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The “special needs” miracle story.

August 10, 2014


Have you ever felt like statistic? I think we all have, at some point. Well, in the forthcoming book Finding Zoe, Brandi Rarus, who is a former Miss Deaf America, and her daughter Zoe prove that statistics can be wrong. First the statistics. Then more about the memoir, whose Foreword was written by Academy-Award winner Marlee Matlin.

Statistics show that in the United States, more than 150,000 children with special needs are waiting to be adopted, and that traditionally, children with special needs have been considered harder to place for adoption than other children, often taking three years or more for them to find a home. And the disruption rate (when adoptive parents relinquish their special needs adopted child) is somewhere between ten and sixteen percent. In the story, these facts actually worked in this mother and daughter’s favor.

Initially, Brandi didn’t know what had happened to Zoe before she adopted her at eight months old. She did know that hers was the 5th home that Zoe had been living in when she came home to her. Like any mother it was hard for Brandi to accept that her daughter had been rejected so may times. But she vowed, that in spite her daughter’s special needs, Zoe was going to take the world by storm. Being deaf herself, and very comfortable in both the deaf and hearing worlds, Zoe’s being deaf was hardly an issue for Brandi. And she got to work on resolving Zoe’s other issue immediately.

Yes, in this case, Zoe’s “special needs” resulted in the miracle that Brandi had been waiting for her entire life. Had Zoe not become deaf soon after she was born and her birth mother placed her for adoption, along with this magnificent story’s other twists of fate, Brandi would never have found the daughter who was meant to be hers, and Zoe would never have found the family that was meant to raise her. Zoe, who might have been caught in “the system” for years and years, was home safe in her mother’s arms.

Launch date: October 7th

Finding Zoe: A Deaf Women’s Story of Identity, Love, and Adoption. By Brandi Rarus and Gail Harris

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Gail Harris Author