There was no question; it would be China again. But this time I felt an unbelievable urgency. I nagged Mark about putting paperwork together. We argued because I pushed so hard. He asked me, “What’s your rush?” And I responded that I didn’t know, but she needed to come home and the sooner the better.
I was relentless, staying on top of our social worker. I made multiple visits to our local INS office, acquiring the direct number of the head supervisor. I was on a first name basis with an agent in the FBI. The paperwork was ready in two weeks.
These feelings of worry and being distraught never left me the entire time I waited for her. And when I first held her, I understood that somehow, across the miles of ocean and land, I had picked up my daughter’s distress signals.
“Hi love, Mama’s here. I love you, baby.” She smiled a very sad smile and stuck her thumb in her mouth. Aubry snuggled in next to me, as if to draw from my strength.
I wouldn’t realize just what we were dealing with until much later, but I sensed I was going to dig deeper into my well of love, patience, and perseverance for this precious daughter. Here was my child who had special needs and I loved her heart and soul. I knew I was up to parenting and advocating for her.
March is Disability Awareness Month.
The question: How do I talk to my kids about understanding differences, specifically children with special needs?
The answer: I have tackled it head on. Discussions of differences come up in a multiracial family; it’s part of our lives. Aside from race, culture, and ethnicity, conversations include talk about special needs. You see, one of my kids has sensory integration disorder and another has learning disabilities. My kids’ needs impact their lives and ours. We talk about ways to handle the behaviors and perceptions outside our home, because it takes all of us working together to keep it together.
A Welcome Home from Two Weeks in Spain
Through time and a lot of therapy, we understand the triggers and how to cope at a moment’s notice. I stress that there is nothing wrong with my children; this is part of who they are. All of my kids are aware of and educated, at their age-appropriate level, about the special needs. Proper language, civility, compassion, patience and grace are expected at all times – and nothing less.
Parenting kids with special needs is rewarding, but it takes patience, honesty, and fortitude. The steps may be small and slow, but progress happens. I’m watching my kids blossom and my heart sings with joy over their accomplishments.
Leave me a comment – What do you think? How do you talk to your kids about disabilities and the importance of inclusion?
CVS has programs in place to support kids with disabilities. Check it out – CVS All Kids Can