In my last post I talked about the struggles we faced with infertility, failed adoption attempts and the blessings that were intertwined. We do not always understand God’s plan for us or where he is trying to lead us, but we have faith in His plan. Even in the midst of His reconstruction of our cottage, we were blessed. One of these blessings came from a friend’s e-mail.
An e-mail, only a few sentences long, changed our lives. Our friend revealed that she was feeling prompted by the Spirit to attach a link to a child. She confessed that she don’t know if we would consider adopting a child with special needs, but she felt like she needed to share it with us.
Over the years, I have perused several adoption websites. Jason and I had talked about adopting an older child but it had never come to fruition. This was different though, it felt different. My friend’s e-mail had opened up another possibility, special needs adoption. I had never desired to adopt a child with special needs. It was a challenge I did not want or desire. Yet, the Spirit touched my heart and I felt a pull to do a bit of research.
I enjoy research and spent several weeks exploring websites on special needs adoptions, medical sites and various adoption programs. Previously, we had dismissed international adoption due to the high cost and red tape involved. Most people are shocked to find out that you can spend $30-$45,000 per adoption. In addition to the cost, it is not uncommon for a country to require a stay of 4 to 6 weeks or have multiple trips. Despite our previous disregard of international adoption, I was feeling drawn to the orphaned children in China, with special needs. My research had shown us the plight of these precious children, most have no future ahead of them. Many of their needs were manageable, minor or something that Americans would never consider “special needs.” Yet there was a tremendous need for families, open to adopting a child with special needs.
With every large decision Jason and I face, we pray about. We took our concerns to the Lord. We prayed about it together and individually. We spent time pondering and weighing the possibilities. To our surprise, we both felt good about adopting a child internationally, specifically one with special needs. This was foreign to any of our expectations, but is seemed like the right path to choose. I wanted to believe that Heavenly Father was leading us in this journey, but I still had my doubts. In the past, hope often turned into heartache and we have been disappointed more times than I could count. The Spirit had touched my heart, but I was still worried. How would we afford it? How would we deal with a child or children with special needs? What about our dreams and expectations? Is this really what Heavenly Father had planned for us? Can we actually do this?
As I talked about my concerns with our friend, who had sent the e-mail. She asked two questions. “Do you think Heavenly Father would ever tell you to not provide a loving home to a child that needs one? Do you think He desires them to have a mother and father, to love and care for them?” Obviously, he desires all of His children to have loving parents. She continued, “if you are willing, God will provide the way.”
God had answered our prayers with a friend’s insights and conversation. Doubt vanished. Light filled my heart and mind saying, yes, we can do this. It was not the life we were expecting and it was the biggest leap of faith we had ever made. There were many challenges along the way, but one year after that conversation, we brought our sons home. They have been the greatest blessing in our lives. I never imagined that I would be raising children with special needs, it is hard, but well worth it. Our Father in Heaven has blessed us with all that we need, to raise His beautiful sons. We thought we were happy in our little cottage, but he has expanded that home. It has been painful at times, even overwhelming. But as C.S. Lewis pointed out, God was building a palace, not a cottage.
CLICK HERE to watch a message from Shanon’s boys, it will melt your heart.
Read more about Shanon’s Journey on her blog.
Click HERE to read another Story written by Shanon, “Infertility, Failed adoptions, Heartache, and Blessings”
Story written by: Shanon
This story appeared first on Real Imprints.