A Checkmark on the Adoption Form

Yes, No, Maybe



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:
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags

MomSpeak Contributors

Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun
Chris Bernholdt, DadNCharge
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
Mara Gorman, The Mother of All Trips
Stephanie Glover, A Grande Life
Erin Flynn Jay, Mastering the Mommy Track
Brie Latini, ( . . . a breezy life)
Lisa Lightner, A Day in Our Shoes
Kathryn M. Martin, Mamacado
Trina O'Boyle, O’Boy! Organic
Kelly Raudenbush, My Overthinking
Lindsey Schuster, Sisters to Sons
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 parenting blogger and would like to contribute to MomSpeak, please e-mail editor@metrokids.com.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags


MK Memo

MK Memo: Moms Know
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Coming to Philadephia

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Coming to Philadephia

Get all the details about the area's newest attraction and its grand opening!

Comments

Create Healthier Tech Habits for Kids

Create Healthier Tech Habits for Kids

Get your kids' tech use under control and teach them to to police it better themselves

Comments

Tips for Great Dental Hygiene

Tips for Great Dental Hygiene

Follow these helpful guidelines to ensure healthy teeth and proper dental hygiene practices for your kids.

Comments

Cirque du Soleil’s New Avatar-based Show Comes to Philly

Cirque du Soleil’s New Avatar-based Show Comes to Philly

The world of Pandora comes to life on stage!

Comments

Mom Com Comeback

Mom Com Comeback

Adult coloring books are all the rage. Harried moms will appreciate the humor in this new coloring book from a former MetroKids cartoonist!

Comments

Edit ModuleShow Tags


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
You're The Reason Mommy Drinks

You're The Reason Mommy Drinks

Are we giving our kids the wrong impression about alcohol by joking about its role in parenting?

Comments


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Fun With FAFSA

Fun With FAFSA

If you have a student who's preparing for college, and you're applying for financial aid, this post may sound eerily familiar.

Comments


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
31 Daily Habits to Get and Stay Organized

31 Daily Habits to Get and Stay Organized

Gradually add one or two tips to your routine for a more organized home and life!

Comments

 

{/if}