What Are Special Needs?

Today, Roger and I are going to meet with our pediatrician to discuss “special needs”.  As I said before, we are considering a child with special needs, but the list of “special needs” is so extensive and so broad that we felt we needed to talk with a medical professional to better understand what goes along with each one.

Right now, we feel that with three small children (2, 4, and 6) we would be able to best handle a special need that is either treatable through surgery, or through daily medication.

With that said, the list is long and varied.  “Special needs” can be anything from orthopedic problems, to heart defects, to cleft lip and cleft palate, to HIV and sickle cell.  But, an older child is also considered special needs, as is a child who is malnourished.

We feel incredibly blessed to be under the care of our pediatrician.  Not only is he an amazing doctor, but he also happens to be a family friend, and an incredible man of God.  He even attended the Empowered to Connect Conference that we went to a few weeks ago, so he can better understand attachment issues that he sees in his patients who are adopted.  He has been a wonderful resource for us with our first three children, and we know he will continue to help us care for #4 with wisdom, kindness and compassion.

I know some people think we are taking on more than we can handle with a special needs child, but Roger and I are convinced that God has blessed us with the resources and most importantly HIS POWER, and we know he will provide for us as we care for our next child.

It’s amazing how God prepares us for what He’s going to ask us to do, sometimes well in advance and without telling us why.  I remember being pregnant with each of my children and praying for their health and asking God to protect them and knit them together in my womb.  Each of my children was blessed to be born without any “special needs”.  However, I clearly remember wondering, why is it that there are so many children in the world with defects and severe medical issues, and yet I have these three healthy children?  And I also remember thinking, if one of them had been born with a defect or medical issue, would I love them any less?  And the answer was OF COURSE NOT!

So how do we look at a list 6 pages long of “special needs” and choose which ones we are willing to accept and which ones we are not?  It is by the grace of God that we answer that question.  And I’ve been around enough adoptions to know that we may leave a box “unchecked” and God may somehow check that box!

Please continue to pray for us as we make these important decisions!



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