Curled up on the plastic pull out couch beside her crib, my mind whirled and raced, I could not sleep. Not because I was freezing, to incompetent to work the thermostat in her hospital room (which I swear to you is simply for show and to give me the illusion of power). Not because of the ever-alarming heart monitor, beeping me into panic as Niyah's baseline heartrate is so low that when she drifts into deep slumber it hoots and chirps calling someone to her crib to poke her just enough to raise her rate to stop the alarming but not so much to wake a sleeping baby. But sleep is impossible because my mind keeps dwelling on the face of a little boy with Down syndrome I saw on social media that morning. A 3-year-old, waiting in the foster care system for his forever family. He has been waiting for a permanent family for over a year.
It haunts me because this was my Niyah. Waiting. Waiting for over a year. Facing 3 surgeries alone. Not learning to walk or learning to eat orally. Getting the bare minimum to survive but never the opportunity to thrive.
Who will be this little boy’s advocate? Who will curl up freezing next to his crib? Who will panic at his alarming monitors? He deserves that. He is worth it.
My motives to blog, speak and post vary. Sometimes, I post because my kids are so cute that I obnoxiously think everyone wants to see them (which you do). Sometimes the motives are monetary, especially when we were fundraising for our adoptions. Often it is because I feel I owe you pieces of our story since so many of you encouraged, funded, prayed and supported us over the years. Sadly, it is sometimes in pursuit of my own fame and glory (I pray earnestly against this before I press publish on a post but I am human).
Today it is for Alijah, the little boy waiting for over a year, for the 400,000 children in foster care, more than 100,000 of them are waiting to be adopted. Today I am motivated by the well over 100,000 orphans in Ukraine, many with special needs.
This leads me to share with you a big announcement. The Hubs and I are hosting a LIVE (Yes I know that is crazy scary) 4-week series on special needs adoption. This May, we will gather together, once a week, to have a conversation about adoption. The how, the why, the cost, the good, the bad, the life-changing. Plus, since it is live, you will no doubt get to witness a magical awkward-Carly moment and be privy to the ridiculous nature that only Jon can deliver and still be charming. How can you miss that?
Have you ever thought about special needs adoption? What does it cost? What is the first step? Where to adopt from? What does it look like? Why does it matter? Already adopted and looking for resources or community?
Join the conversation.
How to participate:
1. Like our Facebook page: Jovial State of Mind
Here is where you can stay up to date as we finalize the time and details of the series.
2. Share about it!
Invite your friends to join. The more people the better. Let's start to conversation. Stay tuned on the Facebook page for more shareable images to be released but for now, consider sharing this one:
3. Ask a question.
We will welcome live questions during the event but you can also submit your questions here. If you have a specific question, someone else probably has the same one. Be vulnerable and ask. Submitting questions or topics you want to hear about early will ensure we have the resources available to share with your guys. Submit question here:
This is going to be pretty epic. My prayer is that it might help one family consider growing by adopting a waiting child or encourages at least one family who already has adopted a child with special needs and is looking for community.
Or maybe it helps Alijah.
Join us in dreaming big 😊 Or at least join to watch us make fools of ourselves. Either way it will be fun.