would I do without my cell phone? It’s time for another cell phone picture dump! It seems like a lifetime ago when I actually took real photographs….you know, using a real camera. I have vowed to use my nice camera more often. It’s impossible, however, to capture all those small, fleeting moments on the go while lugging a large camera around. So without further ado, let me show you what brothers are good for, through my cell phone lens of course!
Brothers are good for teaching you how to lick the bowl after making brownies
Brothers are good for squirting you with the water hose
And brothers are good for holding your hand just because
“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves” -Edmund Hillary (first to scale Mt. Everest in 1919)
When River first came home, we were surprised to learn that he has a medical condition that would prohibit him from doing certain physical activities as an adult. The doctor casually said that he would live a normal life except for not being able to climb a mountain, etc. For most people that wouldn’t be a bid deal. Well, if you know our family, you know that is a big deal! It’s a shame, too, because this boy loves to climb and is very skilled at it.
When Avi came home, they told us that he couldn’t jump or climb. Um….yeah….what child were they talking about again?!
I’d like to think thar River will climb a mountain someday to prove his body wrong–to prove once and for all that the mind is stronger than the body. I’d like to think that Avi too will climb a mountain just to prove his critics wrong–the ones who always said “you can’t.”
As for me, well, I’m hoping to do the same in approximately nine years. I picked up a copy of National Geographic’s 100 adventures of a lifetime (I have six down, btw!) and I picked this one out for my 40th birthday:
I showed hubby and he said without hesitstion “okay.” I knew I married the right man! I love this goofy guy. And let me state for the record I’m not climbing to the peak, but just doing the trek that gives you some amazing views. I’m not that hard-core. Some women save their money for mani-pedis, some for cruises and others for shoes. Me? I’m on a mission to check off all 100 adventures before I die.
And look at this goofball! This kid always cracks me up
Even if none of us ever reach a peak, I know we’ll have fun trying.
I’ll start out this post by stating that I have never given birth, either to a so-called typical child or to one who could be labeled as special needs. I am, however, a mother to two kiddos through adoption. One of my sons is considered typical and the other has special needs.
On some level I can imagine that when parents first learn that their child (by birth) has special needs, it must be a shocking and difficult time that involves grieving for the life they had envisioned for their child and family. There is no sign-up sheet–there is no choice. As a parent you are instantly and completely immersed into a new world with the realization that life will not look like how you envisioned it in your dreams. You are jolted from a life of so-called normalcy into one where uncertainty and difficult trials will meet you at every single turn, and you get absolutely no say in the matter.
In a sense, we did sign up for this when we adopted Big Brother. Unlike other parents, we did have a choice. We dove in head first and have never looked back. We were fully aware of Big Brother’s difficulties and the uncertainties that go along with them. We knew that he needed to come home to make any progress, but we also knew that there was no guarantee about just how much progress was actually possible. He was already nearing his fourth birthday and the clock was ticking. And since he’s been home, I’m happy to report that his progress has been nothing short of miraculous. But don’t get me wrong, he still has a long way to go, and we aren’t exactly sure where it is we’re even going. At the end of the day we know he is on a good path and we know that he is exactly where he is supposed to be.
So why was I so shocked to realize that even I, the one who had
blindly leaped into this wholeheartedly, needed to grieve? Wasn’t I exempt from the shock of believing that my child was typical only to later learn that there was something not so typical that potentially affects all of our lives?
But here I am…..and the grieving process is in full swing.
I grieve for many things I wish could be, because I am only human and I have selfish desires. At the end of the day, grieving for all that might never be let’s me see my son with a fresh set of eyes. I can put my own desires and wishes away. It lets me see him for who he is, to see his quirks and difficulties in a new light, to help me realize that I truly love him for who he is, not what he can do or what he may or may not become someday. It reminds me that while there are some things he may never do, the things he will do will be glorious and I, for one, cannot wait to see what’s in store. I feel so honored to be his biggest fan, his biggest cheerleader, his biggest advocate, the one who says “I knew you could do it.”
Just because we signed up for this, so to speak, doesn’t mean we are numb to the hardships that special needs place on a family. Others have criticized me because they erroneously believe that I have labeled Big Brother and placed him into a box that limits his future potential…that I shouldn’t say he won’t ever do x, y or z. It’s not my intention to do that, it’s just that I’m choosing to love him where he is right now. I’m owning the reality of where we are. I’m owning the fact that our son has difficulties that may keep him from a “typical” life. Besides, I think typical is overrated anyways….
I do not know what the future holds and I do not want to limit him by saying he will never be capable of certain things. I truly believe he can do whatever he sets his mind to. I also truly believe that whatever happens, I will love him just the same. Nope, scratch that….I know I will love him just the same. Would I do this over again if I knew where we would be today? You betcha. So please don’t ask me that question if you see me in public. My answer will always be a resounding yes.
Please stop by the post below to read about Mothers in Action latest project and how you can help!
Several years ago, two other adoptive moms and I started a little group we call Mothers in Action for Vietnam (see the button on the right side of my blog). We identify humanitarian aide projects in Vietnam and try to rally support for them. Well, we are “back in action.” We have created an Etsy store to raise funds for two humanitarian aide projects that benefit children in Vietnam.
We have learned of an orphanage in rural Vietnam that is being operated out of two rooms in an abandoned prison. The children and caregivers are at times getting by on a cup of rice a day. We have partnered with an organization called Chances for Children to insure that all funds generated will make it to those in need at the orphanage.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: We’ve set up a Mothers in Action for Vietnam Etsy Site – and for each item purchased, 100% of the funds will go to the charity of your choice. All artwork has been donated.
What you can do:
- shop for a good cause (read more about our current cause on our Etsy site)
- donate items to our Etsy shop
- spread the link around to your friends and family
If you’ve got 10 minutes, check out this fantastic short documentary about a young Vietnamese-American searching for a sense of belonging. Posted for my little River man.