special needs

‘Don’t take her home with you,’ I was told. ‘If you have other kids, she’ll be a detriment to them.’ How wrong they were.’: Mom keeps baby, now world’s first ‘working model’ with Down Syndrome

“I’d never taken Madeline to a fashion show before because she was always sick. When her health increased, we walked in as I thought to myself, ‘What have I done?!’ I knew full well my daughter would want to be on that catwalk, too. Sure enough, after the show, she turned to me and said, ‘Mom. Me. Model.’ I’m the type of mom to do whatever I can to make things happen. Little did I know what this all would turn into.”

‘What do we do?’ I asked, tears in my eyes. My husband knew what I meant. ‘We’re bringing an orphan home.’: Couple adopt ‘fearless’ Vietnamese daughter with limb difference, paints ‘masterpieces’ without arms

“We started the adoption process for Haiti. However, 8,960 miles away, in Ho Chi Minh City, our daughter was being conceived. I saw her yellow sun dress, punk rocker hair sticking out all over her head, and a sassy look on her face that said ‘bring it on’ the world around her. It clicked. ‘Her.’ I didn’t even realize I was holding my breathe.”

‘They’re a burden to society. You’ve got a lot of nerve spending time with them.’ I didn’t understand how others could think that.’: Woman ‘dedicates life’ to helping those with Down syndrome, says they’re living proof ‘pure love exists’

“No one told me my cousin had special needs. I had no clue how hard life would be for him and how cruel people could be. People stared, felt ashamed of his presence. I was struggling to understand why it was so difficult for my peers to treat all people like…well, people. My Down syndrome friends taught me how to be myself, and how to love.”

‘Please Mom, I don’t want to leave. I promise I’ll be good. I don’t like myself very much.’: Sister’s heartbreaking tribute to her late big brother who society deemed ‘the bad kid’

“I’d watched life treat my brother Glen so unfairly. I wanted so badly for something to go right for him. One night, he was extremely upset. My father picked my mom and I up. Glen called us to see where we were, and I still remember her last words to him. ‘We’re giving you space for the night, but we want to help you, Glen.’ The next morning, we were greeted by my dog at the front door. She was crying.”

‘This little girl needed parents who’d love her no, matter what. Our opportunity was staring us in the face.’: Gay dads adopt ‘tiny, 5-pound, perfect’ baby girl after initial doubts of being ‘enough’ for her

“I think most people envision ‘the call’ as an instantaneously joyous occasion, the fulfillment of a dream. For us, it was a little more nuanced. A birthmother due in 2 weeks had chosen us, but there were potential health risks with the baby and the pregnancy. We didn’t expect a call this early. But less than 2 weeks later, we took her home at 24-hours old.”

‘She was unable to find the baby’s legs. She also couldn’t find the left arm.’ I squeezed my husband’s hand.’: Mom knows daughter with limb difference is in their lives ‘for a reason,’ she is surrounded by ‘love, support’

“There were still no legs. All I could picture were two tiny baby legs floating around in my belly with our baby girl. ‘No,’ she said. ‘They didn’t fall off. They just never grew.’ They laid her on my chest. ‘She’s here, she’s okay,’ we said through tears of joy. Our beautiful girl was here. All I could think was that we’d be able to go get mani-pedi’s together when she was older; but you better believe I’m not paying full price for one hand and two toenails!”

‘I have 2 bio kids, 2 adopted, 3 special needs foster children. I wanted nothing to do with the ‘white picket’ American Dream.’: Special needs mom cherishes the ‘beautiful chaos’ of ‘meeting the needs of others’

“‘Your baby has a large mass. Prepare for the worst.’ I was learning how to be married, live in a city where we knew no one, being first-time teachers and parents to a baby who may or may not be okay. The older, wiser folks warned us to slow down. And yet none of this chaos ever silenced the call we felt to pursue adoption and fostering. Our life is absolutely crazy. But I look through my dark-circled eyes at this beautiful mess and know I’m right where I need to be.”

‘What’s wrong with her fingers?,’ my husband asked. ‘They look strange, but they’re perfect.’ Then he saw her toes.’: Parents surprised by daughter’s Apert Syndrome diagnosis, ‘she just wants to be loved’

“The doctor yelled to get the NICU team as soon as possible. They came in so fast we could hardly get a picture. I don’t remember anything afterwards except that my husband googled her syndrome based on her appearance, and I was left alone in the delivery room. No husband. No baby. I asked for a Diet Coke. They only had Diet Pepsi.”

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