“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Choosing disability

I met a woman yesterday for whom I have a lot of respect. She is a friend of my Mother-in-law whom I met at a party. She related the following story.

She and her husband had two young boys, once 10 and one 12. She had had some experience volunteering to work with at risk children, but thought that she would like to do more. She decided to be a foster parent for a couple of the children. However, there wasn't a need at the particular time that she was interested for the type of children she had been working with. Undeterred, she decided to adopt two children with developmental disabilities. One had down syndrome, and the other some very rare syndrome that she related had hardly been described at the time. It ispowerful to note that she had never known a person with down syndrome before. The two girls lived with her family for about 11 years. Ultimately, one of the girl's father moved out of state, and the regulations stated that a family member needed to live in state for a child to remain in the foster care situation. The other girl moved out of the home to a group home. Apparently and sadly, one of the conditions of her foster care arrangement was that she could not contact them once they left her. It has been nearly 20 years now and she hasn't heard from either of them. She suspects one of the girls probably has died because she had severe medical problems at the time she was their parent.

Upon hearing her story, my only response was, "God bless you for taking those girls into your home!" She related that she had received tremendous benefits to her family as a result of having the girls. Effects, positive effects, on her and her husband as well as on her two boys were lifelong.



Anonymous said...

Amen! I am sure God has blessed her powerfully. It is a sad commentary that foster parents are not permitted to maintain contact children who are compelled to lrave the foster famiy's home for reasons beyond anyones control.

But I am confused. You write that the girl's were adopted by this kind woman. How did the biological father's choice of residence affect that arrangement?


Jeff McNair said...

My bad. I didn't mean she adopted them, rather she took them in as foster children.