My Baby Is More than a Word

Dear Margaret Cho,

I am writing to you today not from a place of anger, but from a place deep inside of my heart that hopes your mind can be stretched in the way that mine has over the past 1.5 years. There is something I need you to understand and I hope I can convey my message in a way that is respectful and promotes understanding and compassion.

You see, this is the “retard baby” that you don’t want to have:

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The thing is, and this may come as quite a shock to you, I chose to be his mom. I will say it loud and proud to all who will listen–I love my son. He is cognitively disabled and has Autism. I knew about his disabilities long before he came home to be my forever son. I have been his mom for 1.5 years now. He does not have the capacity nor the words to stand up for himself, so you see, I am his voice.

That’s why I have no choice but to write this letter to you today. I made a vow in court and before our creator to be his voice, his champion….his mom.

I find it extremely disappointing that you have been given numerous awards for your humanitarian efforts within the Asian, women and LGBT communities, yet you feel that children born with special needs are not worthy of the same treatment that you fight so hard to obtain for others. Special needs children are not less worthy of respect and tolerance. The thing that makes them different is that many of them don’t have a voice. There is nothing funny about picking on the defenseless. That’s not comedy, that’s bullying.

I know you don’t want to parent a child with disabilities, I get it. It’s hard work that requires compassion, dedication and sacrifice all without any societal rewards. It’s not for the faint of heart. That I do understand. But no matter how you feel about children with special needs, know this: they deserve dignity and respect. My voice does not reach far and wide across this globe, but yours does. Please show my child the same respect that you demand for the ones you fight so hard to support. Your voice has power, please choose your words wisely. I truly hope that you will use this experience as a time of learning and personal growth. I don’t want an apology, I just want you to hear my son.

Sincerely,
One of the luckiest moms in the world (aka Hiking Mama)

16 thoughts on “My Baby Is More than a Word

  1. Girl, Independent

    What a beautiful post. Your son is gorgeous, and you are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing this; I wasn’t aware of Cho’s words until now.

    Reply
  2. Kathy Radigan

    Bravo!! I have come to realize after having my beautiful daughter with special needs and meeting some amazing people with a range of cognitive challenges is that the ones to feel sorry for are the ones who are so fearful and small minded that their only attempt at being funny is to make fun of those that can not speak for themselves. You son is gorgeous and I’m so glad you found each other. You are right, parenting a child with special needs is not a cake walk but it offers rewards and the chance to witness miracles on a daily basis that mere words can not express and that small minded people will never get to behold!!! Thank you so much for your gorgeous post!!

    Reply
  3. nancy

    Amen.
    I hope her apology comes with action. Actions speak so much more loudly than words.
    Big Brother is destined for wonderful things in the world! I can’t wait to see it unfold!

    Reply
  4. Hiking Mama

    Thank you to everyone who left a comment. As a fellow advocate for the downtrodden and voiceless, I just needed to let Ms. Cho hear my son’s voice in hopes of giving her a glimpse into a world she is not familiar with. Thanks for reading.

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Adventure: Is it really for everyone? | Hike. Blog. Love.

  6. anythingbutlokey

    Great post, Hiking Mama! I too have been ignorant like Ms. Cho. But thankfully, through adopting a special needs child myself (and now in process for number two) God has opened my eyes to the ignorance I had and a way to experience life in a way I unlike ever before.

    Reply