"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Always and Sometimes

Hello! Nice to meet you. You might be wondering why I have kind of a crazed look in my eye.  I am a special needs mom. 

There's a few things I would like for you to know.

Sometimes, I get cranky. I am no hero. I get worn out with doctor's appointments, hospital stays, therapies, delays, and bonding issues, so please forgive me if I am not always perky. 

Always, I don't need to be reminded that I chose to adopt these kids. Sometimes, this is why I am afraid to share my feelings. 

 Sometimes, I might seem like I am not paying attention, but I just have alot on my mind. 

Sometimes, I dread going out in public, to see the looks of pity my kids get, and worse, when people just look away from them. 

Always, feel free to ask questions about my kids differences. I won't be offended. Not so long ago, I had no idea about the plight of special needs kids in other countries either. 

Sometimes, I don't know what to talk about when I meet new people. "Hey, sunny day, isn't it? My kid has to be in casts for six months and I am totally stressing out." just doesn't sound quite right. 

Sometimes, I worry if I am making the right decisions for my kids. Should they have more  physical therapy? Should I be researching more? I would love to talk about my concerns, but I don't want to burden anyone. 

Sometimes, I forget my kids have special needs, until I see other typical kids their age. Sometimes, I feel sad when I see other typical kids that are my children's ages. They can do so much more than my child and yes, I know, I know, my kids have made wonderful gains, but I still feel sad.  I wish my child could do what your child can. I wish my child had someone to love them and smile at them when they were tiny. 

Sometimes, people have differences you can see and differences you can't see. 

Always, please talk to your kids about people's differences so they don't laugh at my kids.  My kids may look different or act different, but that doesn't mean they don't understand.

Sometimes, my feelings get hurt more easily than they should.

Always, if you smile and tell me my children are beautiful, it will absolutely make my day! 

Sometimes, I want my kids to perform for you, so I can show everyone they are not dumb. I want people to see how amazing they really are. 

Sometimes, it's too exhausting and stressful to go out. 

Sometimes, my kids might act embarrassing. Sometimes, I dread going to social events. 

Sometimes, when my kids get overwhelmed in new situations, they shriek.  They make funny noises. They just stare into space. Sometimes, I don't know what to do when they act like this. 

Sometimes, people think my child is just being a brat.

Always, I don't want advice on how to stop them from being a brat. Please give them a chance and see beyond their behavior. 

Sometimes, I need someone to push me to get out and have some fun! 

My friend, Erin, who adopted two special needs children internationally, explains how parents of special needs kids can feel isolated.

                                                     Some more thoughts here too.

Sometimes, I think we really all have some kind of special need, so let's just all be kind to each other. 

Always, always, I am proud of my kids and so glad to be their mom! My kids are rock stars, just like yours! 


  1. Your kids are beautiful! I am in awed by each one of them. And you.

  2. Bless you. I love all your kids and am amazed at the progress they have made. Mostly I am amazed at you. You always make my day. There have been many days where I have read about what you and the kids are up to and felt ashamed for all the complaining I did that day. When I grow up I want to be like you. You are special.

  3. I love to read about you and your family every day. You always have something special or even funny to tell about. You have a unique talent for what you write. I think you are raising 6 great kids. I have one son and 5 girls but don't feel I've done as good with mine. Your son has grown up so much and seems like a good brother.
    Everyone needs someone to listen to them please feel free to say what you want and I don't think you will find anyone who won't listen. You talk and we will listen. Love to you and your little ones.

    i have learned so much about

  4. I love your kids. I don't want to pick favorites but Francesca has my heart. I was at McDonalds in another state (I can admit I go there, thanks to you ;) and the lady at the counter had Aperts. I didn't know this of course until she turned around but my eyes literally lit up. She was kind and beaming as was I. Thanks for being such an example to me.

  5. I love you Catherine! I "always" feel this way too!

  6. I appreciate your telling us about how you sometimes feel. I can only imagine how it must be for you, for the children, when sometimes people don't respond in kindness nor be friendly with the children. I hope one day when I am in the Atlanta area I run into you and your "brood". I would so enjoy seeing all of you in person, as I so enjoy your blog and check it every day for updates. You are my "hero". (It was once "heroine" but that word has a negative connotation now, LOL). By the way, that son of yours is so handsome. Does he help a lot with his sisters?

  7. Fellow bio/SN/adoptive mom here too! Whatever any of that means!

    I have felt any and all of the above. (Mostly all.) Feel free to email to free therapy sessions: lin_z20000@yahoo.com

    I think your family is amazing. No one is 100% always on top of their game every day ready to parent, especially not at the level our kids need.

