Helping special children receive care and educating the caretakers in these childrens' orphanages and foster homes was the original plan. When the Chinese-focused charity, Love Without Boundaries, first got the idea to create a Special Needs Educational Manual, it was for the purpose of expanding the understanding about special needs children to those who cared for these precious children daily. What happened next was a wonderful surprise to everyone at the charity.
"As we reached out to families to assist us with this project, families who had already adopted a child with a special need, we heard again and again, 'I wish there had been something like this when we were trying to learn about adopting a special needs child'. It made us realize that we could help children find families through this manual by publishing it in English as well," said Karen Maunu, Medical Director for Love Without Boundaries.
As Love Without Boundaries began to help more and more orphaned children with special needs throughout China , they began to see that many orphanage nannies and foster parents often did not understand the medical needs of the children in their care. Many times a child would enter the orphanage with a medical need that no one had seen before. LWB also realized that some orphanages were unaware that many people around the world were open to parenting a child with special needs. That realization led to the idea of comprising an educational manual in order to give orphanages basic information on each special need, so that they would understand these conditions better and would consider submitting more children's paperwork for adoption.
The project grew and grew until 75 conditions were outlined in the manual originally created for orphanages. These pages were compiled with the help of so many people who helped research and write the sections, families who donated pictures of their beautiful children, doctors both in the US and China , and the One World Orphanage Trust who provided the needed funding to print and distribute the Chinese version. Each brightly colored page is filled with facts and treatment options.
The Chinese version of the manual is in the final stages of completion and it is the hope of LWB that every orphanage in China will have a copy of this book. They also plan to make this book available to foster families and anyone interested in the care of children with special needs. This version of the manual will be printed in book form and distributed in partnership with the CCAA (Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs).
"When we stood back and looked at this project , we realized that not only was this book valuable for orphanages, but also for people considering special needs adoption," Karen recently told RainbowKids, "Many people hear the term special needs and immediately think of a child with a lifetime of intensive medical treatment and issues, and so they are often scared away from this path of adoption by that one simple term. As we compiled this book for aunties and caregivers, we realized it was also a powerful educational tool for potential adoptive parents, allowing them to see that many special needs are very manageable indeed. We then decided to make an English version available, in the hopes that even more children with medical needs might find homes."
The English version contains 60 section and 122 full color pages. These sections are broken into eight conditions:
To keep the cost of the manual as low as possible, so that any interested parent can own a copy, we are selling it on CD. Each CD will cost $10 and they are being sold on the LWB website at www.lovewithoutboundaries.com This is not a fundraiser for the LWB foundation as they simply want to increase the number of waiting children who might find homes. For anyone who has ever considered the special needs path to adoption, this CD, filled with beautiful children's photos and factual information on each need, is a great place to start . If you would like more information on this manual, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
**RainbowKids.com does not profit from the sale of this item. Love Without Boundaries is a 501(3)C non-profit charity founded by adoptive parents and known for helping the orphans of China for many years.
Part One of Two
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Practical tips for new adoptive parents
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