Saturday, July 05, 2008

Adopting Special Needs - Blog Buzz

One of the Blog Buzz questions at Red Letters this week is about adopting children with special needs.....

If you are considering or have adopted a special needs child: Where do you start? What questions should you ask of yourself, of your agency, of others?

First of all- I am no expert in this area. I honestly would not consider any of my children "Special Needs".... What is crazy to me is that in the adoption world ALL of my children are considered special needs. WEIRD!

Kaitlyn is our biological child and was born with metopic craniosynostosis. That means the front part of her skull fused in utero. She had to have one surgery when she was 9 months old. I won't go into gory details but they had to crack her skull apart and reshape it to make room for her head to grow. She was in the hospital for several days and her eyes were so swollen she could not see.
You would never know would you???

As I was sitting there rocking her in the hospital room I thought about the fact that if she had not been born to me I would have been scared of her problem.... terrified to take her into my family. Yet, it was so minor. She had one surgery and no one- except maybe a trained professional would ever know she had a problem at all. Yet she was born "special needs" and had she been on an adoption list she would have no doubt waited a while with her scary diagnosis.

Zoe was a waiting child. Her "special need" was that she was older and harder to place. Of course we had some adjustments and transition but WOW! Can you get a cooler kid than Zoe??? NO WAY! She is such an amazing girl. Children who are older often wait for such a long time. Some never find families.

Kaiya is considered "special needs" too. She is a toddler and has a repaired cleft lip and partially repaired palate. HAVE YOU SEEN THIS KID??? She is so amazing. She will have a day surgery or two- all covered by insurance. She is precious and amazing. She waited on a waiting child list for 3 months with no family match because she is "special needs." WHOA!

It just blows me away... I am not saying that everyone should do "special needs" adoption. I am just saying that it's not something you should scare away from so easily. Look into what things are considered special needs. Figure out what your family can handle and get educated. Things aren't always as scary as they seem.
:0) In fact I think things are RARELY as scary as they seem.

I am SO crazy for my "special needs" sweeties who really aren't all THAT "special needs" at all. Angel


TNKerry said...

I obviously had no idea about Kaitlyn - because you can not tell at all, but I have a friend whose daughter has just this past week had that surgery. She is "Harber Clan" on my blog roll. I know she would probably love if you could leave her a comment on her blog with a link to yours just so she could see how precious and completely OK your sweet Kaitlyn is at five years old. I am sure it would help her right now as her daughter is in the thick of recovery.

Kim said...

Aftering fostering Baby Alex, I can tell you that cleft issues are NO BIG DEAL!!! His lip surgery was hard - on me - but not on him. We are a week and a half post surgery and he is doing great. He is all healed, and now just has to work on getting the swelling down. I'm heard that the palate surgery is harder - but still - really - it can't be that bad.

I also have thought about if Baby Alex would have been available for adoption what would have happened to him.

April said...

Thanks for sharing that! I plan to adopt a "special needs" child in the near future, and I'm also so surprised at what's considered "special needs" Often it's just based on age, gender, or having a sibling. I hope that many more families will consider adopting these special little ones because of your blog and your beautiful, perfect little girls!!!
Also, there are several organizations/agencies who waive ALL or some of their fees for children who are deemed "special needs" (I'm sure you know, but just thought I'd put it out there)

Farrah and Jed said...

good post Angel,
The little boy we are looking into is considered Special needs because 1. He is Three years old and 2. because his BM had a low IQ. It is so weird to see what some special needs are...I agree look into Special Needs, Some child the only Special Need is that they NEED a family!!

Anonymous said...

I didn't know that about Kaitlyn. Awesome post and SO true.

I have heard so many people turn down referals for scary medical info and I think to myself... what if taht child had born to you? Would you give the baby away?

Many good points here!

John Dee Spicer said...

After we adopt child #8 we will have 5 out of 8 children with special needs. Three with Down Synrome, one had coronal cranionsynostosis, one had severe hypospadias, and one with huge developmental delays/older child/FAE. There are six problems noted because one child was born with both DS and craniosynostosis. Fortunately, she was one of my birth children and didn't have to live with such huge diagnoses in an orphanage. I can't imagine how often she would have been overlooked, and yet now she is my sunshine who happened to have a one-time very scary surgery from which she recovred more quickly than I could have imagined.

I agree with what Angel is saying...give these kids a chance. It is an amazing thing to not only THINK that you can love anyone, no matter what, but to actually KNOW that you can do it, that your capacity for love is coming straight from Christ because you are not hindering it with your fears. Perfect love casts out fear...and through Christ we can avail ourselves of His perfect love and in our imperfect way, pass it on.

So....if anyone needs a little ray of sunshine in their life....there are quite a few sweethearts with Down Syndrome at ;-D You can see my own little rays of sunshine at

Thanks, Angel! Jill S from CHI

Ryan and Heather said...

Thanks for sharing the stories of your beautiful baby girls.

Amy said...

Great post Angel. Another 'special need' that people often do not consider are children who are HIV+. I think once people do their research they will realize how easy HIV is to 'control'. It is no longer a death sentence. There are so many waiting children who are HIV+ and I appreciate the bloggers on RLC who are sharing their stories and their precious HIV+ children. :0) Amy

Hannah said...

My son was considered special needs. He had a heart condition. He had open heart surgery in October and is PERFECT. I wasn't looking to adopt when I saw his face. I just knew he was ours.


Jane-Jane said...

I don't have much time this morning to get all caught up on your post (and I'm having trouble loading your videos.arrrr!) But I have to say, and you understand why ;)...I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post!!!!

If we had conceived, I'm positive our children would have been special needs...come on, I'm their mom and have special needs...dyslexia, allergies, allergy induced asthma, sensory issues and on and on...

so lets all be real folks and look at the child and not what the world says a "perfect" child is. These are children with souls that need to hear about Jesus! The children need love, not labels. (I feel a post over at the OC coming on!)

Dan and Karen Herman said...

Thank you for this post. We are just now sending in our application for SN(literally today) and are of course, a bit scared of what the future might hold but your post is so encouraging, and I agree, if a child was born to us with a special need, nothing would stop us from doing everything we could for her or him and we would welcome them with open arms. Thank you.