Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Coming to terms with special needs adoption

A father's perspective continued....
It’s been a while since my last post.  I recently returned from a week away at a Christian youth camp and took another week to recover.  So I’ve missed two Wednesday posts and so much has happened in that time.  We’ve had our fingerprints scanned and we’ve collected all the remaining fragments of paperwork.  All we’re now waiting for is that final “Golden Ticket;” the final approval document from the US government.  But while we wait, I’ll back up and continue to recount my journey down this road to adopting Darya….
As I recounted in my last post…this seed of an idea had been planted in Marianne’s heart and was growing at a swift pace, in truth, at a pace far more quickly than I was prepared to handle.  As all of this was growing in her heart, I was keeping busy with work.  But working from home I was witnessing her growing attachment to the children on the Reece’s Rainbow website, and her small donations to the efforts of others in their adoption fundraising campaigns.  Over the next few months we had several heart to heart conversations about the prospect of adopting a special needs child, and my answer was always the same: “I’m not opposed to the idea, but we’re not ready, and we certainly cannot afford it.”
In the meanwhile pictures of orphans from Reece’s Rainbow began to be magnetically attached to our fridge, and we began to use these pictures as prayer cards.  The boys all memorized the names and faces of the kids and began to pray simple but beautiful prayers for these beautiful children.  The prayer always went something like this… “Lord I pray for ________ and ask that you would give them a loving Christian family.”
Now perhaps it was hearing my children pray for these kids, or perhaps it was the fact that I had begun to pray for my wife to have patience with me, or perhaps it was the fact that I had begun to look at the pictures of the waiting children on Reece’s Rainbow myself.  In any case, I was beginning to come to terms with, and even felt a desire for special needs adoption growing in my own heart.  I still felt like we were not ready, but “we’re not ready” became “let’s start a plan so that we can get ourselves ready over the next several years.” 
So it was that we formulated “the plan.”  Among our chief concerns was the cost of the adoption itself and the desire to be financially ready to bring a special needs child into our home.  We decided that the only way we would be able to get to where we felt we needed to be was if Marianne went back to school. Marianne had finished an AA degree at a bible college but that was not going to assist us in any kind of liberal arts program.  As we began to think about the options before us we decided that a degree in nursing would be the best option.  Living in Gainesville where the town revolves around its University and hospitals we knew that there would always be work available.  Besides that, nursing had the added benefit of having some overlap with our desire to adopt a child with special needs.  We figured it would take some 5 years to complete the program at a part time rate, but it was a first step in achieving our goal.  So in the Spring Marianne signed up for her first class: College Algebra. 
Little did we know at that time, that the Lord was about to turn our 5 year plan into an 8 month plan…

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