Available Now
MetroKids
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print
May 2, 2014
08:11 AM
MomSpeak

A Checkmark on the Adoption Form

A Checkmark on the Adoption Form

MomSpeaker Kelly Raudenbush, founder of The Sparrow Fund, has spent a great deal of time traveling through China in recent years, supporting children in orphanages waiting to be adopted as well as their would-be parents. Here, she calls attention to the pitfalls of the impersonal adoption form as well as to children who need a home yet have a special needs designation that just might keep them from a family who wants them.

Neatly laid out in Times New Roman in alphabetical order are a list of labels, special needs, what China calls diseases.

Albinism . . . Anal atresia . . . Cerebral palsy . . . Cleft lip/cleft palate. . . Club foot . . . Congenital heart disease . . . Delayed development . . . Down syndrome . . . Hemofacial macrosomia . . . Hemangioma . . . Microtia . . . Syndactyly . . .

Some of them you’ve heard of. Others you struggle to pronounce, and you wonder if they’re even in English. Little “x”s in columns with a ball-point pen seemingly have the power to determine the rest of your life.

Yes.

No.

Maybe.

Every adoption agency’s going to make you do it. And, even if it wasn’t inevitable to the adoption process, it’s important to think through. Are you willing and able to walk a child through multiple surgeries? Does your insurance company cover serial casting? Speech therapy? Prosthetics? Hearing aids? Do you live close to specialists? Can you afford to travel if you don’t? Do you feel uncomfortable about physical differences that will invite even more questions? You have to have the conversations, as uncomfortable as they are, even though they make you squirm in your seat.

He hates bananas and loves to dance.

Don’t even try to take a cracker out of this one’s hands.

She likes to ride behind a buddy on a plasma car.

She’s pretty serious except when you tickle her and blow air in her face.

They may be listed in an orderly fashion by name, birthdate, and disease on a database that your social worker can easily sort. But, do not be deceived by the order of it all. Every child listed there is very much a four-dimensional child who is way more than a special need.

Let your YESes be YESes. And, do not be afraid to let your NOs be NOs. But, maybe, just maybe, there should be more MAYBEs than anything else with a very un-neat * disclaimer handwritten on the bottom that says something like this—

We do not necessarily feel called to parent a child with this diagnosis assigned to him or her. But, we are not comfortable closing the door on the possibility that He may call us to a particular child and that that child may come with this label. So, unless you hear differently from us while we wait, consider this a MAYBE because we’re holding this whole process in our hands loosely with hearts not only willing but desiring only to do that which He’s called us to do.

Feel free to blame me if your social worker has a mini panic attack. I can take it.

But, there’s something very important you have to remember — real-life children who don’t lay neatly on a page in alphabetical order.

Kelly Raudenbush is a mother to four children and cofounder of The Sparrow Fund, a nonprofit committed to encouraging and equipping adoptive families. Learn more about her family's adoption story, how she's been changed by it and what life for as a parent to four children with all sorts of unique needs and gifts at My Overthinking.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

MomSpeak Contributors

Trish Adkins, Yoke
Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun
Stacy Heenan Biscardi, Wifty & Shifty
Hillary Chybinski, My Scraps
EJ Curran, Four Little Monsters
Darla DeMorrow, The Pregnant Entrepreneur
Rachée Fagg, Say It Rah-Shay
Raya Fagg, And Starring As Herself…MRSRFKJ
Erin Flynn Jay, Mastering the Mommy Track
Marion Kase, Helicopter-Caterpillar
Jean Ladden, Jean's Book Reviews
Brie Latini, ( . . . a breezy life)
Toni Langdon, Tickles and Time Outs
Lisa Lightner, A Day in Our Shoes
Jeanine Ludwikowski, Mommy Entourage
Jeanne McCullough, Mom Hearts Pinot
Trina O'Boyle, O’Boy! Organic
Kelly Raudenbush, My Overthinking
Sandra Telep, West Philly Mama
Marissa Kiepert Truong, Land of Once Upon a Time
Lisa Weinstein, The Mixed Up Brains of Lisa Weinstein
Shivaun Williams, Dar Liomsa (In My Opinion)
Paige Wolf, Spit That Out!

If you are a Philadelphia-area mom blogger and would like to contribute to MomSpeak, please e-mail editor@metrokids.com.

 

MK Memo

MK Memo: Moms Know
September 2014 Preview

September 2014 Preview

Back to school articles and reasons why parents need to volunteer in their kids' school

Comments

How to Apply for and Win College Scholarships

How to Apply for and Win College Scholarships

8 steps to securing scholarships for college

Comments

Promoting Self-Confidence in Kids

Promoting Self-Confidence in Kids

Promote self-confidence in kids in three easy steps.

Comments

Mom & Kids' Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Mom & Kids' Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardian of the Galaxy reviews by a mom, teen and tween (mild spoilers)

Comments

August 2014 Preview

August 2014 Preview

Preview of MK's August 2014 issue, which includes an extensive back-to-school package, and a bit about National Breastfeeding Month

Comments

MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Goodbye Summer: September Looms

Goodbye Summer: September Looms

One mom's reflection on the bittersweet nature of the end of summer

Comments

MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
A Work From Home Mom's Summer of Madness

A Work From Home Mom's Summer of Madness

A true glimpse at the life of a work at home mom of five during summer

Comments

MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Mom's Theme Park Tips: Sesame Place

Mom's Theme Park Tips: Sesame Place

A Sesame Place veteran shares her tips for saving money and getting around the PA theme park, especially with kids with special needs or sensory issues.

Comments