America World has several waiting children referrals for boys and girls of various ages who have cerebral palsy in our China, India and Ethiopia programs. Here is a testimony from one parents adoption journey.
“Cerebral palsy sounds intimidating. It seems that if a disability is really serious, they give it a double name ... like Spina Bifida or Muscular Dystrophy. Of course anything followed by syndrome or disorder can start one's heart palpitating, especially one debating adopting a child with that disability. Palsy sounds equally dreadful, so we naturally were guarded considering AWAA's list of special needs and whether we should add cerebral palsy. Grace to overcome our fears came in many forms.
Eight years ago we began a small center for children with special needs in Astana, Kazakhstan where we continue to live. Our work has opened our eyes to the world of disability. We came to understand that cerebral palsy merely indicates some lack of control of one's body due to brain injury, usually surrounding birth. In some cases, you might never know that a person had cerebral palsy, as was the case with a psychologist at our center, Green Pastures, who off-handedly remarked one day that as a child she had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. In other cases, it can be severely limiting. It may or may not include intellectual delays. With this in mind, we took courage and placed it on our list of special needs we were willing to consider.
In November, God led us to review the file of a nine year-old girl from Shantou, Guangdong Province, China. Her diagnosis was mild cerebral palsy. As we looked to God for faith to move forward, we saw His smile on her life. At the end of March, we met our daughter, now Jane Katherine, for the first time. Janey Kay, as we call her, had recently fallen at the orphanage and broken her arm. Yet we expected that she would be walking well. The girl that we saw in the Civil Office in Guangzhou could not walk without assistance. She was brought into the room with caregivers on either side offering her support. Our emotions plunged. Could we really meet her needs, especially in our corner of the world?
God's grace has swept us off our feet. How beautiful are the feet of Jane, who leads us to worship her Maker. Her lovely smile, her soft eyes, her generous heart, her forgiving nod when her three year-old sister (a.k.a. the Firecracker), adopted at the same time, provokes her, the sweet cock of her head --- what would our lives be like without her? Now, imagining that is truly intimidating, much more intimidating than it had been adding cerebral palsy to our list of special needs in our AWAA paperwork. Jane, who could not walk without assistance when we met her, is now steady on her feet and seldom falls. She meets via Skype with her physical therapist who is amazed at her progress. Our friend and co-worker, an occupational therapist, regularly visits her. We are beginning to get help with her speech as well. Much thanks to God for our Janey Kay!”
America World previously advocated for children with cerebral palsy with a personal testimony from an adult with cerebral palsy. If you would like to learn more about cerebral palsy, please visit the Love Without Boundaries special needs resources website and call us at 800-429-3369 to learn more about the waiting children in some of our programs. Please join us in prayer for these special children.