Orphans with Arthrogryposis

There are kids with Arthrogryposis all over the world who wait for a family to call their own. Every child should have a Mama and Papa to love them. Sadly many kids will never know the love of a family as they will live out their shortened lives in institutions. The children posted here are from Reecesrainbow.com If you can't adopt, you can donate to their grants on reecesrainbow.com Don't leave them to die in institutions.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Winning the parent lottery

I was recently at a disability conference at my university and heard LeDerick Horne give a motivational talk. LeDerick has severe learning disabilities but despite that he graduated college and found his talent in spoken word poetry. He is an incredibly powerful motivational speaker and has immense talent.  

As he described growing up with learning disabilities and the challenges he faced in school because of that label, he described how amazing his parents were and he said "I won the parent lottery." 

That statement "I won the parent lottery" really struck me. 

I have arthrogryposis and it had occurred to me before that if I had to be born with disabilities I was really fortunate to be born to my parents, I had just never thought of it as "winning the lottery" but thats a brillant way to say that my parents are awesome, because winning the actual lottery and getting a boatload of money has to be pretty awesome.

I "won" the "parent lottery" at birth when I was born to these two!

When I ponder just how awesome my parents are it makes me sad that some kids with arthrogryposis weren't so lucky to be born to parents who were able to take on the challenge of raising them and instead left them at an orphanage or the hospital.

Kids who were orphaned at birth get a second chance at "winning the parent lottery" thanks to adoption. They get a chance to reach their potential instead of wasting away in an orphanage.

My parents weren't necessarily prepared to raise me when I born with arthrogryposis but they met the challenge head on. I was my parents third child and the only one with a disability. They were completely clueless when it came to raising a kid with arthrogryposis. But slowly they figured it out.

When you have a disability, having parents who are awesome really makes a difference!

My parents are awesome in different ways and together they make a great team. My Mom is the advocate  who constantly fought for my independence and my Dad is the creative and resourceful one.

Some of the reasons why my parents are awesome:

My Mom made me do puzzles....a lot!!! Making me do puzzles was working on fine motor skills, this is just one of the many "home" therapies she did with me.

I was using Parallel bars at therapy so Dad built me a set for home out of the scrap wood and metal he had laying around and he built steps for me to practice on (his handiwork gets wayyy better 22 years later, stay tuned)

My Mom took legal action against my school when they refused to comply with the ADA and as a result this

was put onto my school so I could access the building w/o using the steps. And the next year they still didn't learn because she had to take legal action again to get busing services!

My Mom didn't let me get away with not doing activities of daily living that I was perfectly capable of doing on my own. It would have been faster to just dress me herself but she didn't do that, she made me dress myself even if it took longer. This push for independence is why I can now take care of myself and was able to move out at 18, into an apartment by myself.

They never questioned whether or not I should drive, they just allowed me to start driving the car around the farms and Mom was the one who taught me to drive once I turned 15 and a half. And they bought me a car that I could drive without modifications.

Once I found a doctor who actually specializes in lower extremity AMC they got me to and from Philly for 3 years straight.

When I was in a fixator and couldn't manage steps Dad built a lift onto our house. He didn't buy this lift and install it, oh no he built it out of mostly scrap metal and parts. My brother, the electrician, even added a safety feature, it won't go up or down unless the doors are closed tight!

and when I graduate college in 4 weeks it will because they have spent the last 24 years pouring their love and energy into seeing me succeed.

Every Orphan deserves the chance to "win" the "parent lottery" even if they are no longer infants or "little". They deserve to have parents like mine, parents who loved me and saw my potential and not my disabilities. Parents who went above and beyond when necessary. Parents who didn't have experience raising kids with special needs but embraced the challenge and met it head on.

If you're considering adopting a child with AMC or any special need and don't currently have a child with special needs don't be worried that your lack of experience makes you any less capable at parenting and raising a kiddo with disabilities. My parents are proof that winning the "parent lottery" doesn't mean they knew what they were doing and had it all together the minute I was born. Winning the "parent lottery" means my parents were willing to learn to parent a child with a disability, willing to be advocates, willing to learn to not sweat the small stuff, and willing to be creative.


has "won" the "parent lottery" (she just doesn't know it yet), she has committed parents but they need our help! So if you have a few extra pennies please throw it their way! Adoption isn't cheap monetarily but its priceless to the child who gets a chance at a decent life!

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