Sunday, February 21, 2016

Are you his mother?

So, this status update from 3 years ago today got me thinking.
The things people say: Primecare MD enters room saying "Buenos Dias!" Me-"Um, doctor, Luke is from the Philippines..." At hospital check-in, nurse continues to question me, "Are you sure you are not his foster mom?" Me- "Um, no..."

Disclaimer: I am not angry. I am not bashing. Although I do believe people should think before speaking, this is a personal reflection of my life meant in no way to offend.

Dear _____,

No, I didn't birth Luke. I wish I had, though. I'm told the day he was born, he was rushed to the hospital with respiratory distress. I wasn't there to comfort him, to advocate for him. I missed out on his first smile, his first steps, his first and second birthday. I wasn't there to question his communication delays, to intervene, and find help.

But he was CHOSEN. The name of the orphanage where he resided in the Philippines is CHOSEN CHILDREN. How cool is that? I prayed daily for "my sons to be" since June 2007. Luke was born January 2010. We met him and Jansen on May 2012.

Yes, I am his mother. Like any mother, I meet his needs. I change his diapers. (Yes, he is 6 and still in diapers at night. But potty training is going great!) I feed him, clothe him, bathe him,comfort him, and am up with him in the middle of the night. I am his biggest cheerleader. I love his contagious giggles and joy. He always keeps me on his toes with his mischief and curiosity!

You know the things most parents take for granted with their child, like eye contact or communication? We had to work HARD for these things. Nothing big or small is taken for granted.

I would do anything for him. Isn't that true of almost all mothers? I slept on the couch for 8 weeks with Luke while he was in a body cast last January. I have advocated tirelessly for his school services. I have traveled to Duke, UNC, MUSC, and Wake Forest Baptist Health to see specialist after specialist. I have asked for help and education from Early Intervention, Family Support Network of Forsyth County, Austism Society of NC. I've read and learned so much about the needs of adopted children, attachment, deafness, autism. I have taken sign language classes and classes on autism. I have taken him to autism therapy, speech therapy, OT, audiologist appts. I have been there with him every time he has had a procedure or surgery--I believe Monday will be his 8th. I have needed to be creative with safety concerns and a mountain of healthcare bills.

Please hear my heart-I do not write all this to pat myself on the back or receive praise.

I do it because I love Luke and he is MY SON.

Luke's special needs are much more than we ever could have anticipated. Life is far from what we expected it to be. But that doesn't make Luke a burden. That doesn't make Luke a mistake. He is neither of these things. I have grown as a person in countless ways all because one boy entered our family.

Yes, Luke is my son.

---Jo Anna

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