Some Parts Of Our Kids Are On a Need To Know Basis

One part of adopting a child with a history of abuse and neglect is that there are times when you need to discuss it. My oldest son Steve was taken from his biological mother when she was arrested while using him to shop lift; he was only 2 when he was put in foster care. There are a few things that you need to know about Steve the first, he has epilepsy. His epilepsy is controlled in the aspect that you do not see him falling on the floor in a seizure but when they run his annual EEG they … Continue reading

Special Needs Adoption

As you may remember one part of the adoption application was to consider what type of child you would consider. You may think that is an easy question, it is actually one of the most complex questions. When you hear the term special needs adoption you may automatically think of a child who has physical disabilities. While children with physical disabilities are special needs children there is also many other conditions or circumstances that would make the child a special needs child. Some of the other reasons that a child may be labeled as special needs are: • If they … Continue reading

Giving an adopted child back

Tom told me a story the other day about a family who started the process of adopting a child from foster care and then ultimately decided to give that child back to the foster care system. There are situations where it might be appropriate to back out of an adoption, there may be times when there is no other choice available and parents have to (hopefully reluctantly) change their minds. I try not to judge, adopting a child is difficult, stressful, highly emotional, and deeply personal, but… this particular story was really disturbing to me. Apparently the parents were very … Continue reading


My daughters, while very intelligent, are experiencing some learning issues, especially with language. Language-based learning differences seem to be quite common among adopted children, as I noted in a previous blog. I remember hearing parents of kids with special needs say that the disappointments and hardships seemed small compared to the joy they had in their kids, or similar sentiments. I confess I thought these parents were not being entirely truthful. I thought, of course you love the child, but the limitations still must be disappointing. Now I think I know what they meant. It really surprised me when a … Continue reading

Deaf Adoption – Interview With a Parent

Here is a recent interview that I did with Robyn who adopted Josephine, age 8, from Liberia. Q: What made you decide to adopt a deaf child? A: I had asked about adopting a deaf child only because we were told that many were deaf as the result of illness and could be helped by different procedures/meds. in the US. The deaf child referred to us had been deaf since birth, so this did not apply to her! Through much prayer, we arrived at the conclusion that this was what the Lord wanted us to do. It was a very … Continue reading

Special Needs Adoption – Deaf and Hard of Hearing

For today’s Special Needs Adoption Awareness blog I want to talk about a special need that has become very near to my heart. Most of you already know that Laney is deaf. What you may not know is how much I wrestled with adopting a deaf child. When we committed to adopt Laney we knew no sign language and no deaf people. We knew nothing about hearing aides or deaf education either. I often would sit and imagine Laney being home and wonder if I would even be able to talk to her. What if we never got past the … Continue reading

Second Grade is Too Young to Become a Hairdresser

Warning: Rant follows. Aaargggh! There, I feel better now. Sort of. What is it, you ask? Well, the short answer is…my mother. I know that’s not terribly original. I don’t even have that much to complain about. My mother really loves my kids. And even though she sends me newspaper clippings on tragic accidents that can happen to children when their parents aren’t careful, I know (though my husband may not believe it) how many times she restrains herself. So what happened? I was the one who started out worrying this time. My mother is a retired teacher. She specialized … Continue reading

“Last Chance Ranch”

There are many residential treatment programs for troubled children and teens, ranging from inpatient psychiatric units to wilderness adventures to boot camps. But to my knowledge, there is only one which is specifically focused on international adoptees. The Seattle Times recently ran a story, reported by Bonnie Miller Rubin of the Chicago Tribune, about The Ranch for Kids, a ranch in rural Montana currently housing 24 children who will stay for about six to twelve months. Some of these children have molested other children, stolen, vandalized and set fires. Most of them have fetal alcohol syndrome, a mental illness, or … Continue reading

When Adoptions Don’t Work Out

No one wants to talk about it—not adoptive parents who know how wonderful adoption can be, not prospective parents who desperately want to believe that love will conquer all, not professionals whose reputations and self-image are based on facilitating the happily-ever-after family. Adoptions that don’t work out are a small percentage of adoptions . However, they can represent ten to twenty percent of older-child adoptions (different agencies define “older child” differently when keeping statistics. I believe it generally refers to children over age seven.) Adoptions of older children are ten to twenty percent more likely to eventually disrupt than adoptions … Continue reading

Is it Okay to be Choosy? Part Two

My last blog introduced the topic of balancing wanting to adopt a child who really needs you with wanting to adopt a healthy child or a child who can do things you’ve always dreamed of doing with him or her. Adoption should be a mutually beneficial arrangement. In some cases, material assistance to the birthmother or an international child sponsorship agreement may be a better option. In other cases, a stable home life will not be possible with the birth family even with assistance. Adoption should mutually benefit the adoptive parents and child by allowing the parents to have joy … Continue reading