Tonawanda News

Local News

February 4, 2013

Wheatfield family stresses importance of special needs adoptions


Tonawanda News — “We definitely wanted to make sure they were OK with it,” Brandy said. 

Once the girls were on board, the Andrews started looking at adoption agencies, and researching requirements and costs of adoptions in a variety of different countries. They didn’t set out knowing exactly that they’d want to adopt an older child from Colombia who has special needs.

The family ended up working with Baker Victory Services in Lackawanna, an organization that serves as an adoption agency among its other roles. 

Brandy said they settled on adopting an older child because she and David had already experienced having babies in their family and “older children, they sometimes don’t get placed.” With older children, there’s also not as long of a wait.

They narrowed their search down even further when they realized David’s age — 48 — limited the age of the child they were able to adopt in some countries.

In the end, everything seemed to be pointing the Andrews family toward Colombia, and at some point a friend of Brandy’s suggested adopting a child with special needs.

My friend “was telling me about how kids with special needs are treated and that kind of got me looking into it,” Brandy said.

Baker Victory found Andres at Foundation for the Assistance of Abandoned Children, a private orphanage in Bogota. He had been living there since birth, going to school and got around mostly in a wheelchair or by crawling.

“Where he was from, he was treated wonderfully. I think they just didn’t have the resources and the people to give him the intensive therapy he needs,” Brandy said.

Now that’s he’s home with his family, “he’s just going to thrive having all this attention from his sisters,” she added.

Already she said she’s noticed his strength is improving. Andres is moderately effected in his lower extremities, but has good use of his upper body. 

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