Internationally Adopted Children with Special Needs
Jennifer and James did not plan on adopting four children with disabilities, but the call to do so came from within. James said, “We didn’t ever anticipate that were going to have ten children. It’s just that they’re ours. The blessing they’ve been in our lives has been enormous and we just needed them home.”
This wonderful couple has brought into their family children from Kazakhstan, China, and The Democratic Republic of Congo. Each of these precious little ones have a disability such as Reye’s Syndrome or Down Syndrome and have added so much joy to their family.
James’ and Jennifer’s children with disabilities have difficulties based on their own circumstances, but their love for them overcomes any challenge. Their children are being reared in a home that can allow them to grow. Jennifer believes that every child has a forever family whether it’s their own or an adoptive family. She takes the role of being their mother seriously and keeps it close to her heart.
Jennifer strongly encourages other parents who desire to adopt to do so.While acknowledging that the cost of adoption—especially from a foreign country—is expensive, she knows that adopting a child is infinitely more valuable than any material possession anyone would spend the same amount of money on.
Dealing with Loss of Children with Special Needs
When Jennifer and James began the journey of adopting their son, Jacob, Jennifer was surprised to find out that Jacob had Down Syndrome. However, she knew instantly that he was supposed to be hers. When they were ready to bring him home from China, there were complications. He had a seizure right around Chinese New Year. For weeks they waited to hear news about what had happened. The love they had developed even before they adopted was evident when Jennifer mentioned how hard those silent weeks were.
Finally, they received word that Jacob had recovered and was ready to come to America. He went through brain surgery shortly after arriving here. Blessed with two wonderful years together, they loved Jacob as their own. Then Jacob had a serious stroke. After three days, he passed away in his mother’s arms.
“That was by far the most difficult thing I have ever done,” Jennifer said with tender emotion. “…to hold my son as he took his last breath. But having not been able to be there when he took his first, I was grateful that I was able to be there with him.”
Children with Special Needs have Special Abilities to Love
James strongly believes that children with disabilities have a unique gift to love. The amount of happiness felt not only by his wife and him, but also their other kids, has dramatically increased since they’ve adopted children with disabilities.
“The light and joy that they bring us is immense,” James said, “and this is true with each one of our children. They have their own unique traits and their own unique abilities. But with those things that the world would call special needs, they come as a total package, and with those special needs have come special abilities, not just lip service. Truly special abilities that have blessed our lives more than I can begin to say.”
Jennifer also spoke about how these children with special needs know what’s most important in life and understand the concept of happiness. They naturally possess many talents and capabilities that do not come so easily to others.
Jennifer and James show what it truly means to love, care for, and raise children with special abilities. They get to show the world what it means to be blessed with angels.