Recently, I received a Facebook message from a family who was considering adopting a newborn baby with Aicardi Syndrome. I don't know why the biological parents were giving up their daughter. Perhaps it was a decision they made before they realized this baby would have medical complications. Hopefully, it was not a decision made after the fact.
It struck me as amazing that there are people out there who would actually VOLUNTEER for this life. I came to the conclusion that this family must be truly special to accept a child with such severe special needs. As hard as it is to admit, if given the choice, I honestly can't say I would do the same.
It doesn't mean I don't love my precious Sadie for the special little baby she is. However, as she gets older and her disabilities are more visible, I struggle with how to respond to questions about her. After seeing Sadie in her baby wheelchair with an oxygen tank and pulse oximeter underneath, a man in the store asked "What's wrong with her?" I was taken aback. He likely was not aware of the insensitivity of his question. I stopped in mid-aisle and stood there for a few seconds, unsure of what to say. I finally uttered quietly, "Oh, she just needs a little oxygen," and scurried away before he could ask anything else. After thinking it through, a simple explanation "She has a rare neurological condition called Aicardi Syndrome," would have sufficed.
We did not ask for this life. Sometimes I feel like the deer-in-the-headlights cartoon character who is the only one in line who didn't take a step back. When people say "I don't know how you do it." I simply respond, "She is my daughter. You would do the same."
For the past few days, Sadie has been off the oxygen. She needed it, again, for a few weeks post-hospital. We have also seen some improvement with her seizure activity after a recent Dilantin increase. However, she is restless, not sleeping, and not eating very well. (Which means Mommy and Daddy are averaging about 4 hours of sleep a night.) If it's not one thing, it's another.
As for this special family and their unselfish desire to adopt this precious baby, the biological parents ultimately chose another adoptee family for the baby. I can only hope this special child went to a family who will cherish her for the beautiful angel she is.