Monday, July 6, 2009

What to Do?

Thank you all for your sweet and encouraging comments. You have reminded me why I love blogging so much. I have taken your suggestions to heart and feel like I, at least, have a starting point. I will keep you updated.
Richard and I brought the Special Needs application with us as we drove to get the boys last week. Our goal: to go over the list of needs and decide which needs we were willing to accept and which ones we aren't. The answer: I DON'T KNOW!! It is very difficult to look at a list of disorders and disabilities and know what you can and can't handle. Add to that, the fact that until you actually get to China and get your girl, you never know the severity of that need. It is very unnerving to me. I am supposed to be researching all the different needs, and know that this is important, but also know that the range of each is great. I have seen so many wonderful stories of children who come home with very little effects of any special need at all. I have also seen stories of children whose needs were much greater than the families realized. I know God already knows who our little girl is, but I still need to check the right boxes so I can find her!! Help!!!


Jill said...

Jennifer, I know this such a difficult decision. I remember doing this myself. My advice to you is just pray! Also remember, any child born to you could have the same risks as those you mentioned...some more serious once home, some much better. Our daughter is HepB+, let me know if you have any questions.
Hugs, Jill

MississippiZen said...

Feel free to give me a call and we can chat about all the SN that I researched as well as ones that I come across in my volunteer work. Also, check out the website No Hands But Ours. .... there are GREAT resources on all types of SN's there.


Felicia said...

This is a huge decision, I can understand your struggle. Praying that God guides you to pick the choices that are right for your family. Like you said, he already knows who she is.

Shay Ankerich said...

I am right there with you! We are updating all our paperwork and praying about the checklist as well. It is a big decision and I have resigned myself to choose situations I am familiar with (from other families). Are you all CCAI? Our social worker is scheduled to come later this week. Email me if you want to talk privately.

Nancy said...

When we made the switch, I was advised to go to Once there click on the Special Needs tab. You will see a list of many of the Special Needs available. You can click on each one and read a description of it.
Once I read them, I made a list for my husband with an explanation of what it was, and then he went through it. He would ask questions, and anything I thought he wasn't comfortable with, we ended up crossing off our list.
When done, we had about 5-7 areas we would consider.

Good Luck!

Stephanie said...

Bless your heart! I will be praying for you that you might trudge through the muddy waters and things will become alittle clearer soon. I can't imagine what you are going through right now and how confusing it all must be. Just remember that at the end of the road is going to be your precious little girl and I can tell you from experience they are well worth the wait!!!!!(I just hope your wait is almost over :)

redmaryjanes said...

I completely understand where you are right now. With our agency we could list the needs we were open to, but also the severity of the need.
So while we were open to a child with spina bifida, we wanted them to have bowel control and be able to walk. So, see if you can place some guidelines on some of the needs. Also, you can always turn down a file if you think it is more than your family can handle. Sophia was the 5th file we reviewed.

a Tonggu Momma said...

All of the prayer advice is so wise. Also, I think another really important point is to talk with your spouse and even your extended family about the different possibilities. If you and your spouse are not on the same page about a specific special need, that's a sign that God at least wants you to wait on that special need. Of course your extended family doesn't have decision power, but it WILL effect them, too. You should consider talking with them and seeing if their support (or the lack thereof) will tip the balance for you.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I know that this is a very tough decision....Pat and I have talked about this many times and there is so much to think about. Saying a prayer for you need to do what is right for your family!!

Thinking of you both as you work through this.


Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

I feel for you girly..
I can't imagine how you are feeling... it has to be sooo hard.. but you will know what is right for your family..

Denise said...

I so understand where you are and like everyone says, pray and inform yourself as much as possible. Hugs~

The Gang's Momma said...

All of the advice here is exactly what I was told when I asked. And what I tell others when they ask me. I would add one thing:

Check with the nearest Children's Hospital. See if they have an International Adoption clinic. We used Children's Hosp. of Philadelphia. They rock. The fee was WELL worth the enrollment benefits, by far and away!

Before we even finalized our list, we set up a phone conference with them and the doc went over each need in it's "real life" scenarios (the good, the bad, the ugly and the manageable). She was sooo informative, even giving us websites that were trustworthy and links to consider. Later, when reviewing particular files of individual children, she again gave us as much detail, based on her training and her experience. She was awesome. And then, when we returned home with Li'l Empress, they had two appts. with us to check in, coordinate care and set us on the right path of treatments, specialists, and so on.

