Adoption Not Abortion of Special Needs Children
By Tom and Sherry Bushnell - NATHHAN
• Where are the special needs children that need mommy's and daddy's hiding?
• If we cannot adopt a special needs child, how can we save a baby about to be murdered by abortion?
It doesn't take many phone calls to find out that adopting a baby or even an older child is not as easy as just taking one home and start parenting. There are all sorts of hoops to jump through here in the United States. As a missionary overseas in a third world country your home could easily be filled with the pattering of little feet without much effort at all. Medical care isn't so good....but country officials are at least grateful for your loving parenting! Bringing orphans from over seas into the United States isn't so easy. The paper work and qualifications (depending on which country you choose), can take months and even years.
Where are the handicapped babies here in the states? The answer is in heaven. No, they are not waiting to come to earth as unborn children, but murdered in the womb.
Isn't there something we can do? Yes. Are you against abortion? Thousands of parents have poured their lives into where their hearts lie. (Put their money where their mouths are in regards to pro-life.) Adopting a special needs child that would have been killed is a very wonderful way of truly turning back the tide of abortion. The problem is, there are not enough of these brave parents. Here is a scenario that came across our desk recently:
Jen's hot hand brushed across her sticky brow. It was July and hot in Southern California. The baby within her kicked softly. That kick, normally a feeling that would have caused her joy now was only a sad reminder of her cruel situation. Married two years ago to her high school honey, they had dreamed of the day they would start a family and buy a home. Life was busy with them both working. A new home was on the horizon.
Tests last week had revealed the impossible....her baby had Down syndrome. Oh the agony of choices. Her husband was really upset. It seemed as if their lives were ruined. She hated the thought of telling her parents. She hated the thought of giving birth. She hated the sympathetic sighs and looks from strangers. Truth was she was frightened of disability. Period. Her OBGYN had quietly given her some solutions. None seemed good. She was too far along to have a quick abortion and go unnoticed. That thought sickened her. Yet, the baby almost didn't seem human to her. Over the last few days something had happened in her heart. Something had died and it wasn't the baby. Maybe it was joy. She tried to imagine what the baby would look like. Memories of Down syndrome adults she had seen in her childhood brought tears to her closed eyes. The drooling, open mouths, mushy, loud voices and overweight, child-like stances of those she remembered did nothing to ease her dread. What had she done to deserve this???
Abortion was an option. Getting rid of her "problem", despite the sickening idea of killing her baby, and then trying again to conceive seemed easiest. For now it was back to sleep, hot and troubled she tossed, begging the baby to sleep. Its tiny flip floppy somersaults reminded her of the anguish in her heart.
In the morning, a ringing phone woke her. Her call to the Crisis Pregnancy Center last night had been too late to catch anyone in the office. Now a woman's voice stirred her into consciousness. "How can I help you?"
" Ah, I was just diagnosed with Down syndrome..." Jen began. A silence on the other end of the phone further awoke her and she realized the lady must think she was missing it. " I mean, my baby was just diagnosed with Down syndrome."
"Oh, that makes more sense. How far along are you?" The lady gently questioned.
"About 25 weeks....I was wondering if you knew of any families that would be willing to adopt a baby with Down syndrome?"
The woman on the other end of the phone referred her to a local adoption agency. The agency referred her to another department. That department's phone was always busy.
Jen sighed. Time was running out. Her husband was quite anxious to be back to normal. What was normal? A new home, the dreams of parenthood, a happy, fulfilled life. Down syndrome? Even the word made her sick.
A walk in the park later that day helped to revive her from her depression. She avoided the children's park area. Happy squeals could be heard at a distance. Walking briskly, she saw coming toward a friend she had in high school. Not having seen her since their graduation, she doubted the gal would recognize her.
"Well, it's been a long time, Jenny!" Gulping, Jen glanced up shyly, smiling. " Yes, and how have you been doing? Her stroller with an infant sleeping evoked a little curiosity anyway.
"Life is better now that baby Anna is born."
"Oh, can I see her?" Jen whispered.
"Sure" smiled the babies mommy pulling back the pink fringed soft blanket. "She looks a little different because she has Down syndrome."
Jen gasped and looked again. Hot tears crowded into her eyes. Why was she being tortured by this Down syndrome thing?! A darling baby, petite in yellow and pink slept soundly. A tiny snub nose and long dark lashes stood out against chubby cheeks with a hint of blush from the fresh air
Seeing blinding tears slipping down Jen's cheeks, her friend led her to a near bench. In anguish, Jen's heart poured out her situation between sobs.
After talking for an hour, the mommy with the baby inside her felt better. This friend, whom she had not remembered past a face in school, had helped her in her darkest hour. Could she choose to give life to her baby after all? The choices were narrowing. Keeping her baby or giving her baby up for adoption. Her friend warned her that aborting may seem easier, but the guilt and pain lasted for years could mentally torture her forever. What about her husband's sorrow?
