Let me tell you truth. This is hard for me to say because it’s one of those things that I thought about … secret thoughts… thoughts I thought I’d never ever share.
I thought I was special.
When Abby was born, I totally marveled at the fact that I had a child with autism and a child with Down syndrome. What are the chances of that? Right? TWO kids with special needs? I’m AWESOME. Right?! It wouldn’t be long until Ellen Degeneres would be calling me up at home. We’d chat. She’d give me a car. I’d be in some parade. Because God thought I was special enough to have not one special needs kid, but TWO. I was indeed ELITE.
Then I was thrown into this amazing world. The Down syndrome world (Not that the autism world isn’t great- but it’s much smaller. I think. Definitely not smaller in numbers, but in the amount of moms who actually have the time or the energy to get on Facebook or write blogs. I could be wrong. I asked the babycenter group about cool autism blogs and NO ONE responded. No one. So tell me if you know of some good ones that aren’t already in my sidebar! Or maybe the problem is that there are SO many parents of kids with autism that it’s overwhelming. I digress). I started learning about one family, then another, then another after that who had two children, three or more that had special needs. And you know what made these family infinitely MORE special than I can ever dream of? They chose it. I really didn’t choose to have 2 kids with special needs. I wouldn’t have chosen it. But these families, most of whom already had one biological kid with Down syndrome, went and adopted ANOTHER. Or like the Browning family who went and adopted TWO more. And they are far from being the only ones! I am simply in awe of these families. I think it speaks to the joy that children with Down syndrome have, as well as the awareness of the children with Down syndrome in other parts of the world who have the potential to bring the same such joy, but are forced to live lives of confinement and, really, torture.
Then you add to them the advocates. Those who cannot adopt one of these children right now, but work like CRAZY to bring others home. Have I annoyed you with my pleas on this blog? You haven’t seen anything. I do very little compared to those warriors who will stop at nothing to help orphaned children. THEY are special.
I’ll give you a small snippet of these people. Here are just the people I KNOW who are working to adopt children with Down syndrome or other special need:
Livingstons adopting Pauline: http://www.gracefulbutterflywings.blogspot.com/
Rhodes adopting Samuel & Joseph: www.findingourlittleone.blogspot.com
Willis’ family adopting Emilie & Abigail: http://jenniferloveslobsters.blogspot.com
Sader family adopting Charity: http://www.the21stchromosomeablessingindesguise.blogspot.com/
Windley-Daoust family adopting Alex: http://www.wdadoption.blogspot.com (currently on private)
Foster family adopting Rosa: http://transformationbytheword.blogspot.com/
Maas Family: http://www.kyfamilyforfaith.blogspot.com
Steve and Katrina adopting Carlene http://www.operationorphannomore.blogspot.com/
(If people referrence us in a blog we ask that they not use our last name. Thanks)
Solomon Family adopting Finn : http://solomonadoption.blogspot.com/
Fields Family adopting Sutton: http://obedienthearts.blogspot.com/
The Simpson Six, Adopting “Chloe”: TheSimpsonSix.blogspot.com
Shpak Family, Adopting “Shannon”: http://faithsetfree.blogspot.com/
Faulkners adopting Ryan: www.goingafterone.blogspot.com
Fillmore Family adopting Hazel www.hopingforhazel.blogspot.com
Megan Meier adopting Sophia C. www.myjourneyoftheheart.blogspot.com
Gustafson family adopting “Mary L.”- http://redeemingourdaughter.blogspot.com/
Clark family adopting Ella and Allie: http://acinder-ellastory.blogspot.com
The Cooper Family, adopting Owen: http://specialingredientlove.blogspot.com/
These people ARE special. They are amazing. We want so badly to join their ranks one day. We haven’t given up the dream of adopting a child with Down syndrome. We’ve just had to put it on hold until we get back home to Washington. And it’s not to be special. I’m special in other ways (have you seen how many chins I have?!). It’s because I’ve seen pictures like these:
It doesn’t even look like the same child. These are children that have been forgotten. When they age out of their orphanges, they are sent to adult mental institutions- where they waste away. There were beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking blog posts on this blog: http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com
It’s because now that I know, I can’t NOT do something. Sure it means that we may never live in a big, beautiful house. I may never drive fancy cars or worry excessively about the dumb things I did before, but I’d be saving a child. I feel like I was given Casey to prepare me to have Abby. And we were given Abby to prepare us for another. To plug us into a world that I can no longer turn away from.
And, have you met Abby? Joy. Pure JOY. Why not double that in my household?! I can’t wait. But we have to. We just do.
Canadians- Ksenia is available to adopt and she needs urgent medical care. She’s only available to Canadian families at this time. If you are worried about bringing home such a child, please PLEASE read this blog: http://theblessingofverity.com/ Go and see the changes that happen SO QUICKLY when a child is loved and cared for. You can save a life.
I never thought my blog, my life, what have you, would go this way. But I’m grateful. I’ve been able to meet the most amazing families. Click on their links. If I’m missing someone, let me know. I’m humbled to be a part of such a community that loves and cares so much for others. Who really live their various religions.
There’s one more person I’ve thought a lot about lately. A blog I absolutely love. Her name is Patti. She’s an advocate SUPREME. Her blog about her 10th child, Lily, is beautiful. Visit her blog (click here or on the picture below). She is an amazing writer. She does SO MUCH for the Down syndrome community. She was one of the first people to welcome me into “the fold”. I just can’t say enough good things about her.
You know what hits me the hardest about all of this? That really, none of us parents are all that special. We just do what needs to be done. Some do more. Some, like me, spend stupid amounts of time photoshopping herself into other people’s family portraits. The REALLY special people in all of this? Our kids. Abby and Casey, and their siblings who do so much for them. They are the special ones. And I’m not saying “special needs” special. They are extraordinary and WE are lucky to have them.
6 thoughts on “Turns out, I’m not all that special.”
Very well put. We had someone go down the "special parents" road last night. I groan and roll my eyes. We definitely do what needs done…just like any other parent would!
oh golly. giant lump in my throat. you are just too darn sweet ! I just know you're going to adopt some day, and I can't wait to see it happen !! p.s. I happen to think you're special 🙂
Ow, my heart hurts.I mentioned two autism blogs but here they are again: http://adiaryofamom.wordpress.com/ andhttp://rhemashope.wordpress.com/Both are great in different ways. You will be able to see blog lists of more autism parents on Jess' site and maybe Jeneil's.
A friend from facebook posted the same photo. It tears my heart out.
Lexi, I just read about your day and your blog about not being special. God only picks the special moms to do his work. You are one of those moms. If you can have a day like today and not loss your mind, or had your kids off to the nearest available warm body you are doing well. I can't tell you how many people I have told that you are MY MOM HERO. You are special.
Thanks for the link! I came over here to find out who linked to my blog and I found this lovely post. And then I read some other posts and totally cracked up. I like your sense of humor. I am enjoying your writing and looking forward to more!