Special Needs

  • Adoption/Foster Care Children Special Needs

    THE DOUGHERTY DOZEN

    Be careful what you pray for. We went through nine years of infertility and had at least 11 miscarriages. But I kept praying to become a mother. And God certainly answered my prayers—and then some—because now we have 12 children! When you have a dozen children, life is a little hectic. We do five loads of laundry every day. We spend over $1,000 each week on groceries and have four full-size freezers in our garage to store food. We recently purchased 12 lockers so the kids have their own space for their coats, backpacks and all their shoes. We need a 15-seat… Read More

  • Labor Special Needs

    UNLESS U

    My brother, Jordan, inspired us to start Unless U, a faith-based continuing education program in a college-like environment for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Jordan was my best friend throughout my childhood. We had so much fun together. But other children did not understand his needs, so I learned at an early age to be his advocate. I also noticed that Jordan's disability doesn't limit his desire to have the same opportunities as others. He always wanted to be like everyone else. He did not understand it when my brother and I got to drive a car, and he couldn't; or… Read More

  • Adoption/Foster Care Special Needs

    ADOPTING CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

    I was a single mother of two when I answered God’s clear call to adopt and foster children with Down syndrome and other life-threatening medical conditions. It has been quite a wild and demanding ride but it has brought me so much closer to the Lord, and, in looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. How I got to this point requires some explanation: I got divorced when I was pregnant with my second child. It was right around the holidays, and I was devastated. I cried out to God that this was not how I ever imagined my life when… Read More

  • Labor Overcoming Obstacles Special Needs

    FITNESS CLASSES FOR THE DIFFERENTLY-ABLED

    We started teaching fitness classes designed for individuals with developmental disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy or Down syndrome. Our goal is to help them increase strength, motor coordination, social skills and overall wellness. And we can surely see God’s hand in all this, especially how He brought us together and made this happen so seamlessly. We worked in the same school district as contract speech-language pathologists. We were frequently moved from school to school and didn’t really come in contact with one another, but in August of 2020, we ended up assigned to the same school. We found ourselves bonding… Read More

  • Loss Of Loved One Overcoming Obstacles Special Needs

    JOHN-BOY’S PLACE

    I lost my husband, John, after a relatively quick two-year battle with ALS. It is a devastating disease that destroys the patient's physical abilities due to muscle and nerve degeneration. It also attacks the health and mental wellness of both patient and family as the days begin to run together. John began losing his balance, and his falls resulted in several broken bones and chipped teeth. The balance issues continued to get worse and after months of testing, we received the dreaded diagnosis: John had ALS. It would lead to a very difficult death, since there is no cure. Upon hearing this… Read More

  • Adoption/Foster Care Children Special Needs

    ADOPTING 10 CHILDREN FROM CHINA

    How we came about adopting 10 children from China, all with special needs, shows what can happen if you are open to listening to God’s calling for your life. It has made me realize that my life is not all about me but rather living out God’s will. And it has made me, and my entire family, a much more Christ-centered person. My husband, Rob, and I had never even thought about adoption. We already had a houseful of biological kids: two boys and two girls. But when our youngest was five, the Lord started laying it on our hearts in… Read More

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