Sunday, November 1, 2015

Gregoire Family- China Adoption

Happy November! This month, I'm honored to highlight a family who is in the processing of adopting a little boy from China's Special Needs program. Kirsten and Charles Gregoire are getting set to travel to meet their son and bring him home in hopefully a few short weeks.  I've asked Kirsten to share a little of their journey to adopt a child with special needs. 

1. Tell us a little about your family and what led your family to adopt. 

Charles and I have been married {almost!} 15 years. We have four beautiful children biologically, ages 12, 10, 7, and 5. Five years ago while I was still pregnant with our fourth child, my heart was really turned towards adoption. I knew The Lord had placed this desire in me, but also knew my husband might think me crazy - haha. We had talked adoption early on in our marriage, and it had always remained a possibility for "someday."  I told God that if this was in fact the journey he had for us, that he would need to work on my husband's heart - I wasn't gonna say a word! That very night Charles came home and said that I would never guess what he had been thinking about lately. Thus, our road to adoption began!  

2. Can you share a little about your process? What specifically made you choose the China Special Needs Program?

After much prayer and about a year later, we officially entered the Ethiopia program with All God's Children International. We had many ups and downs throughout the process.  Financially, we could not afford adoption, yet The Lord was so clear, and so we forged ahead. He provided exactly what we needed every time, and we couldn't help but to see His hand so clearly in every detail. 

Since we began our adoption process, Charles lost his job and found a new one, we updated our home study three times, and were fingerprinted more times than I cared to count. And referral. Last November 2014, I was at my end. I couldn't possibly imagine updating anything even one more time. I begged The Lord to move and give us direction. 

It was about a week later that an email came through from our agency for a waiting child in China. We had entertained the idea previously about switching to a different country, but were afraid of the additional costs we'd incur. As we prayed over this little boy's file though, we again sensed The Lord's hand guiding us. We decided to make the switch. We would go where the need was. The problem was, we didn't technically qualify for a Chinese adoption due to income. We prayed (hard!!) and were granted an exception. Ahhh!!! And just as before, the things I had worried about...the red tape, the finances....they all fell into place. The Lord provided just what we needed at the exact time we needed it. A year later, we are getting ready to (hopefully) travel by this Christmas. It has been a long journey, but we trust that God's timing is perfect. 

3. How have you prepared for bringing home a child with Celebral Palsy? Have resources been readily accessible? Has it been easy to work through insurance issues once he has joined your family? 

Truth be told, we didn't know much, if anything, about Cerebral Palsy when we first read that in his file. We had to google it! We took several days to really pray and ask The Lord to give us wisdom. 

During this time, a friend that I hadn't spoken to in awhile called me out of the blue. She had previously adopted twice and was curious how our adoption was going. As we talked, she shared that both of her children also had CP. I had no idea!  It really solidified that The Lord saw us right where we were and was moving us in this direction. 

In the meantime, we spoke with a couple US doctors ~ one from CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) and a neurologist who had visited the orphanage several times and was familiar with our boy. Both went over his file with us and explained his diagnosis. We were scared of the unknown, but with each conversation, grew more and more firm in our conviction that he was our son. 

Since then, we have received a grant through The Sparrow Fund so that we can receive services from CHOP when he first comes home. We feel blessed to do life within a community of like-minded families who have also adopted many special needs children into their families, including CP. There seems to be a wealth of support around us, which we treasure!!

4. What would advice would you give a family that is considering international adoption? And more specifically, a special needs child? 

Adoption is hard, whether it be international, domestic, or through foster care. It is definitely not as glamorous and easy as it can be portrayed. That being said, it has been the most fantastic journey of our lives, thus far. The things we have learned and have seen have grown us in ways we never would have imagined. 

I believe with all my heart that adoption should not be considered lightly, however, if The Lord has placed it on your heart, He will be faithful to walk with you through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It is a journey like no other. I think the same goes for a special needs child. Though we don't have first hand experience, I would imagine the same advice would apply.  I am sure, it will be hard, harder at times than we had ever thought. But I also believe, that it will be worth it...that the Lord's strength will be made perfect in our weakness.  

For the month of November, 20% of all of my R+F orders from new and returning customers will go toward the Gregoire family's adoption fund.  If you are interested in learning more, please comment below or email me at leslieharris77(at)gmail(dot)com. 

To follow more of their story, check out their blog at