Has anyone gone through the process of adopting through the China Special Needs program? DH and I are strongly considering applying sometime early next year, and we'd love to hear people's experiences with the program. :)
(And Steph...don't tell anyone in the family yet. It's not a sure thing. LOL!)
Thank you so much!!! I want to learn everything I can because obviously this is a whole different experience than adopting from Vietnam (it was not a special needs program, and I adopted an infant...however, she did end up being a special needs child, with multiple food allergies, Reactive Attachment Disorder, selective mutism, and burnt vocal cords). Right now, we are researching the heck out of Cleft Lip & Palate...I feel really drawn to this particular special need with the China program. Our local Children's hospital has a *fantastic* CL&P clinic that coordinates everything...the surgery, orthodonics, psychological care, etc.
Are there special concerns with adopting a toddler verses an infant? Obviously it's not the same experience (Jocelyn was not walking/talking/responding to her name/etc. since she was only 4 months old...supposedly. Her ped thinks she was actually a few months older than that). But in China, it looks like the baby will be around 18 months+ when she comes home (although we want to preserve birth order, so the new baby would have to be born after January 2009, since our youngest was born in January 2009). I don't think I want to deal with artificial twinning, although maybe that's not a big deal?
I don't think I can name the agency we are considering on here (I'm not sure if that's considered advertising?), but we're considering one of the largest agencies, so the process is a wee slower (there are lots of people in the program at this agency I think).
I don't think artificial twinning should be a problem, since our youngest will be around 3 if it takes at least 12 months start to finish (she turns 2 in a month), but we'll just be sure to specify that we'd rather not have a referral who was born at the beginning of 2009.
Do you know why there are so many CL&P children in China? I'd assume it's not a drug/alcohol exposure thing, right? Is it a genetic thing thing? (I've heard more than one theory about what contributes to CL&P, but I'm not sure which one's more accurate. I just know in Vietnam, the chances of an adopted child being drug/alcohol exposed is really really low, which is one reason we were drawn to that program).
We're totally not strangers to speech therapy...my oldest son was in speech therapy for 3 years due to his autism, and my 3 year old was in speech for over a year, before it was finally diagnosed as selective mutism (so speech therapy was pointless because she was just fighting it). Is that something that starts right away, or do you wait until they've been exposed to more English? Or do I find a speech therapist that knows Chinese as well? (We will eventually keep up with Chinese language lessons...right now my Vietnamese-born DD is taking Vietnamese lessons). Our insurance is usually pretty good about speech therapy...at least they were with autism, which they tend to drag their feet about.
What about feeding? Is there a special bottle I would have to get? (Or are the babies using cups at that age in China?)
How does the surgery work with the attachment/bonding process? I think one of my daughter's big issues is that within the first week of meeting her, she was hospitalized for 3 days, near death with severe dehydration (at one point, she fell asleep for 24 hours in the hospital and they couldn't wake her up...she was motionless for 24 hours when she was first admitted and they began to hydrate her)...that was a huge hit to the attachment process...days of being jabbed with needles and having failed/blown IVs, etc.) Do they usually recommend holding off on the surgery for awhile, or get it over with right away?
That was all very helpful, thank you!!!!
We are kind of at a stand still though. We were going to put our application in today for the China special needs program, and then we found out that Vietnam accepted the Hague Convention today (!!! WOO!). Since we already have a Vietnam-born daughter, we have always wanted to go back for a sibling, but were afraid they would never be open for adoptions again. So now, we're waiting to find out if/when Vietnam might open back up to adoptions. If it will be in 2011, we'll put our application into Vietnam. If it's looking like it still might be a couple years, we'll put our application into China.
See, just when you think you get everything figured out.... Either way, we decided that our next little one is coming home via adoption again!