Our Adoption Journey!

A journal of our thoughts, feelings and steps in the process of adopting a child with significant special needs.

Friday, April 29, 2011

If I were in their shoes....

If it were me, placing my special needs child for adoption.....

I would want in a family for my child







Why I think we would be an ideal family for this child:

Our children are everything to us, family is #1. We have a child already with Cerebral Palsy, we have been through it, we own a house that is already wheelchair accessible, we bought our house in one of the best school districts in the USA for children with disabilities and our son has thrived at his school, which his siblings also get to attend with him. We have great access here to some of the best rehabilitative services, neurology, physical medicine, movement clinic, feeding/nutrition clinic, gastroenterology, orthotic specialists, wheelchair clinics, wonderful Physical, Occupational and Speech therapists as well as alternative therapies like hippotherapy which I can't say enough about, aquatic therapy, music therapy. We are looking into cord blood stem cell therapy when it is finally allowed with a sibling donor, hyperbaric oxygen therapy availability. We have hope and the tenacity to chase it. Ethan's doctors didn't hold much hope for him, but in his almost 10 years he has accomplished A LOT, he has been involved in the American Rabbit breeders association and shown his rabbits at numerous state events and won many awards, he is a cub scout, he has helped many children have a wonderful christmas by using his own christmas money to buy presents for them when they were in the hospital, homeless, parentless or experiencing extreme economic difficulty. Because he knows what is like to have to spend time in a hospital, he has organized book and toy drives for Andrea's Closet instead of birthday presents. I am so very proud of the person my son has become, he has touched lives in a way most children can't. He is always happy, and while I do think it is his nature, I would like to think that we as parents had something to do with that. We think special needs children are amazing. As a stay at home mom, I devoted a considerable amount of time to doing therapy at home and I think this has had a big impact on what Ethan is able to do today. Ethan has recently started to articulate speech well enough for some of his words to be understood, which has been incredibly empowering to him. In the last year he gained an incredible amount of freedom through the use of a power wheelchair, which he controls with his head, in much the same way as he controls his horse when he is riding by turning his head in the direction he wants to go. It makes me very sad to think of the children like Ethan who don't have a family like us or a family at all. I think that if it had been Ethan, in an institution, where doctors said he should be, that he probably would not be alive today. I can't imagine a world without him in it....he has impacted so many lives for good, I know I am a better person because of him. I also know that we could be that family for another child....and that child would not only have two devoted parents, but the uncoditional love and support of two sisters and two brothers. And that is just the type of family I would want for my child if I were in their shoes!!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I know it's their job but....

Well I spoke with the lady from the agency yesterday who gave me a quick update on the neurological appointment for Theo. She said the results were very sobering that Theo is already very stiff. We understand that these doctors usually are giving you the worst possible outcome. It doesn't change our mind about wanting to adopt this baby that he may never walk or talk or interact. The number one thing is this child deserves to be loved and if we adopt him, he will be our son no matter what as long as we are blessed to have him here with us. I also BELIEVE that he has a chance in a loving, knowledgeable and resourceful home to possibly prove those doctors wrong. I can't even recall the number of times I heard those same words from Ethan's doctors, that he would do nothing and be nothing and not to even get our hopes up, and we have always been and will always be cautiously optimistic with out expectations. The bottom line is he will be loved, and he will be important to us, and we will do everything for him that we would do for any of our biological children....even if it means I have to change 20 diapers a day, give 3 or 7 or 12 or however many tube feedings a day, spend hours at therapist and doctors, and nutritionists, bathe, dress, and never give up hope for the rest of my life. He is wanted, and important and perfect in himself, he has touched my heart and a doctor saying he will never do or be anything does not change a thing. My answer will still be yes every time you ask me if I am still sure I want to do this.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Details on Theo!

You can see a picture and read about Theo at the link below!

Waiting Babies | Adoption Programs | Spence-Chapin Adoption Services

The Blanket

I was feeling restless over the weekend. Waiting is sometimes hard for me especially when it is waiting for answers about our future. The kids were playing outside so nicely so Terry told me to take Ethan and go to the baby store and at least get out and walk. So I took Ethan and we went shopping. Of course he was so excited and wanted to get something for our future baby, so I told him he could pick one thing. He went through the cribs, looked at all the pack-n-play, swings, bassinets, car seats, highchairs, bouncers, toys, pacifiers, bottles, etc until he got to the isle where the blankets were....he drove his wheelchair past the blue section, and then past the pink and was feeling the texture of each blanket within his reach and got very excited. It was a sage green and cream minky fleece, very much like the one he had as a baby. I asked him if he was sure that was what he wanted and suggested other blankets, but he was resolute. I didn't think much of it at the time, but I now wonder if he has some special memory of that blanket....I would be amazed if he remembered it at all. So I took the blanket off the rack and handed it to him, he struggled to grasp and hold it in his clenched little hands, but was determined to do it himself, then proceeded to drive himself up to the cashier and tried very hard to get the blanket up onto the counter himself. I think he wants the baby to always have something soft and warm to be cuddled in, so he will feel safe and loved.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Our Story So Far

Hi, my name is Rebecca and this is a special blog dedicated to our journey to become parents of a very special little boy with Cerebral Palsy. Our journey began way before this little boy was born, when we decided as a family that we would like to provide foster care for medically fragile infants. We went through months of training, interviews, hundreds of pages of paperwork, references, physicals etc. Only to find out that because our children were so young and close together at the time that it would be a few years before we were able to take any placements, plus we needed to make some expensive modifications to our home, so we put things on hold for a while. Fast forward a couple years to 2011, all of our kids Ethan (9), Helen (8), Mark (7) and Chloe (6) are all now in school and we can make the modifications needed to pass the life safety inspection (our biggest hurdle was a second pool fence that was needed because we have a door and a bedroom window that open into our pool area). We attend a new orientation and begin the process of certification again....happy that our many weeks of training are still good and we just have to wait for intake appointments and the home study inspection. In the mean time, I heard a story about a little boy an out of state agency is trying to place for adoption. This little boy was born early this year at just 31 weeks gestation and suffered a severe bleed in his brain, leaving his future very uncertain, with the likely hood of severe spastic quad CP. Knowing we were still weeks maybe months away from even having our foster care home study done I tried not to think about this little boy....but I kept thinking about him, and thinking about the fact that we have so much experience with CP, and all that is involved, and thinking about the difficulty this agency would have finding a home for this little boy, let alone a home with knowledge of this condition....a home that is already adapted, tailor made for what this child would need because we already have a child with these same needs. So I talked to my husband about this little boy, and adoption....and finally I contacted the agency about this baby, explained our situation that we were not yet home-study ready, but in the process and that we could provide a loving and nurturing home for this child. Well, they were interested. So now we are faced with the real possibility....the hope that we will be chosen to be the family for this little boy. It is both very exciting, and a little daunting. I have been frantically trying to get the money together so we will be ready to adopt this child if we are chosen, and trying not to get too attached to him (impossible) if we are not chosen and accepting that if he is not meant to be our child that there certainly is another child out there waiting for us to find him (or her). We are hoping to talk to the agency and get an update on the little guy tomorrow our Wednesday, and have an appointment in another week with our agency so hopefully we can get our home-study to cover both the foster care and hopefully the adoption of this very special little boy!