Family hopes to bring special needs child ‘home’

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012

With three children and another on the way, Christopher and Laura Wade have a full plate. But they also have room in their home and in their hearts for another child.

Ivan, 3, was born with Apert Syndrome and currently lives in an orphanage in Eastern Europe. Christopher and Laura Wade hope to adopt Ivan and have him “home” in February.

The Wades have made application to adopt a three-year-old, blond boy in Eastern Europe.

Ivan is not a “normal” little boy. He has Apert Syndrome and is in urgent need of a surgery to open his skull and give his brain a chance to grow. He also has cleft palate and mitten hands that will require two surgeries in order for him to have fingers and thumbs.

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Laura Wade said that she and her husband realize that, by adopting Ivan, they are openly walking into every parent’s worst nightmare.

“All any parent wants is for their baby to be ‘normal,’” Wade said. “Chris and I know that by adopting Ivan, we will be out of our comfort zone. The rest of our lives will be changed but in such a wonderful and beautiful way, with this precious little boy – our little boy.”

Wade said that, from the moment she saw Ivan on a friend’s video, he has been on her heart.

“On both of our hearts,” she said. “Chris and I tried to find someone who was willing to adopt Ivan. We would have helped them raise the money needed for the adoption. But we quickly realized that Ivan was not somebody else’s little boy. He was ours.”

The Wades’ hearts went out to the little blond boy with the big, warm eyes.

“The conditions in the orphanage where Ivan lives are horrible,” Laura Wade said. “There are so many children and so few people to care for their needs. When children like Ivan reach ages three to five, they leave the orphanage and are placed in a mental institution. It’s heartbreaking.”

The Wades said they know and understand that they can’t save every child living in such dire situations but they can save Ivan.

“We know that Ivan has so much to overcome but we also know that we can’t leave him in a place without God,” Laura Wade said. “We have been called to bring him home. He is our little boy. He’s just a long way from us right now.”

The Wades will leave on Sunday for the orphanage in Eastern Europe and will see Ivan for the first time.

“I can’t wait to hold him,” Laura Wade said. “We will be with him for four days. We’ll come back home while the paperwork is being done that will legally make him our son. Then, we’ll go back and bring him home.”

The process that usually takes more than a year to complete is being done in about half that time.

“Because Ivan’s condition is medically urgent, we hope to be able to have him at home with us by late February,” Laura Wade said. “We will bring him away from all he has ever known to a place that is strange to him, but he will have a home that is filled with love and with love for him.”

The Wades have insurance that will cover Ivan’s medical costs. Laura Wade is a registered nurse and is qualified to provide his home medical care. The Wade family will provide him with the love and caring that he will need through the upcoming surgeries and future surgeries.

“At age eight, Ivan will have a surgery to further correct his facial features,” Christopher said. “We will be with him through it all. Although we have never held him or seen him, Ivan already is a part of our lives and will be a part of our lives always. We can hardly wait to bring him home.”

For more information about Ivan visit the Wades’ blog at