Xixi Comes Home

Many families at LifePoint have adopted children. Its wonderful to see these tangible examples of people living the Gospel message of adoption. Here is the Blauwkamp’s story told by none other than Julie B. herself!

Our adoption journey began in January of 2004, when-after one of those “epic marriage conversations”, Ross and I sensed that God was calling us to add to our family through adoption.

Fourteen months later, on March 30, 2005 in the Hubei Civil Affairs Office, we met our daughter, Katherine Grace TianXi Blauwkamp, or XiXi as we call her, for the first time.

After this amazing adventure, Ross and I both sensed that our next child would also be from China through the incredible, miraculous adventure of adoption.

In March 2007, we submitted our dossier for another baby girl and settled down for what was looking to be an 18-24 month wait for our next referral.

Twenty-one months later, with no referral in sight for the foreseeable future, Ross and I came to a few realizations:

First, we weren’t getting any younger.  In fact, our 40s were quickly creeping up on us. Second, XiXi was getting older and longed to have a sibling sooner than….who knew? Third, we became aware of the increasing need for Chinese boys with specials needs to find families. These realizations jolted us to reexamine who our next child from China might be. As much as I longed to have another little baby girl from China, we sensed that our next child from China was not going to be a baby girl, but in fact, a toddler boy with special needs.

Special Needs

Up until this point, those two words conjured up anxiety, fear, and a weighty burden in my heart. Having grown up with a special needs sibling and having several friends who have special needs children- either biologically or through adoption- I marveled at their strength and courage. And while I marveled at them, I secretly prayed,

“Lord, don’t let that be my calling.  Please.  Pretty please.”

And yet- here I was- actually sensing that God was calling ME to be a parent of a child with special needs.

So, being the recovering control freak who loves to have as much knowledge and information about whatever it is I’m stepping into, I read A LOT of special needs adoption blogs, group posts, and Wiki articles about various special needs.  This, combined with my degree in Special Education and experience working with special needs children and adults, enabled me to come up with our LIST of special needs we could “handle” and would consider.

We submitted THE LIST to our adoption agency in January 2009. Two weeks later we were staring into the eyes of a 19-month-old boy who had a bilateral cleft lip and palate and some potential developmental delays. Despite some unanswered questions in his file, we sensed that this chubby cheeked little boy was in fact, our son.

On October 25, 2009 in the Guizhou Civil Affairs Office, Ross, XiXi and I met Zachary FuHai Blauwkamp for the first time and I became the mother of a playful, exuberant 2.5 year old boy.

My Son

Over the next several months as I got to know Zach better, I realized that first and foremost he was my son.  He is playful, mischievous, extremely gregarious and confident. And, he just happens to be cleft affected.

Have there been some challenges for us because of this? Yes.

Surgery. Speech therapy twice a week.  Ear tubes.  Specialist visits. Some future dental and orthodontic issues. Have they conjured up fear, anxiety and heavy burdens on my heart? Not any more than the challenges of parenting XiXi.

I wish I could wrap up my story here and say “the end”.  We had our “perfect American Family of Four”. But, God doesn’t work like that.

(to read more about the Blauwkamp’s adoption adventure- check out their blog at www.julieblauwkamp.wordpress.com )

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