Just your average mom

So I've been MIA for a few days.  Life has been busy ~ as it often is with three littles running around.  I've got a few projects on the back burner (that I can't wait to tell you about), and don't have time to look through the pictures that were taken over the past few days just yet.  But I did want to share my contribution for this month to the No Hands But Ours blog  ~ and a promise that I'll be back soon...

"Since I've become a mom to a child with a visible special need, I've noticed something interesting about the way some people perceive me.

Many people, from our guides in China to friends who know our schedules with various specialists to random strangers in grocery lines, want to promote me to sainthood. They say things like, "Thank you for giving her a chance at a normal life." or "Wow, you sure do juggle a lot of medical appointments." or "Just imagine what her life would have been like..."  And while I would love to sit back and polish my halo, I have a confession to make.

I'm just a mom.  Really.

Yes, we may have more doctor appointments than most.  (And of course less than many others).  We may even be on first name basis with more than one specialist at Duke University.

But I'm just a mom.

The fact that I'm raising two kids that came out of the special needs program (and one who came through the non-special needs program and yet has her own set of unique challenges) doesn't make me any more special than any other mom out there that loves her kids.

Because that's the whole point.  I'm not raising a label or a condition or even a disorder.  I'm raising my three children.

I'm just like every other mom who would move heaven and earth if it were in her power to make life a little better for her kids.  I'm just like any other mom who would step in front of a bus to save her child.  I'm just like any other mom, biological or adoptive, mom to healthy kids or those with health concerns, that at the end of the day sneaks into her child's room for one last glance at her cherubs before going to bed.  I'm just another mom who collapses into bed at night, spent from the effort of the day, yet happy to have the reasons to be worn out.

Because I love my kids.


Don't get me wrong.  Don't go into a special needs adoption blindly.  Do research.  Lots of research.  Know the full range of the condition you are considering.  Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. 

And sure, there are a bunch of things that make parenting special needs children a bit easier.  Patience, tough skin (for those insensitive comments that are bound to come up from time to time), a reliable vehicle (to transport you and said child to various appointments), a network of family and friends (to offer support or to watch any other kids that you don't want to drag to marathon specialist appointments), and reasonable insurance are pretty high on my checklist of things that make this journey easier.  I imagine though that when you stop to reflect, you'll probably find that you already have most of those. 

If you are considering a special needs adoption, remember.  You don't have to be a saint, or even necessarily have "a full checklist" to adopt a child with a special need.

In the end, it really comes down to love..."


Rachelle said...

Great post, Kristi!

The Ferrill's said...

I loved your post on NHBO!
It does come down to love!

Nancy said...

Well said!

Heather said...

Kristi, Love this post. As kind as strangers are trying to be when they make these comments, all we are doing is parenting just as we parent a child by birth. No difference. It just always comes back to the point that as an adoptive parent, we have a different perspective than most. Even some of my dearest friends really do not see things from my perspective. Well said.

Andrea said...

You said it so perfectly... I quoted you!

Kim said...

Grateful for Andrea's link to your fabulous post!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

Traci said...

well said Mei Mei! well said!

Glenda said...

Beautifully said and every bit very true!

Our Journey to China said...

Eloquently said, sweet friend! :0)

Sharon said...

So so true my friend! As the mother of a biological child with a LD it all falls under the same title...."mom"...regardless of how they came to be your child.

Melissa said...

Perfectly worded my dear friend....isn't it amazing what love will do???