Why special needs?

I can feel it.  That same excitement I had back in ’04-’05 when we felt like it wouldn’t be too terribly long, and we would see Emma’s sweet face.  This time, after waiting 2 1/2 years and being so consumed with LIFE that it was easy to forget that we even had a dossier logged in, waiting in line in China for little Trubey #3, it finally feels like just maybe, things could be picking up some momentum.  Healthy infant adoptions haven’t stopped, but they have slowed dramatically since we brought home sweet Emma girl.   The process was swift and predictable, and when we got home we waited the requisite year before beginning the great paperchase again.  Life was busy but I forged ahead with my box-checking mania, tracking each document on the tracking sheet through all the authentications needed but not in a rush, per se.  Our dossier was officially logged into the system in October of 2006.  Unfortunately by then,  the China adoption community had begun to hear the screech of brakes on all fronts as the whole process had all but ground to a halt, and the process that took 6 months with Emma is now looking like it could take until 2012 for us.  Keep in mind, we’ve already waited 2 1/2 years.  Did I mention that already???

SO, we started looking at the special needs program.  It was a little scary to us…what would we be dealing with?  Could we handle it?  Every time I dipped my toe in the water, it felt uncomfortable for the longest time.  Honestly, I was afraid.  Of unknowns, of knowns I couldn’t accept…I had my pat answers…we have enough special needs and challenges to deal with on the home front.  Yet, as time went on, I kept feeling the draw to investigate the program through our agency more and more.  We wouldn’t lose our “place in line”, just open our options (our hearts?) to the possibilities of a much speedier referral, and all because we were willing to consider a child with possibly a need that WAS something we could “handle”, whatever that meant.  The pull became stronger and stronger that this was something we needed to pursue.  I spent hours online reading stories, becoming informed, and the pictures…oh, the pictures.  But I think the moment I remember God just telling me, “Ann, go for it,” was this year on Martin Luther King Day–January 19th, of all places, in my rather messy closet.  I’d been mulling this over in my mind pretty much constantly for weeks, when I felt him impressing upon me, “Ann, YOU were special needs.” I couldn’t believe it.  How simple.  My illustrious kindergarten career was interrupted midyear by a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s disease.  Cancer.  A 50/50 chance of survival back around 1970.  And yet here I am, blessed enough to be happily married 20 years,  considering adopting our third child, I’ve earned a Master’s degree, 22 years of teaching under my belt, friends and family and hobbies…I’m leading a full life, I’d say.  God has been good to me, despite my close brush with death, despite the hours I spent looking up at my mother’s worried face as she tried to smile and tell me everything was OK.  The same face, waving to me through the tiny window as I had those daily radiation treatments that probably saved my life but also took away my ability to have children.  Yes, I’m special needs.  And I guess Jeff would be too.  His parents spent many terrifying hours watching him struggle just to breathe as he suffered severe childhood asthma.  They were missionaries in a foreign country, trying medications that gave him horrible nightmares and hallucinations–they would sit him up on the kitchen counter  and try to wake him out of his night terrors brought on by these medications…yes, he was special needs, too.  So on January 20, 2009, we sent in our application to the special needs program at America World.

The truth is, that despite the fact that most of us escape the delivery room without the label “special needs” being placed upon us because we ace the 10 fingers/10 toes test beautifully, and we may even earn a perfect APGAR score, we are all special needs in the eyes of our Maker.  We have gaping holes in our hearts that would stump the most gifted cardiologist.  Holes that won’t let us accept less than perfection…in others, and often times in ourselves.  I’ve struggled with this all my life, my greatest victim being myself.  So, I’m working on this.  And I’m not so worried anymore about what we can or can’t “handle”, because God knows, HE can handle it, and that’s all I need to know. We can’t wait to meet you, our sweet little one.  We love you already.  Your not-so-perfect mommy and daddy.


Published in: on February 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow. Can’t say more than that.

  2. Beautiful post! I just wrote one very similar to this yesterday! Well…about being fearful. Know that you are not alone and every doubt or fear that you may feel is felt by all of us on this crazy road of adopting “special needs”. We adopted Karleigh Mei this past December…and a more prefect child for our family could not have been picked. I’m so happy I let the Lord do the picking! 🙂 Praying you see your darling girl’s face soon!

    Jenn (AWAA family)

  3. I’m so excited! So happy for you!

  4. Guess I’m kinda late to this blog thing, but am very blessed by your musings, Ann. . . We can’t WAIT to see our precious little Owen Li Trubey! Yesterday was supposed to be “gotcha day.” Though we haven’t heard yet, you guys have all been in our prayers, and those of others in our lives as well. God is amazing! What a plan He has for this baby, to provide him with such loving family : D What a plan He has for this family, to provide us with this perfect little baby, perfect for our special needs, as we will, by His grace, be perfect for his. . . You guys are all loved mucho (Mommyism for the day)

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