Friday, November 8, 2013

Disability, Adoption, and the Road Less Traveled

Did you know November is Adoption Awareness Month? I didn't, but apparently Huffington Post and Jeremy Green, father of nine-going-on-ten, did, and they got together via HuffPost Live to talk about Green's unusual adoption story.

Green is the biological father of three children, but he and his wife, Christianne, weren't ready to stop adding to their family when, after losing two infants, they were told they were not able to have any more children biologically. They decided to look into adoption. The couple's initial instinct was to go for “healthy infant”, but as they looked at the list of children waiting to be adopted, they found that many of them had special needs. This meant that these children immediately didn't match up with anyone who hadn't checked off the box that said yes, they would adopt a child with a specific special need.

When Green looked at his first adopted child's profile, he was overwhelmed and nervous. Elli was blind.

“I said, 'You know, blind—that's a pretty significant special need. We don't know anything about that,'” Green says. “But then I came to realize that nobody knows anything about raising a special needs child, and special needs kids are born to families all the time. And you just deal with it and you figure it out."

After the Greens adopted Elli, a child's disability was never an issue when it came to the adoption process. They saw that these children were just people.

The Greens have adopted six children with various disabilities, and it seems to have worked out wonderfully for the whole family. Often, the children work together to help accommodate one another's needs. For example, their daughters Lexi and Sophie were adopted at the same time in December 2010, and they are a great team. Lexi is blind, and Sophi was born without arms, so the two will pair up, Lexi grabbing Sophi's empty shirtsleeve and Sophie leading Lexi around the house. They do everything together.

Now the Greens are getting ready to add a tenth child to their family. They announced their intentions in the spring of 2012, and their community backed them up big time. They pulled together and raised $200,000 to go toward the construction of a larger home that would better accommodate the sizable family. The boys of the family watched the construction process from beginning to end, but the five girls didn't get to see it until their princess tower was framed inside. They all moved in about two months ago and say it has made an amazing difference for them and that they are incredibly thankful for all the support they've been given.

“The best thing about the house is probably how it came together,” Green says. “It is a house built on love.”

I hope this story made your gloomy day (if you're in the Portland area, at any rate) a little brighter. I think it's always nice to be reminded that people are capable of looking past what seems to be an immediate or impossible obstacle and making it work out for everyone involved.

Want to read more about the Green family and how they took, as they quote, the road less traveled? Check out their blog: (Seriously, it's a really cute blog.)

Have a nice holiday weekend, everyone, and be good to each other!

1 comment: