and get a better idea of what our lives could look like in each scenario.  Another factor that families need to consider, is what their current family dynamics are, how much time do you have to take care of a possible physical need. For example, will you be working, will you need to stay home? What does your insurance cover?  I never even thought about insurance, but have ran across several families who ended up not accepting a referral because of limited health benefits. is the next leap of faith.  Medical history of each child is...well, lacking. So, you may read a medical review on a child and bring them home to find out there is a lot more medical needs than you knew.  But you may also bring that child home and find out that their health is much better that you originally thought. 

We will get a picture, sometimes videos, and limited medical information.  And then...I imagine, we will PRAY.

God, is this our daughter? Can we provide the best home for her?  God, is this your will?  I imagine these are some of the prayers that will flood as we review a potential match. 

So, I ask for YOUR prayers, as we wait.  That is were we are.  We are waiting for our agency, who knows our family, who knows are heart, to show us a referral.  Are there waiting children now...YES! Am I looking at pictures online and wondering...yes. It's's heart breaking honestly.  But, my heart and eyes are open.  God show us your will...we are waiting.

Finally, I just want to say, that it makes me sad that these precious children are considered "special needs."  I mean, in reality,  we all have something about us that makes us different.  I have a beautiful port wine birthmark that covers my lower left leg.  But, I can guarantee you, that no one else that God has created has that exact mark.  No one else, has my exact medical background.  Oh, but God created us....each one unique and PERFECT in his eyes. 

So let's not say anyone has a special need...let's say that God has created each of us uniquely and perfectly. We are all special. We are all LOVED. 

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