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Latest News Tag: Special Needs

April 7, 2017

Why One Couple Chose to Adopt a Child with Special Needs

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Dear Lifesong, “Conlan, come hooooome!” our 4-year-old son, Lachlan, cried out for months. And now, he is. Conlan made us into a family of four in April 2016 and we are so thankful for the Lord’s provision in our journey to and through adoption. Lachlan was actually one of the catalysts in our pursuit of special needs adoption. Born with a rare brain malformation and muscular dystrophy, his intrinsic value, no matter how long his list of diagnoses grows, is God-breathed, and we are joyful and thankful for his life. We wanted to be family for another child whose needs might be considered daunting, knowing that it’s not by our own strength that we forge through uncharted seas. And while we know the real journey has only begun, we are so grateful that Conlan is finally home. He’s a nurturing, silly, observant 3-year-old who fits so well with our family. … Continue reading

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March 31, 2017

The Impact of an Unexpected Meeting

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God’s hand was all over our journey to Hezekiah. I can barely contain the tears of gratefulness when I reflect on any part of it. When my husband and I became aware of this particular situation involving special needs, we had that peace that surpasses understanding. It wasn’t that we didn’t see or understand all of the potential medical problems or developmental challenges; we saw those, but– God’s grace was sufficient in our weakness, just as He promised it would be. When we looked at the $35,000 agency fee and knew we didn’t have enough money, we trusted that God would either provide us the miraculous outpouring of funds or He would give us the self-discipline and wisdom to pay off the debt. An Unexpected Meeting The day we found out his mother wanted us to be his forever family we sent an email to all of our family and friends … Continue reading

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March 8, 2017

A Word to the Weary Mom

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Dear weary mom, Today is International Women’s Day, but I don’t expect you to know that since you spent your morning rushing around trying to prod your children to eat their breakfast or get ready for school. (Whoever invented the phrase “herding cats” never had children. “Herding children” needs no fancy idiom.) After a drive across town–in which you answered a dozen questions on deep subjects requiring more than simple soundbites–you sent your kids into the clutches of their familiar morning routine, breathing out a prayer for their safety. You smell faintly of peanut butter or tears, depending on the day (or hour!), but no matter. You worry, instead, about your sensitive child who wears his global development delays on his sleeve, and you hope the other kids in his life tread lightly today. You’re tired, and I understand.   So, about today. Today is supposed to be a global day for celebrating the social, economic, cultural, … Continue reading

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October 14, 2016

A Letter to YOU from an Adoptive Family

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It didn’t take us long to realize this letter was actually written to you. With all our hearts to the Lifesong family– We brought our sweet boy home forever last December and arrived in Texas on Christmas Eve, after praying for a solid year that he would be home in time for Christmas 2015. What a journey it has been over the last 9 months! As with all adoptions, there are many things families cannot predict, and our story is no different. We had prepared, read, attended conferences and spent time with adoptive families discussing attachment and bonding, anticipating this to be the most challenging aspect to our adoption journey. Although there was a definite and deep grieving period for Titus after leaving the foster parents that had cared for him from the time he was 8 months old until we took custody at 3 years, his bonding to our family has been amazingly smooth … Continue reading

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August 24, 2016

How to Handle the Grief You Feel for Your Child

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You’ve probably been down this road before: Your child suffers from extreme depression, hurts others, or makes decisions that are against everything your family holds true. It causes unimaginable grief. How do you handle the extreme emotions you feel, while making sure your children are taken care of? I stand in my kitchen, early on a Monday morning, coffee in hand, feeling sad. It’s been a tough 8 months. We thought bringing our son home from residential treatment would be a good thing. It’s been an uphill climb ever since. But not just between us and him. Our other children have gone through secondary trauma. Our younger children are on edge all the time, and another child deals with major depression. So I stand in my kitchen, as morning dawns, and grieve. I grieve my son’s behavior. I grieve his birth mother’s choice to use drugs and drink throughout her pregnancy … Continue reading

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August 17, 2016

3 Things to Consider: Answering Questions about Our Kids

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Insensitive comments from people who are unfamiliar with children from hard places are nothing new in the adoption community. Following up on last week’s gentle plea for tact, here are 3 things to consider when talking about the children in our care: Whether or not we are speaking to our children, we are speaking to our children. Our kids hear what we say to other people about them, and our answers often have a greater capacity for harm or good than the questions posed by strangers. When the tactless shopper in the grocery store asks about the way our child walks or talks, answer the stranger believing the child is listening and understanding every word. Specifically, questions that begin with, “What is wrong with …” can easily be answered with “Nothing. (S)he is fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).” Just because the personal question is asked doesn’t mean we need to respond with personal information. When someone inquires about … Continue reading

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August 10, 2016

What We Call Our Kids: A Gentle Plea for Tact

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5 years ago today, my husband and I met our son for the first time. He was wearing a girl’s shirt and receiving a breathing treatment when I first laid eyes on him. Truthfully, I needed the oxygen in that moment. He took my breath away and has continued to do so with every milestone reached and every goal achieved. The list of what he has overcome in his 9 years of life is astronomical, and I suspect he is just getting started. So the first time I heard someone here in the U.S. refer to him as “a special needs,” I was taken aback. A special needs what? He’s not a category–he’s my boy. I called my mom (because even in my 30s, I need her to talk straight with me), and as soon as she picked up the phone I blurted, “Is Andrew a special needs?” Only when she answered, “He’s Andrew,” did I allow myself … Continue reading

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