when i hear the phrase ‘special needs adoption’, even though i know what it means, i immediately think of a situation where a child has a severe mental or physical disability. and then i think about my kids and the fact that in the adoption world, they were considered special needs. how did they qualify as special needs?
they are a minority.
they are a sibling group.
they’re old. or at least one of them was at the time they were placed for adoption.
i know these things. know them. yet, they still break my heart.
we attended an informational meeting, for our second adoption, a few weeks ago at our local children’s services agency. they reviewed special needs adoption. they reminded me that because my children are a combination of two skin colors, they were considered special needs. they reminded me that because my children have siblings, who were adopted together, they were considered special needs. they reminded me that my sweet girl, close to being 5 years old when she was put on adoptive status, was considered special needs.
why? because not many people want to, or are willing to, adopt a child who doesn’t share their same skin color. because not many people are willing to adopt more than one child at a time (3 kids at once is after all an instant family). because a 5 year old is too old-too damaged, too exposed, too difficult to parent and love.
the thought that no one would have wanted my girl, because of her age, i can hardly stand. the thought that no one would have wanted my three loves because they are three loves, i can hardly stand. the thought that no one would have wanted my three loves because of the color of their skin, i can hardly stand.
God called us to say yes anyway. and what we said yes to, turned out to be full of special needs that weren’t based on skin color, or age, or multiple children. instead the effects of abuse and neglect took over. ADHD became part of our normal language. epileptic seizures set in.
what if we would have said no? no because their skin is a different color than ours. no because of age. no because there are three of them. what if we would have said no?