Yes, we are choosing to adopt a child with a medical need. Crazy, but this was not the hardest decision we've made in this process. I think getting to the decision just to adopt was the hardest decision. When God called us to adopt, we very quickly began to feel this was part of His calling. At this point we don't know what that medical need will be, and we do hope and pray that whatever the need is it will be something we can eventually overcome through therapy or medical assistance. We have heard many stories on both ends of a medical mis-diagnosis; we pray we will end up on the right end of one of these, but we are also preparing ourselves to follow God no matter what. When and if the time is right I will one day blog about whatever medical need we are facing, but until God calls us to share that info we may be a little private about it to protect our child.
Just adopting an orphan from another country brings so many hurdles and obstacles to get over, and we can only prepare as much as we can before hand (we realize this is not going to be a piece of cake). We also know that God does not make mistakes, and He calls us to love and look after EVERY orphan.
Because our twins were almost 6 weeks early we needed a lot of help through physical, occupational, and speech therapy. The first 2 years of the boys' lives were hard and at times very challenging, but we got through it and now you wouldn't even know how hard we all struggled at times. The boys are growing and doing so well in school that we sometimes forget where we once were.
When we are reminded of those times with our boys, it makes us so sad to think how many people wanting to adopt would have passed them over just because they weren't the typical picture of a "perfect" child. When we found out how many children are placed on this medical list with some very minor or correctable needs (lazy eye, birthmark, premature birth, missing digits, need of braces for club foot, or a surgery they have already had, ect.) and their odds of ever being chosen because of being placed on this list, it was a no-brainer.
Let me say that we 100% know that this is what God led us to, and in no way believe this is for everyone wanting to adopt. There are SO MANY children in this world who need a forever home to call theirs, so if we all went this route then we would have thousands of healthy children waiting on some list. However, that being said, we have become huge advocates for the ones others might pass by without realizing the truth behind the list. In the end God calls all of us to help these children in some way (James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..), but it's between you and God which path is right for you and your family. For everyone it will look different.
A lot of people may think we are crazy for choosing this path; but that would mean we are crazy for obeying and following God. I think the hardest thing has been telling people (the few who have had to know this far, or trying it out on perfect strangers)and watching their faces light up when we tell them we are adopting, but then watching their face change when we tell them we are choosing a child off of the medical list.
The other hard thing to swallow is everyone has a story to tell; and good or bad (mostly bad), they are going to share their story whether we like it or not (oh, how UNencouraging this is). I know they are trying to help, or just don't know what to say. What they don't realize is that we have become very educated on the matter through adoption training, visiting with therapists, doctors, and friends who have already walked the path before us. Really all we want or need is support, prayers, and some encouragement to keep going.
We have learned that everyone's story is different and to just take their stories with a grain of salt; but sometimes too much salt can be unhealthy and taste very bitter. I cringe that one day people will say these things in front of our adopted child (yes, aparently it happens way more than I'd like to think). :( In the meantime we will try to extend a little grace, and get our key responses ready (just like we did when we had twins) and move forward through yet one more crazy part of this journey.
We begin telling family and friends soon, and we feel a little nervous about it. We do realize this decission does not just effect us, and we have also had a lot more time to process this...Bitter Sweet, but I think we are finally ready.