I can't sing their praises highly enough. I just wish every agency that dealt in sn adoptions made this part of their "recommendations" or "strong suggestions!"

If you need any help or input, contact me. I'd love to help!

The Byrd's Nest said...

Oh sweet girl....I know this was a hard decision but I know that you put much prayer into it and everything will be fine. God would never place a child with you that He didn't intend for you to Emma is a priceless jewel and was SN.

Sherri said...


Our Mia has a SN. She is missing her left arm. She is completely healthy--there are no medical issues whatsoever.

When we were "choosing" Special Needs, it felt strange for us, also. You feel horrible saying, "No, I can't deal with that particular issue." We had a few needs we said we'd accept. We said yes to orthopedic issues (we were THINKING that would be club feet) and we said that it had to be easily fixed or not fixed at all. When we were offered a child missing an arm, it kind of floored us because that wasn't in our list of possibilities. In the end, she fit our criteria, and we wouldn't have it any other way!

You just need to be really honest about what you and your husband are willing to handle. My husband really couldn't handle another child with an ONGOING medical issue (we have a son with Type I diabetes). His big deal was it had to be able to be easily fixed or not fixed at all. So that ruled out a bunch of SN's.

Definitely go to No Hands But Ours. There is a ton of information on that site.

You'll know what to do.

Wife of the Pres. said...

Hi, I wanted to recommend No Hands But Ours if you haven't read the family stories over there yet. One need we didn't check the first time around was an OLDER child. Who knew??? But, anyway, we read a story over there about an older boy and now we are almost DTC for an older boy! He does have a medical need, but one we feel ready for (as ready as one ever is :) b/c our daughter also has heart disease.

Our DD came home with multiple needs and to many might seem too much, but we cannot imagine life w/out her. If you haven't read her story, it is on NHBO under "Susannah with heart defects and CL/CP".

As to the checklist, I found it VERY, VERY hard. We only marked a few, but God led us to the ones that led us to our daughter! He'll do the same for you; I just believe that!!! BTW, I"m so excited you all are filling out the checklist. I know this has been on your heart for a long time!

Wife of the Pres. said...

Oh, one more bit of advice: once you find our who your little girl is, don't research too much! (Speaking from experience here :) Just enjoy the journey to her and leave the rest at God's throne!

Christy said...

WOW!!! I had no idea you were thinking special needs. I am so happy that you guys are making that decision. I agree with the pray thing as God has it all planned out and will lead you to your little one. By the way, I am a school psych and if there are some learning or other sorts of disabilities you are unsure about, email me and I can see if I can help. Especially the cognative or delayed issues. I test preschoolers for all those issues so I am aware of many issues or delays and how they manifest themselves in the kids. Even after you find a child and are inquiring if she is the one and need to run a disability by someone-- email me and I can see if I can help.

Good luck on this awesome decision!!

Christy :)

Carey said...

Jen, a few days late here, but just catching up.

When Brandy and I filled out that paperwork for China, it was one of the hardest things I'd ever done. If any of my bio kids were born with any of those special needs, I'd love them and accept them and be thankfful for them regardless. But I would never choose those things for my child. And that's what it felt like we were doing.

Rest assured, even though it's so difficult, that God already has her picked out for you. No matter what boxes you check, or what boxes you don't. He's hand picked all your kids for you since before time! Praying for you!

sara said...

Oh, sweet friend - I can only imagine! We felt like we were REALLY stepping out in faith when we sent in our checklist. And revised it several times!! We continued to pray & ask for revelation & I believe that Kim (the Byrd's Nest) is right, God won't place a child with you He never intended for you (keeping in mind His intentions so often look different from ours!)

I agree with what so many people have already said - and YES, you would love your child had they been born with ANY need, but you also have to weigh the decision of -can you make certain sacrifices (and ask your family to make them too!)

Praying for you!!

Keisha said...

Praying that God will show you His will! I understand completely...about your thoughts! Believe me! Just know.. that God is in control!

Mommy said...

Praying you find peace in your decisions. We had a very difficult time reviewing the list but in the end we found our daughter (even though her need was not exactly on our list). Listen to Him speak to your heart. He will guide you.

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