Couple Adopted Six Blind Children From Around The World
Meet the big-hearted couple who adopted six blind children from around the world - including a baby girl who was dumped in a trash can. Joe and Karen Bartling, both 60, dreamed of having a large family but struggled to conceive naturally after having their biological son Joel, 30. Joe and Karen Bartling were 30 when they had their first and only biological child, Joel. After it became evident that he would be their only child, they turned to adoption and heard about a baby that had been abandoned in a South Korean orphanage through a customer at Karen’s shop.
When they decided to adopt, the first child happened to be blind. Looking after a blind child is not an easy thing to do, it is a massive undertaking, the one that demands commitment, patience and care around the clock. Their first reaction was expected, they were afraid and inexperienced and they thought it would be challenging but noble at the same time. When they went to the airport to pick up the child, they realized she was just an innocent, precious little pearl. After that every other child with disability that came into their family was a blessing. The couple’s openness to a child with a profound disability got them on the lists of several social workers. When a young life with a physical deformity entered the system, those workers would contact the Bartlings. One day they received a piece of mail about adoption and when Karen was browsing through it, she found Jesse’s picture saying “parents needed for blind child”. Karen’s first thought was that the Almighty sent her in their family.
Joe and Karen went on to adopt six blind children: Hannah, David, Bethany, Jesse, Abi, and Obed. One had been abandoned in a trash can in India, another was left on the steps of a Chinese governmental building, and another faced mental challenges in addition to blindness. “Depending on where we are and how the community responds to us, it’s quite interesting. Often when we are out in rural areas, in places where people don’t see a diverse family like ours, we get our meals paid for every so often.” - says Joe. Parents who adopt children with special needs will need to take the time to decide if they have the emotional, physical, mental, and financial resources to be a successful parent. It will be helpful to make a self-assessment before deciding to adopt. If you like what you see, don’t forget to share it with others who might like it as well. It just might be the highlight of their day! Enjoy!