What We Knew
My husband and I adopted three children separately through the foster system within our own province. We knew they would have had a harder start to life and most likely have some challenges. We both felt, that with our experience and knowledge, adopting locally through the foster system was what we were destined to do.
Together we have had lots of experience with individuals that had disabilities and we provided respite care for families. We knew that there would be challenges that would come up and we felt quite prepared for that
Since we already knew that our children had some developmental delays, we started to search out the services that they would potentially need. With each milestone they reached, we celebrated! With each milestone they missed, we mourned. The moment that these little people joined our family they were OUR little people and, of course, we wanted only the best for them.
We were proactive with our approach and implemented early interventions. We kept the home environment consistent, routined and predictable.
There were challenges that we already knew about and a whole bunch that we didn’t. Often our friends and family would say, “Oh they’re just busy”, “boys are usually busier”, “I don’t notice anything”, “don’t worry so much, they’ll eventually get it”, but we knew. Their disabilities are invisible which make them a challenge to see. Unless you are with them in the day in and day out, it can be more difficult to recognize.
Still, with the ups and downs that we had been through, it was ok. I had always been on the service end and had a good handle on what to expect. I knew about the process and how to move through the information that was being presented. What I didn’t account for was the emotional side,
All of our children received a diagnosis after they were 5 and by this time we knew that some things were atypical.
Going through the process of getting a diagnosis is a busy and stressful time. There are multiple appointments, lots of information sharing, many conversations and LOADS of paperwork and forms to fill out. It can be quite draining and stressful. I found that you can get lost in their challenges and deficits because they are being highlighted and at the forefront.
After all of the forms are filled out and the testing process is done, you have a wait.
The specialists put together all the information and present this at a meeting. I was looking forward to this. I thought it would be a relief to finally have an answer and put my mind at ease that there was something. The one thing I wasn’t prepared for was the sadness that went along with hearing the news.
The sadness wasn’t because I was disappointed. I wasn’t prepared to hear it from someone else. Getting confirmation from someone else hurt. I didn’t want this for my child, even though I knew it was there. Yes, it was a relief to finally know for sure what was going on, but I still needed to mourn for the loss of what could have been.
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