the challenger

No, this has nothing to do with manned space flight.

Unless you count my desire to knock a certain kid out into space.

See my sister-in-law’s eldest child is mentally challenged (the new age word for retarded).  due to the cord being wrapped around his throat he didn’t get to breathe for the first 5 minutes of his life.  This damaged his brain and he has never been quite right.

However he taught me a HUGE lesson this past week.  I will never be able to take care of a child that has brain damage.  I can handle emotional damage, and physical limitations, but if I can’t reason with you, we ain’t gonna get along.

It’s kind of embarrassing to realize that I’m limited in this way, but on the other hand it’s a good thing to know my limits BEFORE we get involved in the adoption process.  Since a lot of the kids in the DFCS system  do have significant…challenges.  At least now I know one thing that I simply can’t handle.

Sort of a light bulb moment.  Not one I’m particularly proud of, but there you go.

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3 thoughts on “the challenger

  1. No, I understand, I always think it is good to acknowledge and accept weaknesses, even tho they may also be character flaws.

    When I was teaching I couldn’t STAND slow readers. Made me want to scream! I was young and liberal etc etc and wanted to teach in the inner city, but felt so much more comfortable and taught so much better with gifted kids, or in private school. I used to feel so guilty about it, until finally someone told me “you know, the smart rich kids need good teachers too” and I was like, oh. True that.

    I like a book called The Mommy Manual and the author gave birth to a child with Down Syndrome and then went out and ADOPTED TWO MORE.

    There are amazing women like that out there. We are just not one of them. And it’s ok.

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  2. I have a super intelligent child I can’t reason with. What will you do with that when it happens? Seriously, a two year old is about brain damaged, too.
    Every time I think we are getting some progress, Eleanor moves the goal line…
    Sigh.
    I see your point, however. I have a little girl in my play group who is the daughter of a woman who herself has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Let me tell you, the second generation of FAS is not pretty either. I love to see her make strides, and learn, but it’s hard to think that she is never going to be… average. I felt before my second child was born that I would be happy to take whatever child God gave me, and I still feel that way. But I know it’s because that child was flesh of my flesh. I would be really unsure how I would deal with a special child that was not of my loins.
    In short, I understand where you are coming from. I would love to hear more about the process you are going through with the adoption…

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  3. I know exactly what you are talking about. I feel the same way. I have seen several couples with mentally challenged children deal with their situation with poise and amazing strength, and while I know I could, if I had to (afterall, I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me…), it’s not a challenge I would enthusiastically take up.

    I really respect your honesty, and your self-appraisal.

    You really are getting stronger and stronger!

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