The Gift of Adopting a Special Needs Child
Every child is a gift, as well as every moment you spend with that child. When I look at my son, I don’t see someone with cerebral palsy; I see the little boy that needs my love. And when I look at myself, I see the mother that needs his. My son is not defined by his condition, but in his struggle, his effort, his heart, and his mind. Every day I get to see a new miracle and every day I am reminded that every child is a gift.
When considering adopting a special needs child, there a few things you should know. We will start off with the most important of all:
“Special Needs” is not just held for children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities, but is instead defined individually by each state. These differences can include age and ethnicity. Be sure to look up your state’s definition of special needs.
In the process of adopting a child with special needs, you should be given the entire medical and social breakdown of the child’s situation. This will allow for preparedness, education and any necessary training that may be required when caring for a child with special needs. Remember that this will be a massive adjustment for your new child- being informed will help as a catalyst to earn their trust and love.
Adopting a special needs child might not be easy, but having that knowledge will make the transition easier for both you and the child. It will be the foundation for the rest of your life together.
Adopting any child is going to require some amount of support. Adopting a child with special needs will require quite a bit more.
Rest assured, you will not be alone. There are multiple support outreach programs, blogs, and advocacy groups dedicated to making your life with your new child easier. And as with any adoption process there are social workers involved. Take advantage of these meetings with the social workers. As informed as you may be, they have made a living helping people in your similar situation.
The Ultimate Gift of Love
The ultimate reason for adopting a child with special needs is the same as adopting a child without special needs. The love that your new child will give you is unmatched and unconditional. When a person adopts a child with special needs they are inviting in a child that might not have the same quality of life without a loving family. Providing a caring environment for a child that only wants to offer love in return is the best reward for anyone.
Adopting a child with special needs will bring a whole new meaning to love. They will bring a smile to your face everyday and provide your life a fulfillment you could not find anywhere else. My son provides me with more love than I had ever imagined possible. I don’t need a fancy car, a big screen television, or any other material thing because I have the love of my son.
Like mine, your child will teach you things about yourself you never knew, and you will begin to see the real “you” through the eyes of your child. You would be amazed the things you can learn from spending one day with someone with special needs. I have been blessed to have spent many years with one, so my knowledge about the world continues to grow.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer and proud mom of a special needs child. While her background is online marketing, she has extensive knowledge in various health topics, from beauty and family, to medicine and holistic healing. You can read more about her and her son’s journey at prayfornathan.org.