Claire and Alan’s story

Claire and Alan’s story

We are a family with four great children, our youngest, Isabelle, is adopted. Isabelle was placed with us in July 2009 at 14 months and because of a chromosomal disorder has some physical and learning difficulties as well as some medical issues.

We started our journey in 2007 and from the outset had decided to adopt a child with some disabilities. Having both had 20 years’ experience working with children, including those with a level of disability, we felt we could take on a child with additional needs.

Our journey was quite a rollercoaster. We went to approval panel twice, eventually being approved in 2009, and then after a six-month journey intending to adopt a little girl with cerebral palsy the local authority pulled out just before matching panel. If we had not firmly believed that this was what God was calling us to and put our hope and trust in Him we could easily have given up. God was and is our strength.

After getting over all these difficult times, in April 2009 we were given the details of Isabelle. We were tentative and tried to protect ourselves but we couldn’t get her out of our minds. She was a lovely little 11-month-old with a beautiful smile but with significant developmental delay, and because of her family background she was expected to have a learning disability. We knew in our hearts that she was right for us and couldn’t believe that we could adopt this wonderful child. The process began and with no hold-ups or problems we went to matching panel three months later and within days we took her home forever. We could not have predicted how well she has fitted into our family. Everyone has adored her from the moment she arrived.

As time has gone by the petals of our “little flower” have gradually opened and revealed more of her beautiful, loving, caring and empathetic heart. She can be difficult at times and we spend a lot of time at hospital appointments and fighting for what she needs, but she is so worth it. Despite her needs she has been a real blessing to our family and to our church’s life. We have been amazed too at how our older birth children have nurtured and cared for their little sister.

God is glorified in Isabelle’s life, in her smile, in the way she dances and sings (loudly!) in church and we are very privileged to be the parents of this very special little girl. Adopting and living with a child with disabilities can sometimes be hard but we definitely feel we are the ones who are blessed.

This story is taken from Home for Good: Making a difference for vulnerable children, by Krish and Miriam Kandiah.

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