Lowell & Natalie: Adoptive ParentsSeptember 10, 2019
Trauma-Informed ParentsJune 17, 2020
Adopting a child is one of the most loving and selfless things a person could do, especially when the child has special needs.
Jeremy and Mary have two adopted sons from the same birth mother and two biological daughters. One of their adopted children has an undiagnosed special need. They are actively working with medical professionals to determine his diagnosis.
What led you to want to focus on special needs within adoption?
Mary: As we began to explore adoption, I kept finding myself going back to children or birth families with special needs. But I would tuck it away and say no. God kept bringing it back to me, though. I was afraid Jeremy would say no, but as soon as I presented it, he said yes. Over time, God kept giving us more and more of a desire to pursue this adoption and opened us up to the thought of raising a child who had special needs or may come from a family with special needs.
Jeremy: To be honest, I was naïve at the time. We knew people in our lives who had children with special needs. You don’t fully know the struggles that come with making this decision until you are in the middle of it. But your child with special needs brings so much joy to your family and to your life.
What type of adoption do you have and why?
Jeremy and Mary: We have an open adoption. When we adopted our first son, we got a call later down the road that his birth mother was expecting again and wanted to create another adoption plan. We asked Gifts of Grace to present us to the birth mom because we wanted the boys to be raised together. In our open adoption, we exchange photos and have two visits yearly with the boys’ birth parents. It’s important to us that our children have a relationship with their birth parents.
What advice would you give to loved ones of future adoptive parents who adopt children with special needs?
Jeremy: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It means a lot to us as parents for others to have a better understanding. It shows you care and that you are invested in our child.
Mary: Be positive and encouraging. These adoptive parents need encouragement and shared interest in the joy and rewards that come with parenting a child with special needs.
Why did you choose to work with Gifts of Grace?
Mary: We were very choosy with the agency we wanted to work with. We personally know a few birth moms, and we wanted an agency that would do right by our birth mother and not coerce her. We knew Gifts of Grace would support their birth moms, whether they chose to parent or continued with an adoption plan.
We can help you navigate the joys, challenges, and emotions that come with adoption.
Gifts of Grace Adoption Support Center has worked with expecting moms, adoptive families, and children in the Lafayette, Indiana community since 2013. We believe that quality, affordable, Christ-centered adoption services empower pregnant moms and dads, create thriving adoptive families, and help all children be placed in a loving home.