I am going to skip through starting our Home Study, and the initial path the Lord set us on, which was adopting from the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am going to write more about the Congo in another post, because God has given me such a heart for the people there. But about 2 months into our adoption process, a combination of different factors – the most significant being an amazing conversation with my sister – led us to step back from this initial plan and open our minds and hearts to the idea of adopting a child with special needs. To be honest, I had not even considered this when I did my first round of research; I felt like we already had enough special needs in our house, and honestly, I was just terrified at what adopting a special needs child might entail.
But when He made it pretty clear that He wanted us to at least consider special needs adoption, I began more research that put me on a huge learning curve. First of all, “special needs” can mean any of a VAST array of different situations – for example in some countries, it is considered a “special need” to have a repaired cleft palate (meaning the child was born with a cleft palate, but it has been repaired, often with minimal, if any, scaring) A child in another country might even be considered “special needs” because he/she is older than three, or part of a sibling group. On the other end of the spectrum were children with severe cerebral palsy, spina bifida, rare genetic diseases, children that would have feeding tubes for their entire lives, and those who would never walk, talk or be able to function independently.
My heart opened and broke for these little ones, many of whom have little chance of ever being adopted. It takes a tremendously courageous parent to adopt a child that they know they will have to care for the rest of the child’s life. I do not believe that the Lord was calling me to be that parent. But it seemed clear that He was calling us to consider children who were on waiting lists because of their age or because they have mild to moderate special needs. There are a multitude of these children waiting to be adopted, and I began to read their profiles and look at their pictures. Then, one days, I found the profile of a little boy, named “C”, who, we learned later, lives in Armenia. I cannot say, as I have heard from other adoptive parents, that I saw this child’s photo and KNEW that he was meant to be my child. But I can honestly say that something about his picture and profile touched me deeply.
At this point we were in such a real state of flux in our decision-making, and seeking the Lord’s guidance on what path He wanted us to take. Again, I will share in another post how dramatically God’s chose to reveal His will to me at this point, but in the interest of getting to the end (or maybe the beginning?) of the story, I will cut to the chase – God helped us realize that adopting “C” was what He wanted for us. So we contacted the agency, and began proceedings to adopt him. We plan to name this sweet little boy “Benjamin,” which means “son of my right hand.” I have to find out from our adoption agency when/if I can post his picture on this blog, but he is a beautiful olive-skinned, dark-haired child with enormous brown eyes and a heart-warming style. Even though we have only just begun the long process of adopting Benjamin, I already feel like he is my own. And I CANNOT WAIT to bring him home! Thanks for reading!