Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

As Long As Its Healthy

The first two times that I was pregnant, I heard the phrase "Well it doesn't matter as long its healthy!" quite a bit, often in response to a question of what gender my baby was.  It didn't phase me.  I might have even said it myself.  I mean, after all, doesn't everyone want a healthy baby?

Then we adopted M.

She was born premature which resulted in a laundry list of medical conditions, then left in a hospital because she was not "healthy."  No matter how gently we have put this to her when explaining the "WHY?" she discerned the cold hard truth of it all.  

Never was this more apparent to me than when we told the kids I was expecting.  Her initial reaction was thrilled.  "YES!"  Then later she said, "I really hope the baby is ok.  I don't want it to be born too early like me and have problems.  Its not fun."


Eastern European countries make no qualms about how they feel towards "unhealthy" children.  I've often heard how nannies tell disabled children that no one would ever want them.  This was the very reason we chose to adopt a special needs child.  We wanted to adopt a child that no one else would go get.

I assured M that no matter what, even if the baby had problems, we would love it and make sure to get it the help that it needed, like we do for her.  But abandonment is ingrained in her mind.  Her disability made those who were supposed to care for her, leave her.  For 4 1/2 years she had no family.  And if that happened to her...

A few days later I got the standard, "As long as its healthy!" line from someone and I cringed.  I cringed because we want this baby no matter what.  If its not healthy, we still want it.  There is no "As long as…"  No.  Its ours.  We love it.

I want to encourage people to please think before making statements like that to pregnant mothers.  I've spent time explaining to my child that babies don't have to be healthy to deserve love, yet society seems bent on implying that maybe they do…

 I would guess that 99% of the people that make the statement do not mean anything harmful by it, but like many things in our society it said without giving it any thought.  I want to encourage people to think about what that really means, and perhaps come up with alternative ways to encourage an expecting mama not to worry over what gender baby is.  Perhaps a more appropriate statement would be, "Any child is a blessing from the Lord and I'm sure you are great mom."  


You're in a Mental Hospital...

We've all seen them, and probably at one point participated in it on social media.  "You're in a mental hospital… tag the first 8 friends on your sidebar in order and…"  

Funny right?

I used to think so, but since joining the ranks of a special needs adoptive mama, I now have friends that have children with all sorts of special needs, including mental health issues.

The things that my friends have dealt with and been through hurt my heart.  The struggle for them to get their children the help that they need is often met with such stigma.  No one wants their child to be mentally ill, but those who are living this reality are in their own personal level of hell, mostly brought on not so much by the child, but the lack of resources, support, and understanding that they receive.

Some of my own children have been diagnosed with things like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder.  Some of these things can manifest with symptoms of psychosis.  The first thing we've dealt with when sharing even the slightest bit of information with anyone was "Don't medicate your kids" and "Not everyone needs to know."

Of course any medication for any child should be administered after careful consideration with a medical professional, and no, not everyone needs to know.  But just being on the tip of the mental health iceberg scares me to death because of the immediate stigma and unwanted, unhelpful advice.       

I see the "Mental Hospital" joke going around FB again, and this time it just pierced right into my heart.  At one point in time, I might have played along and tagged my friends, but I cannot imagine the hurt that would cause my friends who are currently visiting their child in a psychiatric hospital.  I just read on my friend's blog how difficult it is for them to plan Easter with one child hospitalized for psychiatric issues.  This isn't a new thing for them.  What they've dealt with most likely would have broken me.

Another friend is also dealing with mental health issues with her son, and she has been so strong to keep pushing to get him the help he needs.  So when I see it made light of while I know my friends are in pain, I just want to smack people right out of their dream world.  I know my friends see these posts too.    

Please think before poking fun at anyone.  Its really not funny.  People with mental illness have faces, names, birthdays, favorites colors, feelings, and families.

To all of the mamas out there with kids that have ODD, PTSD, GAD, MDD, OCD, Bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, and much more: I see you.  I might not say it, but I see you and I admire you.  You fight the battles that no one talks about because deep down they are scared by that which you do every day.    

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Our Big Surprise

I announced this on Facebook several weeks ago, and now I'm ready to put it on blog land.  

We will be growing by one more this year!  

The big kids are super excited!

Friday, March 6, 2015

A Lot Going On

I haven't blogged much lately.  We have had SO much going on.  I can't even explain it all right now because just wow.  So many feelings and a big surprise and then a bad scare… I will try to update on some of it all soon.  We've had a birthday party that got cancelled for snow and rescheduled… a big IEP meeting, another neuropsych eval, E's big ENT and audiological appointment, a LOT of snow days, and much more.

Oh and I'm turning the big 3-0 next week.  Eeek.

Stay tuned.   

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson