The whole darn fam

The whole darn fam

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Define "Special"



Lately I have pondering the term Special Needs. I happen to have two children that are considered "special needs"--but I don't really care for the images that the term brings to mind. I think that in our country it seems to be a bit of a scary term. When you look at the majority of children available from China through the special needs program--they certainly are SPECIAL--but as far as putting a "label" on them--well--I just don't like it.

Special Needs in America implies different--and while I thrive on being different--and look at is as a positive attribute--I think that kids don't really like being different--they like being normal. And guess what?? Kids with special needs are most definitely normal--they have a heart and feelings just like the rest of us. They live-they breathe-they need love, they need affection--just like any child would.

My daughter Hope happened to be born with Amniotic Band Syndrome. This is a need that occurs in-utero. Fibrous bands break off of the placenta and act as tourniquet's around limbs and appendages. Kids can be born without limbs--or like Hope--just with shortened fingers and webbed toes. This also can cause a child to be born with a club foot--as Hope was. Hope had surgery last year to separate some fingers and tendon lengthening for her foot. Hope happens to be the most agile child around--way more so than my other children. She dances, flips, runs, jumps--you name it! She also is incredibly bright--amazingly so! Just look at her cute little self....
above--cause I can't figure out to get the pic down here!
Anyway--she is special INDEED--but because of her strength,her smile, her spunk, her intelligence--but her "need" doesn't have too much to do with it--it's just who she is.

And Sam--my almost two year old sweetie--had a rough start. He was abandoned at two days old with a very severe burn covering his hip and foot. His foot is very disfigured--and he needs two pretty major surgeries (coming up in January). When we met him--he couldn't eat--had never had food--he couldn't walk--had little to no strength in his legs. I wasn't sure if he would ever walk--but walk he does--he runs, climbs--and eats now like a champ! He too is special--but you guessed it--not because of his scars--but in spite of them. For his brave and strong little soul--his AMAZING smile--his kisses, and his beautiful little lips. He is for sure one special little guy--who will do great things one day!

just look at him----(again--above--how in the heck do you get the pics to post here!)
My kids are special--all 6 of them. They are special in so many ways. But it is not their NEEDS that define them--it is their heart.
Looking to adopt?? There are many special children out there--could one of them be yours???
till next time.......
Amy xoxoox
****have you signed the comments in the Thankful post yet??? If not--go,run,sign it and I will give $1 in you honor--if you already have THANK YOU!! You can even sign it again--I won't tell!! :-)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for donating to Starfish!! I am thankful for the opportunity to adopt from China TWICE!!!!

Elizabeth said...

I received the e-mail that you were doing this and think it's a great idea. I was a volunteer at Starfish in June and July of 2008, and fell in love with all the babies. A lot of them have been adopted, and some I can't even recognize because they have grown so much. I miss them all so much, and wish I could see them again some day. I also send my heart out to the nannies, and Amanda especially who dedicate their lives to these babies and children. Hopefully I will make enough money some day and do something special for them. Until then I support your fundraising.

Liz Y.
Volunteer June and Jully 2008

Amy said...

Don't know if this is the easiest way or not, but here is how I get the photos where I want them: When I get to the point in the text where the pic needs to go, I add the photo in the usual way...then it will be appear at the top of the blog in its text form. I highlight, cut and paste it down below the words I was typing and then keep going until I need to add another photo.
Clear as mud?
I thought so!

Another "special needs" Mom,

melissa said...

I completely agree with what your saying. My is 6yo son considered "special needs" and because of that he seen as different at school. The other kids tease him because of it. At his parent/teacher conference I just attended his teacher told me he was the most polite hard working child in her class. I think that is what makes him special.

Essie said...

Your children are beautiful! Sounds like you are one very special family.
I spent a day with Amanda and her gang three years ago and count it as one of the most inspirational experiences of my life...Amanda is amazing and so are the kids.
Thanks for your support of the starfish and your great blog!

Barbra said...

Great idea! Thank you for Donating to Starfish Foster Home. I love to see those babies.
mom to 5 incl. 2 special kids from China

Marmee said...

Here is my comment...that was easy!! Your kids are adorable!

AwesomeCloud and family said...

Click on the photo until you get little white boxes on the corners, and then drag it downward. Keep repositioning it until it's right where you want it. Or insert all the pictures first and type around them, but that's harder because it can be too easy to lose your cursor. Amy's suggestion of cutting and pasting is also good, and probably more exact.

Anne Devlin said...

I'm so thankful for my "special" little guy - he does have some unique challenges but he is even more special in my eyes for the character he shows while he plows through them. Great idea to donate to Starfish in this way!!!

pixnlil said...

Hi! I just linked over from another blog. I'm expecting my first child and after going through much to conceive him or her, I can only say that I expect my child to both need much, and to be very special indeed! That seems to be a constant for kids, yours included! Your family is lovely - thanks for sharing your stories and thoughts on your blog!

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing woman - what you're doing to help others is GREAT!

I've just booked marked your blog and can't wait to follow your amazing journey


Mugsy said...

My sister, Kathy Junk, shared your blog with me. It is very up lifting and I just wanted to say thanks because you have opened my eyes in so many ways. You have the most beautiful children. I am so thankful for people like yourself who share such inspiring messages. Sincerely, Megan

Anonymous said...

your family looks so incredible and what an amazing story. i have tough times with just one child sometimes and you have inspired me with your six!

Anonymous said...

I am thankful for so much in my life - my beautiful daughter, wonderful husband and extended family all over the world. I am also thankful that we made the decision to adopt a special needs baby - and can not wait until he or she joins our family!
I volunteer at a special needs orphanage in Hong Kong - these children are such an important part of my life - and I am thankful for the families around the world who are becoming their forever families.
Thanks for all you do!

Flamingo Mama said...

oh amy...thanks for this post! i was just encouraging a friend today. i will be sending the link to her now!

Flamingo Mama said...

hey..i need to show you how to link a post within a post. i think people might be confused and are commenting on every post you have instead of your thankful post:)

anyway...i'm sending commenters your's the link

Katie said...

What a beautiful post, Amy! Your children sound very special and are so blessed that you have opened your home and heart to them. Amazing!

Jet said...

Good post!!! I'm a mom of two very special children too... I am so thankful for that!!!

Anonymous said...

You have a beautiful family! Thank you so much for your fundraiser! I love Starfish! Take Care