    Just read your sidebar full of amazing quotes, and I hope you feel as inspired as I do every time I read your blog.

    Take care,

  8. I am always proud to be your friend, but I'm triply and more proud after reading this post. You said all kinds of good stuff in here that I think, or feel in vague ways, but never would have been able to get it all out and down for the world to see! Thanks for doing it for me, friend!

  9. You have great kids!

    I have had many talks with my children about how most differences they see are just on the outside, like marks in the peel of an apple, and how we are all the same on the inside, just like the tasty apple on the inside of the marked peel. I hope they get, at least they seem to get it.

    Sending you a hug, despite not knowing you!

  10. i love reading your blog and seeing your children as i think they are all beautiful too!!! if i were to see you on the streets i would look at you not in wonder but in amazement. i wouldn't stare and snicker, i would stare and smile and say hello to all of your beautiful children. you are amazing!!!!!

  11. Thank you for this! My adoptees have special needs others can't see and I dread the day when they do. One day, a man will fall in love with my beautiful daughter and he will realize the things she can't do. And my pride dreads someone thinking I should have schooled her (them) better.
    I want to talk about the struggles we have in our homeschool, but I've discovered that talking about my kids' special needs makes people uncomfortable. They feel sorry for me. That isn't what I wanted. I need encouragement, not pity.

  12. Thank you for saying this! There are most definitely days where I feel like I'm the only one who feels alone. My boys don't look like they have special needs so people expect them to act like all the other kids. So, when they scream or throw themselves on the floor....everyone stares like they are insane. They are great most of the time, but there are those moments that drive me nuts! And that is always the time that someone has to remind me, "You knew that adopting an older kid would be like this." Ugh, really? I agree with Debi.....I so want to be like you!

  13. I understand how you feel. Your family is beautiful and what you are doing is beautiful. I too, get stares when my daughter displays orphanage behaviors. I so want to say "give her a break, she is trying hard to overcome 7 years of extreme neglect". I have know one to talk to. that is why I read adoption blogs. it gives me ideas, support and encouragement. I have 2 bio daughters and two adopted kids with special needs. if I even say one small thing about being tired or not having enough time to get something done, I get "how can you possibly be tired? why can't you get things done? you don't even work. you are home all day." it is to the point that I just listen to other people's challenges and don't even bother to bring up any of my own. I love what I do, but it would be nice to have someone to talk to that gets it!

  14. Oh oh oh!!!!! Wow, what an amazing post. I just recently became a special needs parent to a 2.5 year old little girl through foster care. She's severely delayed with a rare seizure disorder. She looks "normal" she's stunning in fact, but she doesn't talk, walks funny, and pukes. Often. She's little and everyone is helpful, but I am afraid what will happen later in her life when she's older and bigger and "different" Thank you so much for this post!

  15. Your children are beautiful!!! I smile every time I open your blog. I love seeing the pictures, reading about their antics and the progress they are making and looking for that little glimmer of a smile from Victoria. You have my total admiration.

  16. Awesome post! Makes me want to find moms in my area who are feeling like you are and lend a helping hand, a listening ear, a shoulder for crying, and definitely some fun outings! You've put an idea in my head! And if I were in your area, I'd be there in a heartbeat. Not because I am anyone speical but because you are someone who encourages ME! (((BIG HUGS)))!!!

  17. We have a special needs son who was adopted from Guatemala and I totally get the "looks" out in public, mostly because of our race difference. In our case, he looks normal, but acts sometimes inappropriately and has significant speech and learning delays. I really hate how special needs kids are segregated from the rest of the school in a different class and have been called "mental", "stupid" etc. from the other kids. It truly breaks my heart. I wish you lived closer (I'm in CA); we could hang out!! I think your kids are gorgeous and I bet all of our kids would get along.

  18. You are beautiful! And so are your children! :)
    You're a great mom to ALL your fantabulous children. Truthfully, we all have special needs. We ALL need Jesus, and He's pretty special!

  19. First let me say I love reading your blog--it is informative, inspirational, funny, sad at times but above all, it is REAL! We are all "strong at the broken places"--all of us "disabled" in some way or another. At the very least, we are not perfect simply because we are human beings. All that aside, your kids are beautiful and wonderfully made--and so are you! I know you don't know me personally (and tho I read, I don't comment often) but if you should wish to talk via cyberspace or over the phone, you just let me know and I shall be honored to listen! Lori


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