This October I’m opening up the floor to reader questions as part of my contribution to Down Syndrome Awareness Month. As long as you keep it clean, nothing is off limits – Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, birth stories, parenting, photography. What do you want to know? The first Q&As were posted on Tuesday; three more are below.
I see you are linking to Reece’s Rainbow. Have you considered adopting another child with special needs? If so, would you adopt a child with DS, CP, or something else?
Not a week goes by that I don’t think about doing so, which will come as a huge surprise to Mr. Andi when he reads this post. 🙂 But…I believe that adoption is something that people are called to do, and I just don’t feel the call. I’m not saying, of course, that only Christians who believe what I believe should adopt. We each have specific talents and gifts and that others have an internal drive to do things that I do not. Does that make sense?
Having said that, if a situation arose involving a friend or family member with a special needs child who needed a home (or even a temporary caregiver), I wouldn’t think twice about bringing that child into our home.
But, in the spirit of “What If,” I’ll answer the second part of your question. If I were to adopt a child with special needs, I would definitely lean toward choosing a child with either Down syndrome or cerebral palsy because those two conditions are familiar to me and I would feel better equipped to manage them, which would in turn be better for the child (in my analytical worldview). But which of the two? I have no idea. Both of my children have unique gifts related to their conditions and it would be hard to choose.
I often write about Disability World and Medical World because the activities and emotions and my interactions with each are different; and that’s just with being the parent of one child with a disability. What different worlds do you feel like you’re immersed in and how are they different/alike?
I’m not sure I can give a short answer to this question, but I’ll try. As far as Disability World vs. Medical World, I don’t think that my typical interactions are all that different between my two children with wildly different diagnoses. The therapists always make me feel guilty, given that they are most often the bearers of the bad news, the doctors always talk in clinical speak because that’s what they know, and there’s a kinship to be found among those of us who have children with special needs – no matter what they are.
The biggest difference I’ve experienced in going from parent of one special child to two is my outlook about Down syndrome vs. cerebral palsy, and by extension the communities of each. With cerebral palsy, there’s an underlying current of “treating the condition” that you don’t see with Down syndrome. With Down syndrome, the primary aim of parents like me is to have our children be accepted and included – just the way they are. For more on this subject, check out my previous post, “Blogging About Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome: Why One Is Not Like the Other.”
I love seeing pictures of your beautiful Sarah Kate and Nathan and your photography skills are amazing. What kind of camera do you use?
Yay! An easy question! First of all, thank you for kind words. I have always loved photos – even when I was a little girl – and I got my first camera, a Canon 35mm point and shoot, when I was in high school. And…I still use Canon to this day. My current camera is the Canon EOS Rebel T1i, an entry level digital SLR (affiliate link, just so you know). I have several lenses, most acquired back in my 35mm days, but the ones I used most are the cheap kit lens that came with my camera (an 18-55mm zoom), a 28-105mm zoom, a 100mm-300mm zoom, and a 50mm fixed.
Good quality lenses can work wonders, but paying the bills is important, too, so I make do with what I’ve got. I once had a photography instructor friend who took beautiful images with a “polar bear camera” (a plastic point and shoot marketed for kids) and the local camera shop used his images to advertise the camera. His opinion was that if you master the basics, you can take a quality image with any camera – the fancy equipment is the icing on the cake, not the cake itself.
Next Up: Preschool, Baby Megan, Date Nights, and the Million Dollar Question
Now it’s your turn. What do you want to know?
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