Wednesday, August 2, 2017

To The Ones Who Choose Special Needs

(I know, I came back and am all over the place with regards to topics.)

I used to see those postcard memes about how hard special needs parenting is, and though I understood it intellectually, I didn't really get it. I cringed when I saw the ones about how a special needs mom fights for her children because well, don't all mothers fight for their children?

Then I had one. Someone commented that other people would have given the child back to the adoption agency. Legally, I could within the first two years. I mean, the very first day we got him, I could tell there was something up, how did his foster parents, the paediatrician and the social workers miss it? But parenting is about making hard decisions. If I wouldn't give my biological child for adoption if born with extra issues, why would I do the same with an adopted one? They're all my children. But it's true, those memes are true. It's harder than raising neurotypical children.

And I don't mean in terms of fuel spent going to and from therapy sessions. I don't mean the financial impact of paying for treatments and tests and therapies. I don't mean the fact that I'm spending time on the road instead of homeschooling. I don't mean the physical toll.

It's hard on the brain and on the heart. You're constantly worrying, fretting, anxious, planning, hoping, watching, noting, fearing. You're wondering what that 'thing' means, you're wondering if you need to tell the therapist, if your child can handle a certain 'thing' that others can. Your heart hurts when they hurt from the needle pricks, the blood tests, the IV to put them to sleep, when 'normal life' hurts them and the things that bring other children joy cause them to suffer.

It is emotionally draining and lonely.

So, to choose it, to purposefully say, "We want to adopt a special needs child" is beyond understanding. I salute and admire all the people who-knowing what it's like-don't ask for a 'healthy' child, but choose to parent a child with extra needs. I know of bloggers who adopt many children with special needs!

God bless you.

I always admired you before, now I admire you even more. Yours is a selfless love. The emotional toll is immense, yet you choose it with a smile and with open hearts and arms. Blessed are you, and your children.

And no, I still don't think all the postcards as true. Some things are linked to all parenting, not just 'special needs' parenting. I'm in the club, I can say so now!

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