A Village to Raise
A Village to Raise is first and foremost a labor of love. It represents the culmination of our family’s long journey through the uncharted territory that is adopting two older children with special needs from foster care; two exceptionally beautiful children who have immeasurably enriched our lives.
Support. Understanding. Grace. Hope. Love.
Yet the journey held many twists and turns. While we expected to climb some hills, we weren’t completely prepared for the full impact of introducing a scared, very spirited eight-year-old boy with learning delays, impulsivity, and expressive language issues into our heretofore tranquil existence. Yet we loved our son unconditionally and with hard work and perseverance we began to see positive changes to the point that three years later we felt moved to adopt our second child. That’s when the hills became much steeper; he was quickly diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome —a form of Autism — as well as ADHD, an anxiety disorder, and anger issues. Our lives were now officially upside down/inside out. We needed to decipher a complex human puzzle as we simultaneously watched our older son begin to regress – threatening to unravel what took three years of blood, sweat and tears to build.
At each bend in the road we looked for a way forward, reaching out in search of information, support and guidance on the unique challenges facing our family. But the information and resources we found were fragmented at best and confusing and misguided at worse. When navigating bureaucracies became overwhelming, when the search for competent and caring physicians proved a struggle, when we had to decide in what faith, if any, we were going to raise our children, we felt that we’d hit a wall. But little by little – heartache by heartache - and joy by joy we pieced together a support group of professionals which became the critical elements that helped us build our now happy and healthy family unit.
Throughout the journey, we knew there had to be a better route for families likes ours to get the help they needed and deserved. With that conviction and with the support and guidance of one special social worker who had been with us from day one, A Village to Raise was born. Our intention is that families find the support, understanding, grace, hope and love within these pages to shape their own beautiful families, now and in the future.