It’s National Adoption Awareness Month, and what a joy it is to support both new and prospective, adoptive and foster parents of children with visual impairments by providing pertinent resources.
I will list my top 10 resources with topics such as subsiding your fears, sharing relatable stories, and easing the difficult transition of bringing a new (visually impaired) child into your family, and I hope you will comment with additional resources and/or questions for our community.
Intended to diminish your fears, read American Foundation for the Blind’s informative blog post Adopting a Child Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired.
Wonderbaby.org shared a blog entitled, How to Adopt a Special Child.
Wonderbaby.org also published a blog post with practical tips on transitioning an adopted child to school.
Peruse AFB FamilyConnect’s site to learn about eye conditions, educational accommodations for visually impaired children, your child’s educational team (which will include a teacher for students with visual impairment (TVI) and an orientation and mobility (O&M) specialist).
Browse age-related resources to help you parent a child of any age with a visual impairment.
Become a member of Blind Homeschooler, a Facebook and Yahoo community of parents with blind children, some adopted, who encourage one another and share helpful advice.
To read one family’s journey to adopt a blind child from overseas, read the narrative from the National Federation of the Blind.
Wonderbaby shares the story of one family who adopted mulitple children with visual impairments.
Exposed to Hope is an inexpensive book of stories from families who have each adopted a visually impaired child from one of Bethel’s orphanages for visually impaired children in China.
For prospective parents: Hope for Orphans with Visual Impairments is a site dedicated to finding families for children with visual impairments.
As those in our community will tell you, children with visual impairments are more like their sighted peers than different! As with parenting any child, you’ll need heaps of nurturing, high expectations, and consistency to provide a child who is blind with the love he or she needs.