Monday, January 18, 2010
You Know Who You Are
I know you don’t understand the choices I make. You can’t imagine why I would want to get up at 4:30am each morning, make multiple breakfasts, get kids dressed, make beds, do one load of laundry, administer LOTS of meds, and get Ashley on the school bus…all before 7am.
You can’t put yourself in my place and feel the joy I do each morning when Ashley wakes up,smiles that dazzling smile of hers, and I know that I have just witnessed a miracle.
You don’t understand why I would second mortgage my house to fight my school district to make sure Ashley gets the education to which she is entitled.
The thought of three to four doctor visits each week makes you shake your head in disbelief.
The roll of your stomach whenever you think about having to change a G-tube convinces you that you could never do it.
I know you get tired of me complaining about places not being accessible, about businesses not having enough handicapped parking places, and the way that people stare whenever Ashley and I walk by.
You’ve asked me how I keep going each day when I am up 4 or more times each night with Ashley.
I see the confusion on your face when I get so angry whenever you say ‘poor Ashley’.
I know you could almost understand when I adopted Ashley, but I know you thought I was crazy when I adopted Jessica after that, and then Corey after that.
You were absolutely baffled as to why I felt like a failure when Jessica broke two of my ribs during one of her rages.
I know it frustrates you when I have to refuse a night out because I am too tired and/or I don’t have enough money.
And I know you think I have absolutely lost my mind because I want to adopt another child, a child with significant disabilities.
You are my co-workers, my neighbors, the staff at school. You are the people who think you know me, but really you don’t.
You are the people who won’t take the time to try and understand.
But fortunately, there are people who do understand. Mothers and fathers like me. People with disabilities who understand the value of life and applaud the people who have stood up for that value. You know who you are, and you really do understand. And I am so grateful that our paths have crossed.