Friday, February 25, 2011

"Special Needs" child no more

The label "special needs" when it comes to children can have a wide variety of meanings. There are some needs that are temporary and quite simple and then there are some that are permanent and quite complicated. And to be quite honest, don't ALL kids have some kind of "special need or needs"? Some have allergies, some have ear problems, some are "needy" and demanding, some have discipline issues, get the point.In the adoption world the label Special Needs Kids, now better known as Waiting Children, are the kids that are harder to place because of some physical or mental disability and also because they are just plain older, healthy but older. Xin was on the Special Needs/Waiting Child list. He was born with VSD (a hole in a portion of his heart) and a cleft lip/palate. I worried about both these "needs" before we got him. I knew we would have cardio visits and maybe even restricted physical limitations and even the possibility of another heart surgery. I fully expected to spend hours over the next several decades in speech therapy seeing that his lip and palate were not repaired until he was 3 and then the palate was not repaired correctly to top it off. Well, as you know, the cardiologist cleared him...PERFECT heart he said, no need to come back. Xin's surgery on his palate this past September was extremely successful, thanks to the great Dr. Yu. He is currently taking private speech therapy once a week. I had a meeting to discuss Xin's plan with the school system yesterday and they sat in amazement. They looked at his 2 evaluations done in May and then just a few weeks ago......he scored too high! There was nothing they could do for him. He needs nothing they can offer him. The sounds he is struggling with are all age appropriate and his cognitive grasp of the English language is above that of most kids his age. They MARVELED at his progress. So we will NOT receive FREE speech from the county school system because he is NOT classified as a "special needs" child or a child with a disability. WOW! 9 months. Just 9 months is all it took. His "special need" was truly the fact he had no family and he lived in an institution. I realize NOT EVERY child's story is like this and we are tremendously blessed, humbled and thankful that Xin's was this simple and short-lived. But my point to anyone considering adoption of a child labeled "special needs", is that a lot of these so-called "needs" are very manageable. Please don't let a label scare you. God placed this child on this earth and with our family. He gave Xin quite a spirit for life and I am sure He has quite a purpose for him. I am so glad I was given the privilege of being his mother and watching him grow into the person God meant for him to be. This little guy has taught me a WHOLE lot!!!!! I love you Xin and you are "special" to me regardless of your "needs" or lack thereof.

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