Adopting and Advocating for the Special Needs Child: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

By L. Anne Babb; Rita Laws | Go to book overview
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Introduction

Unlearn'd he knew no schoolman's subtle art no language but the language of the heart.

A few years and a few miles apart, the authors shared the same experience: We wanted to open our hearts and homes to special needs children, but it seemed as if no one could tell us how. Once we brought our children home, we were shocked to learn that adoption is not a one-time event, but a lifelong process--one for which we had been ill prepared.

This book is the result of a combined experience of 30 years of learning how to adopt children with special needs and raise them in ways that meet those needs. We have known from our earliest friendship that this book was meant to be. We wanted to help other people avoid the mistakes we've made and help them adopt. We hope it will result in the successful placements of more children who wait for what the rest of us take for granted--moms and dads.


LANGUAGE OF THE HEART

Throughout this book, we alternate between using he and she and between referring to adoptive parents (plural) or adoptive parent (singular). We also from time to time refer to adoptive parents as adopters and to birth parents as original parents. We refer to gay and lesbian adopters, and sometimes we write partner instead of spouse. We write about children as he, she, and they.

We intentionally use language as diverse as our families, not to be politically correct, but to communicate acceptance. Special needs adoption is not about anything if it is not about diversity. Though our personal religious and political beliefs are quite different, and remain an unending source of lively

-xiii-

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