“I’ll Never Give Up On You…”

One day, in the early weeks of lockdown, I was so worn down and T was out of control. In a fit of anger, I yelled to the hubby, “I‘d never have adopted if I knew it was going to be like this!”

I regretted it as soon as those hurtful words left my mouth. Thankfully, T was in his little world and I stormed off into our bedroom in a huff to cool off for the afternoon.

I thought about this moment when I recently read about the online backlash that YouTuber Myka Stauffer received after rehoming her young son, whom she adopted from China, because of difficulties related to his disabilities.

The furor was heated. Many people accused her of adopting the child for attention and rehoming him once she had her limelight. Numerous sponsors dropped her.

My immediate reaction was in line with the outrage choir. I thought to myself, “I would never give up on my child. How is this poor kid going to feel when he’s older?”

But then I thought back to how I felt in the moment of anger and sheer exhaustion in the early days of the pandemic.

I don’t know who this woman is, so I don’t want to make any assumptions or to project my own experience onto hers. But I do know a few things.

One, we have been very fortunate with T. No matter how hard some days have been, he is a great kid. The positives and the joy far outweigh the difficulties.

Two, taking care of a special needs child is incredibly hard.

Three, the sad cold truth is there are families who are in situations where the child’s needs are so severe they have to be rehomed or placed in special care facilities, like a group home, for everyone’s best interest.

It is very heartbreaking to think about the parents and children in special care who cannot see each other during the lockdown. This story of a mother who cannot visit her autistic son in his group home was very devastating to read.

Reading about Myka Stauffer’s story made me think of two things.

First, I don’t ever want to judge another parent – but most of us do anyway, including myself! – for the decisions that they make. Especially when I know from my reading and journey so far with T that there are many situations when a child needs to be rehomed or put in special care.

And secondly, with Fathers Day coming up, it strengthens my resolve to continue to try hard and to do better with T.

The hubby and I feel very hopeful from the trajectory he’s been on – and as we’ve heard from his doctors, his school and his supports – that things will ultimately be ok for him.

There will be a lot of hard work, sweat and tears in the days, weeks, months and years ahead – but that’s what makes life so interesting and worth living.

I hope and pray that we will never have to put T into special care one day. When I get into my awful moments of descending down a path of negative thoughts, I take a deep breath and remind myself to focus on the here and now.

I don’t know what the future will bring. But I can focus on the present and the now and how I respond to the challenges.

While watching T sleep one night and laying next to him lost in my own thoughts, I whispered to him, “I will never give up on you.”

8 thoughts on ““I’ll Never Give Up On You…”

  1. I don’t know where you live but as he gets older check into a provider that will be his friend and take him into the community for a few hours each week. He gets to have a great friend and you two get a break. This is what I retired from last August. I even did respite care in the home so the parents could go out of town. I had so much fun with my clients and the parents got to have some fun. I still keep in contact with the families and go out to eat with my past clients. They still call me and talk. You are so right about people judging. Nobody can judge because every situation is different and until they walk a mile in the persons shoes, they will never know what it is like. You are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this, Diane. It’s very nice to learn that you were a respite care provider. I have certainly researched respite services. Thankfully, knock on wood, T is not at the level that we need it and I hope it stays that way. Friendship is certainly something we think a lot about for him. He has a very warm and caring personality and endears himself to others. But his challenging behaviour can also be offputting for some. We’re hopeful the gains he’s made in behaviour will allow him to have the skills and confidence to make meaningful friendships in school. But good to know about services available. One step at a time. 🙂

      PS. It’s camping weekend at our home. S’mores tonight!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My heart is greatly touched and moved by your story. You spoke what every parent feels in their hearts, “While watching T sleep one night and laying next to him lost in my own thoughts, I whispered to him, “I will never give up on you.” Thank you, wishing you & your family joy, love & blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can relate to this. When D was younger he was 10,000 times harder to handle. I basically couldn’t leave the house without a major meltdown on my hands. Inside the house was just as hard. My day was set around policing him for his safety – he didn’t play with toys, he just broke things. He didn’t potty train until he was 6 (and he was a smearer). I can’t believe how much has changed in two years. ANYWAY, when I was at my absolute lowest I had thought the same thought – how different my life would be if I never had a third child. It breaks my heart now to think that I thought that, and it broke my heart then. D is amazing and such a blessing. There were times it was hard to see the good. But there is a lot of good. And I am the same – I would never judge a parent for their decisions or for their tough moments. Special needs parenting is HARD. And I like your saying and I agree – I will never give up on my D. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, as always, for sharing slices of insightful experiences from your own journey, Robyn.

      Although they are two very different diagnosis, it’s very interesting to see so many parallel behaviors and challenges between autism and FASD.

      I’m glad you capped the word HARD because it is. I used to have anxiety taking T out for the same reasons you mentioned – safety, excruciating meltdowns. Potty training was hard but thankfully he was not a smearer. Poor you! Most people who are not in these shoes simply don’t get how hard this is.

      I’m glad about all the progress D has made in the last two years. From all I’ve read in the last few months since I followed your blog, he is an absolute delight. I can also imagine your day to day challenges but I’m glad you highlight and celebrate the many successes – like your recent conversation.

      I will never regret adopting our T. Some days, I just need a reminder. 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

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