Friday, May 16, 2008

A Mother’s Story About Adopting a Child with Special Needs: I Choose HER

For years, every time I saw a news feature on parents who had fostered or adopted a special needs child, I felt shallow. I felt like a failure as a human being that I couldn't be one of "those kind of parents." Don't get me wrong - I wanted to, truly I did. Somehow, though, I couldn't bring myself to imagine choosing to adopt a child who faced medical, physical or developmental challenges. "It would be too heartbreaking," I thought.

Adoption, for me, had always been a goal. From the time I was old enough to imagine my future wedding, I always told my friends, "I'm going to have two babies and adopt one, because so many children need good homes." In my youthful enthusiasm, I imagined picking a child up (like a homeless puppy), taking the tiny bundle home, feeding it and bathing it in all its wee baby perfection. Of course, in my childhood heart of hearts, babies never cried if they were loved enough and never got sick if they were fed the most nutritious foods - I simply had no frame of reference. I imagined my three easygoing, content, perfect children growing up effortlessly, becoming well-adjusted adults and world leaders. That fantasy lasted until the precise moment I gave birth...

Read the rest here.