Would there be a family to love her baby? The Crisis Pregnancy office could not help and the adoption agency wasn't taking calls. Sigh. A personal visit to another agency was called for. She had to make a choice.
Walking down Main Street she turned into the small office that held an overstuffed chair, a little square desk with a single flower in a thin vase and a high window. A modestly dressed woman with long black hair held back with a metal barrette smiled and welcomed her to be seated. "What can we help you with?" She murmured.
Not waiting for formalities and introductions, mom-with-the-baby-waiting-inside plunged into her story. "So, you see, I am truly looking to make a decision tonight."
Looking off to the side, the receptionist thought for a moment. "I know of a family that would love to adopt your baby. They are a sweet family of 7 and are waiting for another little one to add to their happy home. Here is their picture." The receptionist handed Jen a manila file folder. She opened the cover to see a ordinary looking couple, a little younger than her parents' age, with several children, some older and some younger looking joyful in a sunny back yard. Inside was a letter addressed to "her".
"I'll leave you here to read while I go back into the other office for a few minutes." The receptionist softly walked through the open door, closing it gently. As mommy-in-waiting read, a warm feeling of hope came into her heart. Could it be possible that someone would love and care for her baby like she would?
"Could I have a copy of this letter to take home for my husband to read?" Jen questioned after they were together again in the room with the high window.
"Certainly!" I'll photo copy it right now.
Later that evening, her husband with a sigh, agreed to allow her to carry the baby to term. In spite of the medical bills and financial stress, together they decided to give the gift of life and bring joy into someone else's home. They would try again sometime for the dream that they had.
Ideally it would be wonderful if this family realized that God's blessings come in little bundles with pink or blue blankets, in spite of a bit of damage during the creating process. However, we sadly have to report that the ending to this story is not true, as written here. The true ending is that last week the mother chose to kill her baby, at the urging of her husband. He angrily told her, "It, or me.!" We were able to share with the mommy-in-waiting that we in fact do have a home for her baby, but the pain of birth and separation was too much. She had been told by a state adoption official that there were not many homes for special needs children available. Medical bills looming and the fear of separation from her husband decided her baby's fate.
It made us sick all day here at NATHHAN. What can we do? Where are the families willing to add to their homes a special child or two? Children, damaged as they are, can be just as sweet as "normal" children. They like many of the same things....ice cream, hamburgers, swings and a slide, hugs and kisses and bedtime stories. What every little baby needs is a loving mommy and daddy, even those who are broken in body. Rarely are children broken in spirit. They are just as forgiving when we goof and even more willing than normal to try, try again when they fail too.
Can you share part of your lives with a child who would otherwise be killed before birth? If you hate abortion, think about the alternative for moms and dads who are put into a situation they did not ask for or cannot handle. The world's solution to an untimely child means death. For some tiny unborn baby your decision to take them as your own means life.
If you are interested in adoption, we would like to be able to share with moms and dads about you. There are LOTS of families wanting to love the child parents like Jen and her husband cannot. Abortion does not have to be an option. Just letting parent's-in-waiting know that families like you are brave enough to parent, may be enough to help them be brave enough to go through with the birth.
Here at NATHHAN/CHASK (Christian Homes Adopting Special Children) we are putting together directory of families willing to take babies that have special needs. The purpose is to encourage moms and dads needing someone to love their baby, when they cannot. These are private referrals to moms and dads, no money exchanged. Double password protected, others will not be able to access your information.
To work with CHASK /NATHHAN and be matched you need to be willing to:
1. Hire an adoption lawyer to handle the initial guardianship paper, interstate compact if needed and laws for both states.
2. Have a home study ready or at least contact a private social worker about getting one done.
3. Be flexible. Many times parents, after giving birth, change their minds about adopting baby out when looking deep into their son or daughter's eyes. Our goal as Christ's ambassadors is to bring about God's perfect will. The Lord may be using us to plant seeds of salvation, or simply to help them see God's perfect will in their lives. Our goal cannot be to "have that child at any cost".
4. Share a letter to the birth mother about why you are looking for a special child to love. Also a picture of your family and home will help her a lot.
5. Be very specific about which disabilities you are willing to take or not take. The form to fill out is located here.
Not called to adopt?
We understand that not everyone can adopt a child with special needs, although many of us can make the room and share our time with your help. Here are some things that you can actively do to promote the life of special needs children in danger of being murdered.
1. Be out spoken about your love for YOUR special needs child. Disability is not the horror it was 50 years ago, but stigmas still persist.
2.. Look for unwed mothers or others that are targeted by Satan. He is waiting to kill their babies. Tell them you know of a loving home for their baby.
3. Share your finances. NATHHAN/CHASK does not charge families any fees. We rely solely on the Pro Life community. We need your tax deductible donation to help save these babies. You can help make a home for a special needs baby that would otherwise be aborted. Click here to help us