Monday, 13 August 2012

Adopting a child with disabilities

Today on our adoption & fostering blog we hear from foster carers Ann and Kev who recently made the decision to adopt a disabled child, Rosie, who was placed with them aged six weeks. Here, Ann explains in her own words...

Our family have been fostering babies aged 0-18mths for 7 years now. Every child that comes into our home and shares our life with us, for however long or short, we all love so much and they naturally become one of "our" children. Just under four years ago a 6wk old baby was placed with us who would completely change our lives forever. My husband and I and our 3 children new from the very first sight of our little angel that she was special and she would be the one we couldn’t let go.

At the start we were told that she had failed her hearing test and went blue while feeding but this turned out to be the least of our worries and at 3 months old Rosie developed infantile spasms. Rosie spent her first year of life in and out of hospital and on breathing machines due to constant chest infections and apnea. Although these times were stressful for the whole family our children were very supportive and never complained about the amount of time we spent with Rosie. In hospital we met some lovely people, including the nurse that had named Rosie in neonates when she was born. Rosie has a long list of medical problems, she is deaf/blind, will never sit or walk or say mommy but Rosie is our world.

Rosie has had several operations over the last few years including four for glaucoma, a feeding button and an illeostomy. She is on 24 hour oxygen and has severe developmental delay but Rosie is a very special little girl that we all love very much. We feel blessed every day to have her in our lives. Rosie brings warmth and joy to the whole family with every smile that she gives and every milestone she achieves. I often say that Rosie is our angel that has been sent to us from heaven, she has completely changed our lives for the better and we could not see our future without her in it. The whole family feel a very strong attachment and bond to Rosie.

Two years ago we asked our children how they would feel if we decided to adopt Rosie, I knew I didn't really need to ask as they all jumped for joy, screamed yes and hugged and hugged Rosie. It took us about a year to adopt Rosie and we have never and will never look back.

Rosie started nursery last year and she has a carer that takes her. It was a very difficult time for me as I had always been the person there for her and I struggled to let her go. She is making new friends and loves to go in the swimming pool and gets lots of enjoyment. Rosie starts reception in September, I can't believe the difference from the little tiny baby that came at 6 weeks old.

We continue to foster and it's obvious from the smile on Rosie's face that she loves all the babies that come to live with us.

If you need more information or advice about fostering or adoption, please visit the main BAAF website.

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