I have now had just over a week in my latest venture into parenthood as the foster parent of a newborn who will grow up with significant disabilities.

It has proved to be another lesson for me in how little I know and what is important.

I have spent hours studying and writing papers in college about the impact of having a child with disabilities. I know all about the grieving process, about lost dreams, and changing expectations, but it is very different when you are looking into the gorgeous face of a girl that you know is going to have to fight for every little thing that she ever achieves. The heartache, the pain, the love and the joy all come into much clearer focus, even though I am still just a proxy.
At the same time as all the hurdles and barriers that I see in the future, I can see the impact that she has had on me, my family (Iona is usually better at these things than I am), my neighbors, the folks at church, the parents of my soccer team, etc, etc, etc. I’ve done a lot of strange things in my time, and bringing home a baby in the year that I turn 40 may seem to be right up there with some of my more questionable antics, but I have never been more convinced that this (however long it lasts) was exactly the right thing for me, my family, and I hope for her.
From all this, I hope that too you see a couple of simple but true and wonderful things:

  1. The people around you are just looking for a chance to give and love (even if they don’t know it).
  2. Don’t ever underestimate the impact that one human being can have on the world around them, regardless of age, disability or any other supposed barrier.

:: Justin ::