My Need is not My Name – Cerebral Palsy
We never expected that we would adopt a child with cerebral palsy, but the boy in the video drew us in. We didn’t think about cerebral palsy, as much as the challenges that might come from adopting an older child. He was not his need in our hearts. He was a boy who needed a family. But of course we wondered and worried. We wondered what his future would look like and what our future would look like. We worried about how he would fit into our family and all of the unknowns.
Our son has hemiplegia (paralysis of one side of the body) of the left side. He does have some use of his left arm but not much of his hand. He has had surgery to lengthen his Achilles Tendon on his left leg and he wears an AFO (ankle-foot orthosis) to provide a stable base of movement and improve his gait. He’s been with us for 5 years, and he just ran an 8 minute mile with his AFO in middle school! He’s a determined kid. His speech is affected, so it has been perhaps harder than normal for him to come to a new country, learn a whole new language and also have other people understand, but it gets better all of the time.
The reason I tell you about our son is because many of the children I advocate for have cerebral palsy.
Note: Click on the photos. Each photo will take you to a page with more information about that child.
Cerebral palsy has so many unknowns and so many varying degrees that a lot of families veer away from adopting a child with CP.
Each of these children will continue on in life as an orphan with cerebral palsy if a family does not come for them. If a family does come for them, they will be a forever loved child who lives with cerebral palsy. There is such a HUGE difference in those two statements!
There is a vulnerability and stigma in society for the children who do not get a family. Many (like our son) do not receive an education or the care and therapies they so desperately need. The unknowns of what will happen when they “age out” of the system is also of great concern.
There is no “cure” for cerebral palsy, but there is medical care, orthopedic care, and therapies to help make life easier. CP is non-life threatening and non-progressive. Children with cerebral palsy can live long and happy lives.
The children above, all have a form of cerebral palsy, and each of them need a family to step forward for them so they can live a happy and fulfilling life, reaching their full potential.
These next two children each have similarities to children with cerebral palsy, but their adoption files do not use the diagnosis “cerebral palsy” on them. They are also available for adoption.
CerebralPalsy.org has a lot of good, easy to understand information on Cerebral Palsy.
Send me an e-mail if you are interested in learning how to adopt one of these children.
They are pretty precious and awesome! Aren’t they? – Jessica