Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Adopting a Child with Special Needs

I never thought I would be writing a blog like this. To be honest, the thought of caring for a special needs child scared me. A lot. I remember specifically talking with my husband about this as we were taking classes to become foster parents. I was not comfortable taking the placement of a child that had special needs. I know now that Jesus was up there smiling as I had all of these thoughts.
As a foster parent, there’s nothing quite like getting a call for placement. I can remember where I was for each of the calls for my kids, and Will’s was no different. For his call in March of 2012, I was sitting in a movie theater with about 200 grade school kids watching “The Lorax.” I got a call, saw it was my husband, and silenced it. He knew I was in a movie and I knew he would text after I didn’t answer. Well, he called again. Again I silenced the call, and thought it was a little strange he was calling again. I then got a text from him saying “urgent.” I stepped outside the theater and called him back. He proceeded to tell me of a 2 ½ month old baby boy that needed placement. I immediately wanted to say yes, as we had told our licensing worker we were ready to take a new placement. I won’t forget what my husband said next. “He’s in the hospital and ready to be released. He’s a shaken baby.” A thousand thoughts were going through my mind. There is no way I would be able to take care of a shaken baby. I didn’t know the first thing about taking care of a child with special needs. I asked how long the placement would be, along with a few other questions. I asked him if he thought we could do it. He wasn’t sure either. He called the caseworker and I waited for a call back from him. When he called back, he told me the placement would be very temporary and there were already several family members that wanted placement of the baby. So we made a decision that would change our lives, and we told her we would pick him up by 2:00 that day. 
We drove to Springfield and went up to the 7th floor to the PICU at Cox South. When we walked in, we saw this tiny baby with an abnormally large head. I just kept thinking, “What have we gotten into? We have no idea what we’re doing!” The nurses told us of how the doctors didn’t think he would make it initially, and that he had had a seizure that lasted 48 hours after being admittedAs the nurse handed us 8 different prescriptions, I was officially terrifiedThey told us what to watch for with seizures, and we proceeded to take this extremely fragile baby home.
Obviously, the placement was not temporary.  As time went on, we became more and more attached to this little guy. He had been through so much and continued to amaze us everyday. We have had several specialists and therapists that help with Will. In August of 2012, we went to a neurosurgeon appointment. We were asking questions about Will’s outlook and his possible future. That doctor looked at us and said he didn’t expect Will to meet any more milestones than what he had met already.  We were shocked, and again filled with fear. Will was only sitting up at that point, and that was only with help. I had the thought of, “How am I going to care for a child that can only sit up?” 
We prayed for Will everyday and had several other people praying for him too. We went to a neurologist appointment in October 2012. We were there to have a brain scan read to us. He told us at that appointment that every part of Will’s brain was damaged from being shaken. He said that Will has cerebral palsy and he didn’t expect him to walk. He also said he would never talk. We had pretty much heard this before, but to have more than one doctor tell us was devastating. We continued to not give up hope and kept praying for Will.

On the weekend of February 2, 2013, Jesus showed us the power of prayer. During that weekend, Will started crawling and pulling up on the mantle. It was such an amazing sight, and I can still watch that video and be brought to tears. In April, Will did what no doctor thought he would do: he walked. Now not only does he walk, he runs! We literally have a miracle that walks, runs, and jumps through our house everyday.
I could have never imagined how blessed I would be to have a child with special needs. Will brings us so much joy everyday. He is such a happy guy and loves to smile and laugh. There are rough days with Will, and it’s still scary to think about what his future holds. All I know is that God has provided so far, and I know that He will continue to do so.

1 comment:

  1. Lindsey, it is so heartbreaking to me to think about what Will went through as a sweet, tiny 2 month old. But I am so amazed at how God has used you guys to care for this little guy and love him to health. I'm proud of you and joyful with you. Thanks for sharing :)