• Engage

    What Parents of Special Needs Kids Wish You Knew

    Hard is hard, period. “We are not competing in the ‘Suffering Olympics,’” seminary professor, author, and mother to a special needs child, Dr. Sandra Glahn, often remarks. What she means is that in terms of trials, hardship, and heartache, we are not in a competition attempting to win the medal of “Life’s Worst Circumstance.”  But life as a parent of a special needs child is unique. It contains daily nuances, challenges, and worries that are far from normal.  My husband and I recently adopted our son from China. He has both medical and emotional special needs. I often find it hard to explain why my son needs this or that…

  • Engage

    Adoption: Ten Course Corrections for Everyone

    I am an adoptive parent. I believe in the institution of adoption, and I thank God we have our daughter. That said, I’ve noticed some serious dysfunction with how evangelicals sometimes approach and/or think about adoption, mostly international. It’s time for some course corrections. 1.     We should be able to assume that Christians have the highest standards of ethics and justice. If we believe Jesus is the truth, we should be zealous about truth telling. Believers have often been so focused on rescuing that we've bent the rules, justifying our behavior by pointing to the kids’ desperation. Consequently, we’ve hurt our testimony and provided incentives for corruption. We’ve exaggerated the…

  • Engage

    Use Positive Adoption Language

    Nearly fourteen years ago, my husband, Gary, celebrated his first Father’s Day with the arrival of our eight-month-old, dark-haired, blue-eyed baby girl. Her adoption is a fact of our lives together that we have, from the beginning, all discussed openly and with enthusiasm. So I held my breath one afternoon when our daughter arrived home from school and declared that a classmate didn’t “get” adoption. Apparently this student asked with an edge, “Why don’t you go back to your old parents?” Sadly, when our girl tried to explain, she didn’t get far. When I asked how that made her feel, she blew it off cheerfully with an exaggerated drawl: “Aw, she’s…