Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Special Needs Child

Our last two adoption have been of special needs children.  These kids would never be considered special needs if they had been born in the US.   Anyway, our newest addition has a cleft lip and palate – his need is more visible – although his lip looks so good, most people don’t notice it.  His speech however is another story.  He is VERY difficult to understand.  I know he understands English well at this point (not fluent, but doing great), but his speech is almost unintelligible.  This has been the most difficult thing about this adoption.  He is such a great kid and if we hadn’t been willing to consider a need which would require some surgery and therapy – we would have missed out on what an amazingly adaptable, joyful child that he is.  He has been fine with me saying “really” or “wow” or “sure” when he tells me a story which I can’t understand at all – at least he was good with it until this week.  His English is progressing so well that he just noticed this week that I am not giving him the appropriate answer and he is getting frustrated.  So, thank goodness, his cleft palate repair is tomorrow.  He is also getting ear tubes which should help with his hearing loss (and the constant – “huh” – that I get from him).  I wanted to remember what he sounded like before surgery – so I took some videos this week.  (I remember thinking how cute Benjamin’s accent was as he was learning English, and now, 4 years later – I can hardly remember that he had an accent).  Will’s speech will not be perfect after his surgery – but he will at least have the capability, with a lot of speech therapy, to learn how to speak and really communicate well for the first time in his life – I am so sorry he had to wait 5 years for this.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Will's Adoption Video (really it's more of a slideshow)

I worked on Will's adoption video this week.  I used Window Live Movie Maker and nearly went insane trying to get everything where I wanted it.  I see a couple things I would like to change - but no way am I messing with it again (at least not for a year or so).  I really like making these slide shows of the kids adoption stories.  I am terrible at making photo albums.  By terrible I mean that I don't have any photo albums of the kids. All my pictures are on the computers and I haven't even printed any of them.  I figure why waste the paper. Anyway, I just needed to admit that I am a bad mother and none of my kids will ever have a baby/memory book.  I guess I will look on the bright side and figure that in the next couple years the kids can just go on the computer, go through all million of their photos and make their own.

Will's adoption has been so smooth thus far.  I hope that our story is encouraging to others who consider adoption.  My husband and I had just enough courage to start the process.  I guess that is all that we needed and then God took over and made everything fall into place.  If you are thinking of adopting my advice is to stop being scared and take that first step.

 I found this quote from C.S. Lewis (Into the Wardrobe) - I really like it:

" To trust Him means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way." 

So enough discussion, here is the video:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Orphan Sunday


I know the dates are wrong on my banner, but Orphan Sunday is coming late to our church this year.  We had to put it off a couple months since we were in China adding Will to his forever family.   We are now having our event on February 19.  I am so excited.  We are going to have information on adoption (international and domestic), foster care, and child sponsorship.  My goal for the event is to spur families to consider adoption and for others in the church for whom this isn’t an option to realize that they can care for the orphan in a different way.  We are hoping to grow our ministry in a way in which we can meet needs of foster children/parent’s in our own community,  provide financial/emotional/educational support for adoptive families, and to encourage child sponsorship or volunteerism.  If you could please start praying for our church as they receive this message for open hearts and minds from the congregation I would really appreciate it!

Here is a great video from the Christian Alliance for Orphans about the need – click on Orphan Sunday below for the link:

Orphan Sunday 2011 from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Will!



This week was Will’s first birthday. Well, actually he turned 5, but I am pretty sure it is the first time he actually celebrated a birthday.  He was so happy.  He has very quickly learned how to sing Happy Birthday and enjoyed the fun immensely.  It’s funny the night I took this photo was actually the day before his birthday.  We had to try and fit cake in between tumbling, basketball, and boy scouts this week.  He had cake on this particular day, but I didn’t give him his gifts until the next day.  He didn’t care, he was just thrilled with his homemade strawberry cake, decorated by his sister.  He was so excited to take cupcakes to his preschool class to celebrate and some fruit snacks to daycare.  He just soaked it all up and it was so nice to see.  I love this time with him where everything is new and he has such joy even though it wasn’t fancy and the celebration was squeezed into a few minutes between other activities.  He talked a lot about the day although I have no idea what he said, between the language barrier and the speech issues related to his cleft palate – it didn’t really matter – I know what he meant.  These are the things that make me such an advocate of older child adoption.  My son is truly happy for his Happy Birthday.

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