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Special Needs Adoption & Respite from the Wait

We aren’t in Taiwan yet.

We thought we would be by now. Or that we’d already be home.

I do have fun news, though: Zoe Amanda is legally our daughter. A judge in Taiwan declared that to be final on May 25. We’re currently waiting for the US approvals to be complete and a visa appointment to be issued so that we can get on a plane to be united with our daughter. Life is presently a yo-yo of emotions, swinging from the excitement of being in the home stretch to the anxiety of wanting her home yesterday.

One sweet benefit of our wait to bring her home, though, is that we are home for our church’s summer Respite Night. My husband and I coordinate Access Ministry at Providence Baptist Church, which exists so that families affected by disability, medical situations, or other unique circumstances can have access to our faith community. On Saturday night, we’ll have about 40 children – most with special needs as well as a handful of siblings without disabilities – with us while their parents get much needed respite.

Some families go to our church. Others attend other churches. Many don’t go to church at all, and I don’t know if they would identify as Christians.

I think the verse that best describes what we’re doing is 1 John 4:19: “We love because he first loved us.” We believe God is the source of love, so we love others. We believe Christ became the ultimate sacrifice for sin on the cross because we couldn’t deserve forgiveness on our own, so we’re willing to sacrifice a small chunk of time for caregivers who need it.

I would be lying if I said that Respite Night was easy. To be honest, it’s exhausting. It’s also the most rewarding thing I get to do. I am thankful to get one more opportunity to serve these parents before I join their ranks.

I would love to have Zoe Amanda home already. Sometimes it’s hard to gaze at her picture and know that we’re still weeks away from having her in our arms. But since we won’t have her home for a few more weeks, I am thankful to be able to lead one more Respite Night before our third child is home.

What do you do for respite? 

(Also, if you know a church who would love to know more about what we do, pass along my email to them: shannon@pray.org. I love to equip other churches to do what we’re doing! I also blog about special needs ministry at The Works of God Displayed.) 

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  1. June 12, 2012 | Reply
    • June 12, 2012 | Reply

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