Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What are your special needs??

I have been asked over the years what disabilities or special needs do my children have.  Some disabilities are obvious, others are not.  My personal experience is it is SO much harder to deal with the mental/ emotional disabilities than the physical ones.  That is just our personal experience.  Others have more physical disabilities than our children do though & they would say otherwise.  I can only speak from what I've dealt with personally so hope you don't mind my opinions.  They say God only gives you what you can handle.  I can honestly say some days I feel He gave me too much.  Other days, not enough--LOL.  Seriously though, I think as parents of special needs children it is okay to sometimes say you are overwhelmed.  If you have 2 having a meltdown at once or someone broke someone else's prosthetic, etc.  Yet, ALL parents of any children have these thoughts of being overwhelmed at some point or another.  I know, I've talked to one of those parents last night!  And she has one child.  Sometimes I feel some people (not mentioning any names here--LOL) think we have it altogether & should be able to handle anything that comes our way.  If we did, we could write the guide to perfect parenting.  However, since no one's perfect, I don't think you will have to worry abou this publishing guide.  I have relatives w/ "normal" children who have experience way more than I can ever imagine.  It is just not the special needs population that requires help.  It is everyone in the world at one point or another.  That's just a fact of life.  At some point, someone will need a helping hand.  Just be there for them.  Whether it's encouragement, monetary support, emotional support, just be there.  It does help.  We try to help our kids when they need it as well. 

Now as for disabilities, I may just have to list those one day.  We have some of the scarier  adoption dx's that many fear in the adoption realm.  For some of our children, we were blatantly told by "professionals" they would become sociopaths and to disrupt the adoption immediately.  Not a chance.  Some things take time.  When you have emotional disabilities, it can take years to get the children on track.  Just the way it isand we go with the flow.  Some of our childrens' disabilities are life long.  Bojan will never grow his leg back.  Nik will never truely hear again.  Alyona will not gain sight in her one eye nor clear vision in the other.  It just doesn't happen that way.  And that's okay.  Some have told us time & time again "your hands are full."  My response:  "better full than empty."  That's all I say.  I do have to dosome things that some parents out there don't have to.  IEP meeting this morning I had for Irina.  I stood my ground.  Told them what I thought of their school & the truth of what is happening.  I think my forwardness comes from the fact that I will not sit back & do nothing.  Some see special ed or special needs children as not being able to do anything.  They don't look past the disability.  URGHH.  Drives me insane as many, many of these children have so much potential.  I will do what I can as a special needs' parent to educate those who do not understand.  When we're in public, I hope we appear as normal as can be w/ a family of 9--LOL.  Some have this image that we sit at home w/our special needs children and don't go places or can't do anythign.  Ahh, no.  Here's some pics from a recent visit to a light show:

I know this one is not a clear picture but reason I posted it.  Sometimes, having special needs kids means taking an extra step to explain something.  Here is Irina(btw, considered very delayed & very low IQ..ha, a smart cookie to us!) explaining to Nik before we leave what we are about to go and see.  She is using ASL with him.  Again, to us it is our normal.  I swear, one day I will take a picture & there will NOT be anything laying on the floor.

Here are all the kids & dad waiting to get on the train for the local light show.  (Meadow Lights is awesome for you local folks.  $2 to ride the train around the lights, see Santa, & you can go to the old fashioned candy store)  If you notice, the sun is just beginning to set.  With special needs children , we make adjustments automatically and don't even think about it anymore.  But for explanation purposes here, I'll explain.  Some of my kids have a hard time in crowds and can't handle the stimulation at all.  Trust me, it goes wrong.  by going to places early or to restaurants at odd times of the day, it eases the situation and everyone still enjoys the outing but it goes much smoother.

This is actually a photo that should have gone in the last posts w/ firsts but can fit in here b/c even special needs kids have "normal" things happen.  Here, Nik lost another tooth(his 2nd one).  he was so thrilled.  The mouse comes in this house to bring the tooth.  I have no idea but apparently our kids were told this in Russia.  So, even in winter, our kids leave the window open for the mouse to come in--LOL.  Okay, so that is totally not normal.  Oh well. 

So, I showed a few ways our family is normal despite having special needs children.  Some think we can't handle 3 more special needs children  and that it won't be fair.  I can assure you when all 10 of them go to the light show next year, they will think it is fair for sure!  When all of them go out to dinner, or go to school, or fight w/ each other(okay, if your our social worker, Mary, I didn't ever say that!), or do chores, or go camping w/ us,it will all be totally normal.  You can be a regular family even if you have special needs chlidren.  I am trying to demonstrate that to everyone we meet.  We just have to adjust.  Make sureeveryone has their "gear" when we go on trips.  Whether it is braces, or prosthetics, or meds or cochlear implants.  Whatever it is, bring it along and just enjoy the trip.  What most consider would be a burden in everyday life, it has just integrated into our everyday life and doesn't pose a problem.  Not, getting all to pose nice for a family Christmas picture...a big problem.  But, if that is all I have wrong, I do not mind one bit being the mother of 7, later on 10, special needs children.  I am very proud and honored at how far they've come & where they are going.  So if you new adoptive parents are being told your life will change with and special needs child and it won't be normal anymore.  Take that as a compliment and a good thing.  I assure you, it is.  I will talk more about specific dx's in another post.  Right now though, need toget stuff done as Bojan's chorus performance is tonight.  Gasp, will he be okay?!  He's missing a leg!  He'll be fine IF he behaves himself and doesn't make mom crazy.  Yep, normal boy.  The questions I get sometimes from the general population amazes me & one day I will address it.  Some I can understand is simple curiosity.  I don'tmind educating at all.  Some though, is just plain ignorance. 

Oh, btw, if you click on pictures on our blog, it gives you a bigger version of it & better view sometimes.  Enjoy your week everyone.  Oh, we're doing a big push for magazine sales as some people order magazines for gifts for Christmas.  There are such awesome deals on them.  Thanks for your contribution Lorraine & do hope you enjoy the magazines.  The link is on this blog on the right hand side.  Pass it to anyone youmight think may enjoy reading some new magazines.  Couldn't do this adoption without all of you.  Thanks so much for helping to bring 3 great kids home. 


  1. This post has spoken right to us! How did you know us? You have expressed some of the same feelings that I have begun experiencing over the last 6 months. These are the reasons that we are adopting. We are drawn to the "older kids" too - whatever that means! We are also adopting children with special needs. We love doing things together as a family - that is why we love children! We have been blessed to have 5 healthy biological daughters. Now we want to give back some of the love that has been bestowed on us by God. God bless you for your inspirational words! You have a truly wonderful family!

  2. I would be lost of there was not stuff all over the floor! :)

    You have a beautiful family. All kids are special needs anyway, aren't they? Some just more than others....