Thursday, December 22, 2011

Undiagnosed Special Need

NOTE:  I originally posted this on No Hands But Ours (NHBO), but decided to post here as well for those who may not subscribe to NHBO.  Sorry if it is a repeat for some.

Well, out little Bing is home, and has been for the past three weeks or so.  And he is doing great (at least with me).
HI!  I'm HOME!  And I'm CUTE!

For those who follow our Forever Family blog, you will know that Bing as some Special Needs.

When we got his referral, it stated that he did have Spinabifida.  I know I've talked about Spinabifida time and time again, so I'm not going to cover it here.  

Then, we found out two weeks before my Wife travelled to China to bring Bing home, that Bing had been diagnosed with another Special Need - Vitiligo.  Which can be a minor cosmetic need, or a more severe auto-immune or thyroid condition.  Again, I think I've covered Vitiligo a few times, so I'm going to move onto the 'Undiagnosed Special Need'

This 'Undiagnosed Special Need' is a rather bad one as well.  It affects not only our little Bing, but the whole family.  Not just our family, but it can affect almost everyone he has known.  And in fact, there is no medicine to help, no surgical option and no guarantee that he will ever recover from it.  And it is also the reason this post is a little late today... because I was dealing with it last night.

What is it?  Keep reading.

Friend:  So how are things settling down with Bing?
Me:  Oh good.  Better than expected.
Friend:  So he has stopped hitting your wife and likes her now?
Me:  I wouldn't say that.  He gets along better with her.
Friend:  Hummmm... I wonder why.
Me:  Yea, I'm not sure...
*I turn to the 'Screaming Wonder'(tm)*Me:  WHY ARE YOU CRYING?!
Me:  Oh, right.  为什么你哭了?
Bing:  我的妈妈回来!
Me:  He wants his Mom to come get him.
Wife:  WHAT?!
Wife:  I AM HIS MOM!
Wife:  WHAT?
Me:  Yea, can't figure it out.  I wish he would give me a clue or something.
Me:  Why is his shirt covered in blood?
Wife:  Because he got a nose bleed he was crying so hard.
Me:  But he stopped crying!
Wife:  Oh... just wait a second... he will start again.
Me:  你好炎兵!
Bing:  *incoherent babbling*  爸爸 *more babbling* 飞机 *babbling* 回来!*begins crying again*Wife:  What is he saying.
Me:  Something about an airplane, and his Dad.
Friend:  Do you think it is because your wife is the one who took him away from China?
Me:  Yea, maybe.  Bing had been in the same foster home since he was 20 days old.  So really, the foster family were his mother and father.  I don't think a two year old understands the concept of "foster".
Bing's Foster Sister (BFS):  We all miss Bing very much.
Me:  I know.  He misses you all as well.
BFS:  I catch his Mom, everyday she looks at his picture you sent us and she cries.

Now, I am no Doctor.  But when I was younger, I liked playing one.  I am however, a Father.  And as such, I feel I am distinctly qualified to diagnose our sons 'undiagnosed special need'.  See, our son is suffering from a Broken Heart.

No, no CVT Valve, or holes in the muscle problems.  Those are different... those types of Special Needs are commonly diagnosed as Heart Defects. 

My son has a fine heart.  No defects.  It is however, simply broken.

And as his Heart continues to Break... so to do the hearts of his new Mother and new Father.  His new brothers and sisters hurt for him, and his Foster Family back in Taiyuan miss him greatly and their hearts are breaking as well.

I have seen Broken Hearts render even the strongest man distraught and useless.  I have seen Broken Hearts take years to heal, if ever at all.

Unfortunately, there is no surgery to fix his condition.
Time is often considered to be a healing factor... but time can also cause the pain to worsen.
I have no medicine.
No crutches.
No words to soften the pain.
Cuddles help... its like Tylenol(tm) for a Broken Heart

I have two arms strong enough to hold him when he cries, and a heart big enough to love him while he hurts... but I can not fix this Special Need.

I really wish they would list this special need on the Adoption Reports.  Maybe it would help prepare the parents of these hurting children so we can better help and understand them.  Give them more grace when they cry, and more patience when they push us away.
Hope, as one Broken Hearted child continues to heal her
broken heart, she can pass encouragement onto the others

And if you DO have a child who is suffering from a Broken Heart, you are not alone.  I think almost everyone has had a Broken Heart at least once in their life.  :-)

And always remember the words of the highly regarded Rick Astleys, who obviously was trying to overcome someone else's broken heart, their doubt in love and dealing with a difficult past in love.  His words continue to help young people overcome Broken Hearts even today (20ish years after his initial writings were released):
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you


  1. Thank you for sharing this. Broken hearts, thank goodness we have the Lord, who heals the broken hearted, on our side. Lukai is precious!

  2. I have been telling others from our agency who are in the starting or waiting phases to read up on attachment and trauma and ask BTDT's like me questions. I was totally unprepared for my DD's needs (also from Taiyuan, also fostered from 1 month old to 2.5 yrs). She suffered so much grief and yet we are only now starting to figure out why she had issues attaching to me (in her case, she was attached to foster FATHER not mother!) Poor Bing. I hope he also finds healing.

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with little Lukai and your family. Big hugs to Roberta.

  4. I understand your fear of time making Bing's undiagnosed special need even worse... but your family all have understanding, and big hearts, and the desire to help heal his broken heart -- I'd say the prognosis is pretty good. There are sure to be some less pleasant moments, but as Lukai and the rest of his new family grow into each other they should become less and less frequent.

  5. Great Post Adrian. I almost feel as though this SN might be the hardest of all - when I read it, I want to cry for him, and you all, and them. Our daughter, home 4 months now has a physically "broken" heart. She needs to have serious surgery done to repair it. But, having come from the orphanage and not foster care, her heart is not hurting in the same way your precious little Bing's heart is hurting and is broken. You are right, that loss affects everyone. I will pray that God can be his medicine and your medicine and the foster family's medicine and give a supernatural peace. A peace that will heal and bind up the wound and give hope and restore joy to all!

  6. Not fix no, but you and r will be there to give him your love and help provide the bandages for him to hold his broken heart together. And over time he will have the skills from love and family and God to heal.
    And you and r will have the prayers and love of your friends and family to help you as you help him.

  7. I am looking forward to hearing more on how he does, as we are now adopting a three year old boy (almost 4) with Spinabifida, who has been in his foster family for over three years. Our first adoption was a daughter out of foster care (24 months old) and she was traumatized, but at a much younger age, adjusted and forgot quickly. I believe it still affects her to this day...

  8. God bless you. We are heading back to China soon and you have touched on my biggest worry this time around. I think the first time we went, we didn't know better. This time around we do. And maybe that makes it even harder.