"We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time & miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands."--- Kristi Larson

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Greatest Special Need of All

When you enter a special needs adoption you find yourself googling medical terms that you did not know existed .How many of you out there feel that you have missed your calling to attend medical school? And You definitely do not dare repeat the medical terms out loud for fear that you will hear a chuckle at your attempt to pronounce it correctly! And yes, I have heard a few giggles!

In these short few months I have learned more about the common and not so common medical diagnosis that label these children. Each child has their own medical file that names their particular special need . You see so many different special needs but they each have one common need.This particular need is a need that is not listed on their medical checklist and is not stated anywhere in their file.In fact you will not even find it in a medical dictionary. There is no greater need than the love of a family.

This common thread has no boundaries. There are approximately 147 million children around the globe that are considered orphans. That number is shocking. Each one of these kids come to the table with one common special need ...a family. We all have felt a need to "belong" at some point in our life. Whether it was a club, organization or just a group of peers.Do you remember how bad you felt when you were not excepted? Now, take that need to belong and make that need a family.Imagine your whole life never having someone to protect ,nurture and love you. That is a really hard thing to imagine but that is the reality for so many of those 147 million orphans .Sometimes we do not want to see those things that we feel we cannot change. It is easier for us to turn a blind eye. And often people say "Why would God let that happen?" but be careful maybe he will ask you the very same question.

We have been reviewing the file of a special little girl. We have done the research, hired a doctor and looked at all the possible scenarios at least a million times. But as I look at that sweet face ,I am once again reminded of her greatest special need the love that only a family can give .

This little girl is going to know the love that only a family can provide....particularly our family. I laid out the fleece .And I have prayed . We did not lock her file . I sat back and research her needs for a week.I then presented the info to my DH. If he looks over the medical info and has any doubts we will walk away. He agreed that she deserved a closer look.So we then requested additional info.

We still did not lock the file.

This time was spent researching, praying and dreaming. This whole time one lingering question "Could this be our daughter?".

We hired a doctor to review her file but I felt strongly about not locking her file. We had decided that there would be no greater sign than after putting our hearts out there and her still being available.Well ,not one single person has locked her file. I say that is not because her needs are too great or that she is not wanted but because she has been waiting for us and we have been looking for her. I have found that peace that I was waiting on. You know the peace that you get when you just place something in God's hands and let him carry you through it . He has replaced any questions and fears that we had with joy and excitement.

And I already feel blessed yet again!

I am leaving you with a photo of Ava holding and kissing her new sister's photo! And if you cannot tell she is a little excited too!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Looking for Signs

This past week has been the hardest week yet. During the course of our research phase we have seen files of several children. Each and every one of them so precious. But we were still at the very start of this process and still researching what special needs were right for our family. So each of these kids have gone on to be with the family that they were intended to have. We felt that we had completed our list of special needs and I have been told it is fairly open. We have only two needs that fell into the maybe category that we felt needed some more research. Two weeks ago we were sent a file of a little girl. I opened the file and across my screen came the most breathtaking photo of a little girl.The kind that makes your heart skip a beat. We then proceeded to look through her medical and her special need was one that we felt needed some more clarification.So I spent the next 48 hours scrambling to get as much info as I could. I have to say that those 48 hours was quite stressful waiting and hoping that the doctor is going to be able to call you back in that time frame.During this time I am praying that God is going to send me a sign. At first you are looking for a big sign and somewhere in those last few hours of that clock ticking you would take even the smallest one ! In the 47th hour we had not received all of the answers and felt that it would be a complete leap of faith to move forward. We had taken that leap of faith with Ava and decided that we would do the same with her. As I picked up the phone to call our agency to let her know that we had found our daughter and the phone rang. It was my pediatrician . I had prepared myself for his honesty as we have known him for 15 years and entrust him with the care of our most valuable gifts. He said that we need to be prepared for the unknowns that this condition comes with . After a long conversation with him we had our medical opinion and in a split second we were heading in a different direction. I took this as our sign ,called the agency and told them we could not move forward.

For the next few days I could not get this little girl of my mind.I questioned our decision. Was our doctor calling "the sign" I was looking for or was it our fear that lead us to our decision? I waited about 5 days and had to know if she had found her family.My agency called me back and let me know that she had found them . I felt that things were as they should be and I was truly happy for this sweet girl.

The phone rings two days later with some startling news...She was back on the list! DH and I decided that fear would not be our guide and we were moving forward! We submitted all of the necessary documents and were so excited! Later that day I asked DH to make me copies of all of the original medical documents for my personal file. As I was sorting through all of this there was one document that I had not seen before. As I read it that excitement was replaced with fear.

We spent the next few days with our hearts heavy and needing a direction. Finally my husband asked me "if you would have never fell in love with this little face and had only seen her medical file would you have any reservations about this particular need?" When he asked me that I knew the answer .

I have cried a million tears over his little girl and I have to believe that God has place her in my heart for a reason. I am helping to advocate for her finding her family.I believe that if God had chosen this child for us she would be ours. He is not going to let you miss out on your child ...it is way too big!

As PAP's of special needs children we need to do our research.You can never be too informed. We each have our list of needs that we feel comfortable with. I would never feel comfortable judging someone else on their list being too narrow or excluding a need that I feel within my comfort zone. Ask yourself can we provide for this child's particular need? How will this impact our other children? Set up the worst case medical scenario and be prepared because this could be a possibility. This is not only if this child is the right child for us but are we the right family for this child.

As I was typing the description of this little girl for all to read. I went back to my email to get the contact information for anyone who wanted to inquire about her file. In my emails was the sweetest words ever!This little girl was matched to a family that I have been corresponding with for the last couple of days!I am so over the top for this family!How blessed they are!

Just confirmation that it is just too big to miss!