Adopting our Blessing- A Family Story

We are sharing a sweet story from a mom who I hope to meet in the future.  Jo is a source of strength and inspiration for me.  She is sharing her story of adopting these two sweet kiddos.  I caught a picture of her daughter in an orphanage on one of my trips to China, just by accident, and I think we have beeen in touch ever since. Thank you so much for sharing Jo!


Adopting our Blessing

Before we began our journey to our son Dalton, adopted from China in 2012, I had not done a great deal of research into his special need of Spina Bifida. I had been warned during each pregnancy to take folic acid to avoid spinal cord defects in my babies, however,  I was very uneducated into the intricacies of Spina Bifida, what we learned opened our eyes to a whole new world of special needs.

Spina Bifida blessings can range in function from completely unaffected in their physical ability to fully reliant on a sweet set of wheels to get around.  They can be fully continent to incontinent of the bladder and bowels, which is called neurogenic bladder and bowels.  They can have hydrocephalus and rely on a shunt to regulate cerebral spinal fluid or have club feet.  Each blessing is affected differently.

Dalton's file had been viewed and turned down multiple times.  The main reason, beside the fact that he was meant to be our blessing, was his neurogenic bladder/bowels. 

It's a very private subject, obviously, but its, also, reality for so many blessings who continue to wait because someone is nervous about a child's lack of bathroom function.  It's a moot point for our family. Our son is a joy and is never slowed down by his medical needs. We have a bowel protocol that is done in such a way that he does not have bowel accidents. He uses catheters to use the restroom just like you or I. These children live fully capable, fully joyful lives! We are so glad we, as parents, did not shy away because we might get squeamish about poop talk!

When we pursued our daughter,Analina, adopted from China, also, in 2012, she didn't walk until a few months before we brought her home because she has a repaired clubfoot and, also, she has lower body weakness due to her Spina Bifida.  At some point, we know she will be reliant on a wheelchair. It was, honestly, not what we signed up for and not what we were expecting, however, we are grateful that our eyes have been opened to this special need. 

As we learn more about what her future holds we know that she will learn to do everything the other children do but she will learn to do it HER way.  She can swing but, manages just fine...her "running" is an adorable hobble, but even that hobble slows way down as she tires. She falls frequently, too frequently, at times.

The main reason we did not shy away from the special need of Spina Bifida is because we would never turn away from our birth child if they were born with such a special need as this. We would advocate for our child to receive all the medical care he would need. We would navigate all the aspects of the medical and educational worlds to be sure our child's needs are met.

If we would never turn our backs on a homegrown child with a special need why would be turn our back on an orphan with Spina Bifida? They are always a blessing and never a burden!

Jolene and Devin 

Jolene blogs at you can pop on over and read her blog.  the blog is inspiring and gives us a glimpse into her big family.  Thanks again Jo!