Internationally Adopted Children with Special Needs

“We didn’t ever anticipate that were going to have ten children. It’s just that they’re ours, “James said. Four of those children are adopted and have disabilities, also not in the plans.

The adopted children came from Kazakhstan, China, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have Reye’s Syndrome or Down Syndrome and have added so much joy to their family.

“The blessing they’ve been in our lives has been enormous and we just needed them home.” James’ and Jennifer’s children with disabilities have their own difficulties, but in many ways they are less difficult than some of their children without disabilities.

Dealing with Loss of Children with Special Needs

One of their adoption journeys proved to be particularly painful, but profoundly fulfilling. Jennifer knew the moment she saw Jacob that he was theirs – after further research she was surprised to find out he had Down syndrome.

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. Those silent weeks were excruciating for Jennifer and her family.

Finally, they received word that Jacob had recovered and was ready to come to America. He went through brain surgery shortly after arriving to the United States. From there the family was blessed with two wonderful years together, with Jacob. Then Jacob had a serious stroke and three days later, he passed away in his mother’s arms.

“That was by far the most difficult thing I have ever done,” Jennifer said. “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 says 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, and that’s not just lip service. Truly special abilities that have blessed our lives more than I can begin to say.”

Jennifer said, these children with special needs know what’s most important in life and really understand happiness. They naturally have many talents and capabilities that do not come so easily to others.

This family know to truly love, care for, and raise children with special abilities means to be blessed to be in the presence of angels.

Questions when adopting children with Special Needs

Parents who want to adopt but aren’t sure, James encourages them to look deeper. Of course the cost of adoption is high—especially from a foreign country—is expensive, but adopting a child is infinitely more valuable than any material possession anyone would spend the same amount of money on. Jennifer says she knows every child has a forever family whether it’s their own or an adoptive family.

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