I hope y’all had a wonderful day celebrating America’s independence and freedom, where we are free because of the brave. We had sweet time with family chilling in the pool, grilling out, and then went to our local fireworks show with some friends. Always fun to celebrate with the ones you love!
We thought it was high time for an adoption update and to let y’all know a little more about our new path. We have a few more things we have to do to be officially homestudy ready for the China program with our agency, so we are rocking and rolling with those few things and then our file will make its way across the ocean to China for review!
One of the things we had to do was fill out a special needs considerations list. This is because almost every child that is waiting to be adopted in China will have a diagnosed special need or consideration, including but not limited to older age, developmental delays, minor correctable special needs, moderate correctable special needs, and significant conditions that require lifelong adaptations. We knew this going into the program, and prayed about our ability to parent a child with a special need. We feel confident that God “equips the called”. These are children who need homes, and we have a home that needs another child.
So we had a piece of paper with three columns and over 75 line items of possible diagnosis, and we had to check “yes”, “no”, or “willing to consider”. Besides having to consult with some super smart friends (Thanks, Dr. Guptacita!) about some of the diagnosis, we prayed long and hard over each item. Could we knowingly adopt and parent a child with x special need or y developmental delay? How would this diagnosis with these required therapies and doctor visits and home “work” fit in with our family and Punkadoodle and such? Would it be wise for us to undertake the care and nurturing of a child with that diagnosis? Sure we could make this diagnosis work for our family, but would we really be the best home for a child with said diagnosis? Questions that were hard to answer, honestly. Not because we don’t understand medical terminology, but because every “no” felt like we were saying no to a specific child or specific little precious face. But truthfully, God reminded us that our “no” was a best yes for those children to get the perfect home for them, and for our child to make his or her way to us.
It was explained that there are “special needs” children, with minor correctable needs, and “special focus” children, with greater needs or older aged children. However, this tiered classification system is a bit subjective, and two children with the same diagnosis could be on separate lists for different reasons. Sometimes the diagnosis is considered less severe by one doctor, and relayed as such to the orphanage or agency worker, so that child is put on the “special needs” list. Sometimes girls are classified as “special focus” more readily to make the boys more desirable, since there are more boys than girls currently available for adoption.* We know that we could adopt a child with y diagnosis and it’s really a z diagnosis, which could be more severe. We also know that we could adopt a child with w diagnosis and it turn out to be something completely different that the child can outgrow and never deal with again. There’s not a guarantee that what the file says will be correct, and we are preparing our hearts for that.
(*There was once a larger number of girls, which is what most people think of when they think China adoption, but this isn’t true any more. For one, after the one-child policy was lifted in China, many families pursued domestic adoption of girls to continue their family line. Additionally, the Church responded to the need to adopt Chinese girls when the one-child policy was in effect, and so there was a disproportionate rate of international female adoptions for a long time as well. This is my basic understanding of the current status, but please don’t quote me on it!)
All of this to say, we are closer to our goal of sending our file to China, and are preparing our hearts for a special needs child to join our family. We are excited to answer this call and continue the journey to grow our family through adoption. In some ways, we feel like domestic adoption was never intended for us, and this was the path we were supposed to be on all along. Will you please continue to pray for us as we finish the paperwork, get TB tested again, go for a psychiatrist evaluation to prove to China that my years of therapy were a positive thing and not because I’m crazy (ha! we’re all mad here! 😉 just kidding, but seriously, I am nervous about this!), read The Connected Child, and carry on our fundraising efforts? We are ever-so-grateful for allllll of our prayer warriors!
What other questions can we answer about this new process? Any one also adopting from China and think I misunderstood something? Always looking for ways to bring people along with us on this journey and make sure we understand it as clearly as possible!
Do you love me? Do you want to be my friend?/ And if you do/ Well then don’t be afraid to take me by the hand/ If you want to/ I think this is how love goes/ Check yes or no -Georgia Strait
Grace and Peace,