Just ask me “Who Adopts a Kid Like That?” A seemingly innocent question. A question inferring all children who have some type of difference or need is the same. A question implying you have to have some sort of superpowers to parent a child…a child “LIKE THAT”. Let me tell you just one of the many stories I have the privilege of watching unfold.
In November 2011 I received a child to advocate for. His medical and social report was grim. His photos were so very sad.
Little “Z” was blind. He was born prematurely due to a tragic accident his mother suffered. Z weighed just over two pounds. He did not receive adequate medical care and retinopathy of prematurity led to loss of his vision. Z’s grandmother tried to care for him for about a year. She was unable to continue to care for him and he was placed in a very large orphanage. When I received his report, Z was 5 1/2 years old. He weighed just over 15 pounds. He did not speak. He did not walk. He could not feed himself and he was afraid of his caregivers and the other, much larger, children in his ward.
The assumptions the worker, the doctors, the experts, and the caregivers made were that little Z was both blind and deaf. That he suffered from “retardation” and “mental illness”.
Who Adopts A Child Like That?
Happily, I can tell you exactly who! Little Z’s family began the journey to adopt him in January of 2013. They are a normal family. A Dad and Mom who work hard to support their children. They do not possess any super powers. They could be you. They could be me.
Adoption is not for the faint of heart. Adoption is not for people who are not prepared for the very worst. Z’s family was prepared for him to be the boy described in the report. They were prepared to parent a boy who could not learn, who rejected their presence, who could not see and could not hear. Their goal was to give Z a chance. A chance to live a life free from abuse, starvation and seclusion.
When Z’s family met him the following summer he was a tiny seven year old weighing under 20 pounds. His orphanage insisted “he ate everything, like a horse”. During this visit they were happy to find that Little Z craved love and attention. They also had a very strong suspicion that this tiny boy could hear and learn.
The boy on the left is Z on his pick up trip. The boy on the right is Z six weeks after joining his family.
So when you wonder who adopts a “kid like that?” Please remember the words of Z’s mom:
“I was not prepared for the amazing, endless joy that this boy would bring to me every single day. Adoption is so awesome isn’t it??”