China “Special needs” adoption

Just over a year ago Caleb and I filled out an adoption application with our agency online for the China “special needs” program.
That term can be scary and may sway some from adopting from China because of it. We knew through talking to others, and our own research that a “special need” in China is not necessarily what we consider it to be in the USA. It could simply be as minor as a birthmark in the “wrong place”, or low birth weight. (How many of us could be considered special needs then?!)

When we applied, we had to go through a “medical checklist” and basically check off what medical conditions we thought we would be able to comfortably handle as a family. Then we had to say to what varying degree, major to minor.

It was crazy tough, and we had to look up lots of terms.
It was hard for me not to think of each of these conditions as precious kids who needed families regardless of there physical need.. But we also had to be realistic. We did the best we could to check off parts of different categories. For us, most of the conditions we checked off were minor conditions.
In November, just a few weeks after completing the necessary paperwork, we received the referral of our precious Reese.
She was reported as having a medical condition that was not even listed on the check list. “Left lower limb dysplasia”. The term, as well as the medical charts, were very vague, but despite the lack of information, we knew from the second we opened her file and saw her face, that she was ours. We just felt it.
There were times of worry in the waiting, and a lot of “what ifs”, but we had peace in knowing that God had picked us for one another and he was in control.
Although we received updates, we knew we wouldn’t really know the extent of her condition until we met her, and maybe not fully until we had her home and she had been seen by a doctor.
But that didn’t matter. She was our daughter, and we would do anything and everything we could to provide what she would need. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. Just like we already do for our other two daughters.
Reese is so teeny and is a little delayed developmentally. Completely normal for children who have lived in an orphanage at some time in their life. I am so thankful that she was placed with a foster family after she was matched to us. The orphanage worker who was there on “gotcha day” said that Reese improved so much in her development in just the short 4 months she was away from the orphanage with her foster family. Her leg developed the muscle tone that it was lacking.
She is doing so great, you cannot even tell that she has ever had anything “wrong” with her leg. Even our guide who has been with us the whole time in Guangzhou had assumed she was on the “non special needs” list, and was surprised when Caleb told him she was in fact listed as “special needs.” He then showed him the scar on her left leg.

I noticed it on gotcha day and asked the nanny about it right away.
The orphanage nanny said it was prob from the brace she wore on her leg… 🙁
Ok, fine but it shouldn’t have scarred her.
My poor baby:(
This is the hardest part. It hurts my heart to think about the time before we were together. We couldn’t be there to comfort her when she was wearing the leg brace that caused that scar… It makes me cry those hard sobs that come from way deep within.
BUT the Lord watched over her, of this I am sure. He wrapped his presence around her little body when we couldn’t wrap our arms around her. He knew and saw our daughters face way before we set eyes on her.
She has always been with him. He has never left her side.
And now, finally, we have her in our arms. We can’t even believe she’s really ours!! We are so lucky!!!
Today we had to get her picture taken for her visa and she had a basic medical check up.


She did not like any of it. It was so sad 🙁 She screamed in a way we had not ever seen her do before. Our guide said said she was a “fighter” and she had strong lungs. LOL

So glad We are now here to comfort her.
When it came time to fill out the medical form we marked “special needs”, BUT she is in no way shape or form even close to having a “special need”. Her only need was her family.


Do they have a box to check for amazing or perfect? Because that would be a way more accurate description. 🙂


One thought on “China “Special needs” adoption

  1. Shelia Grossholz

    Absolutely beautiful.
    Prayers for a safe journey home.
    Need pictures of Reese when she is finally home and in room.


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