About eight years ago we began to consider adoption. We started by investigating foster care adoption in 2004, it didn’t work out. Fast forward to 2010—– we met a family with a precious three year old little girl from China. That afternoon we both said, it is time. We didn’t think we qualified for China, so we began in Thailand. The little girl that we were interested in was too close to our daughter’s age, so just days before we committed to her, we were told we could not adopt her. We were upset, but knew that God had a plan. The agency asked why we had not considered China. We did qualify! We entered the minor special needs program.
Just as we were finishing our home study, we received an email from our agency with pictures of new waiting children. When I saw Madelyn’s picture, I knew she was our daughter! Wow, we had just finished our home study, and there was our daughter. We requested her file and it came with an amazing video. Our daughter has bilateral radial club hands, missing thumbs, attached fingers and a shortened humerus bone in her left arm. The video showed a happy and determined little three year old throwing a ball and putting on her own shoes. We accepted her file knowing that her limb differences could be connected to certain genetic syndromes. We were also told that she had language delay. I think we were more concerned about the language delay than anything. I was so thankful for “No Hands But Ours” because it was through this website that I “met” the Ferrill family, parents of two children from China with radial club hands. I have been blessed and learned so much through my emails with this great family.
Meeting Madelyn for the first time was a beautiful and surreal experience. Amazingly, her first words to us were actually a song! So much for that language delay! Her English is already amazing and her prayers are the longest and most detailed of the family. Her limb differences are virtually a non-issue. She can do anything she wants to do. After she came home, we took her to the Shriner’s in Greenville, SC. What a wonderful hospital and organization! They, as others we have talked to, did not recommend straightening her arms. They will be looking at separating two of her fingers at some point, but she functions just fine with them together.
Our God is an amazing God. We feel very blessed to have her as a part of our family. We would love to pray and support any family considering adopting a child with limb differences like our daughter Madelyn. My website is www.amykratzer.com, our adoption website is www.kratzerfamilyadoption.shutterly.com, and my ministry website for supporting adoptive families is www.forever-hope.org.