International (MNN) — "Special
needs" children can wait a long time for a "forever" family.
Bethany Christian Service's Janie
VanDyke knows many people get scared off by special needs. To be
considered "special needs," the child often is 10 years old or older,
a member of a sibling group of three or more, has moderate or intensive
emotional, behavioral, or physical care needs, or is a member of a minority
Many times, potential adoptive families don't feel like they're equipped
with the skills they would need to provide a stable, loving home for children
who fit the special needs description.
However, she says they are looking for
families who are open to this kind of ministry. "Bethany gets just as many children
with special placement needs as they do normal (and) healthy (children). In
fact, they get more than even the normal, healthy children. So it's hard to find families to consider
Over 100,000 children are waiting
to be adopted right now out of the more than half million U.S. children in foster
care. That's in the U.S. alone. In many countries, special needs children "age out" of
the system and face an uncertain future.
Bethany also has many support
ministries that help adoptive families develop tools to cope with the demands
of emotional, physical or spiritual needs.
VanDyke says they look to place
children with Christian families so that they are introduced personally to the
love of Christ. Especially challenging
are the children they're working with in Ethiopia and Haiti. "We just started taking in HIV-positive
children, and we're looking for families who might be interested in that. As
families are educated and awareness is shared with them, they know that
children now with HIV can live a long, healthy life."
Bethany also believes prayer is
an essential part of their ministry to children. Pray
for families to come forward for these children that have lost parents to
HIV/AIDS. These children will not stay healthy without medication or
nutritional food that is vital for their health. Only a family can give the
love, medical care and nurturing these precious children deserve.Click
here for details.