myhollydays

A glimpse into the world of the handicapable.

Archive for the tag “Handicap”

Adoption…baby pictures

20131230-002007.jpgI have a friend that has a blog. She adopted two little boys from China. She had a conversation with one of them about baby pictures. She was showing them baby pictures of when she was a day old. She was in her little hospital issued baby crib, her belly button had been pinned up and healing, the hospital issued blanket was displayed around her. Her little boy asked where HIS baby pictures were. He had none.

I don’t remember asking my mom for my baby pictures. I don’t think I gave it a thought until my high school graduation. It was a tradition at our small private school to show a slideshow of each of the graduates. The slideshow consisted of a letter written by our parents and pictures capturing our lives from birth to graduation day. It was a sweet tradition and I had been looking forward to seeing what my mom would write to me. I wasn’t disappointed. =)

However, I didn’t have a baby photo to include in my montage like my classmates. Instead, my slideshow began at 2 years of age. I was a little embarrassed at the fact that I didn’t have a picture of my mother swaddling me at the hospital hours after my birth. To clarify, I wasn’t embarrassed about being adopted. My entire school (all 200 of them) knew about my family and about my situation. I was proud of being adopted. My mom would always reassure me about how she “picked me to adopt.” I was “special because I was adopted.” However, I wanted to be like everyone else and have that infant picture.

Decades later, I still don’t have infant pictures of myself. Instead, I have something SO much better. I have an infant picture of my precious baby boy. I have a picture of myself in the hospital holding my baby just hours after he was born. I have my memories of him growing inside of me. I have pictures of my pregnancy. I have journals I have written before, during and after his birth. I have so much more than I could have wanted as a high school graduate. I was just focused on wanting the wrong picture.

 

20131230-002032.jpg

Advertisements

Adoption

When I was a kid, I never understood what it meant to be adopted. Meaning…I knew that I WAS adopted, I knew that I had a Korean mommy. I knew she couldn’t take care of me, but loved me very much-according to my mom. I just didn’t know what the whole process really meant.

I’m noticing that more and more of my friends, colleagues and people about my age are adopting…it is finally sinking in the reality of adoption. What it costs the birth mother emotionally. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to hand over Caiden to complete strangers and trust that they would love him as much as I do. I can’t imagine the sacrifice my mom and dad made when they decided they would take me in. How difficult it must have been to have a child that doesn’t speak their language, doesn’t look like them and have no idea of her full potential (physically, emotionally and academically). I don’t even want to get into how much the adoption itself cost!

I applaud all the moms and dads out there that have welcomed those who are considered “unadoptable” (like myself). Wow…

Now that I’m all grown up (I’m using those words loosely), I appreciate all that my parents did to make sure I felt loved. They did a great job making sure that I knew that I was hand picked and wanted. They pushed me because she knew I could do anything I set my mind to. I am here today, a wife, a mother an educated professional…and able to achieve all that and more because of this great country and my awesome parents. My parents never made a distinction between birth kids (aka the “real” kids as some would say) and the adopted kids (er…fake kids?). We were a family and there was always room for one more.

I do think of my birth mother every once in awhile. I think how hard it must have been for her, but at the same time I am a little bitter at the country that (at that time) weren’t as open minded to disabilities as the Western world.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret…my brain still thinks I’m Caucasian.

Memories…!

I found a picture of my mom a couple of weeks ago.  It was so cute, she was so young looking.  It was a Polaroid (remember those?) of my sisters and my mom.  I guess we were on an outing of some kind.  I have my white wheelchair (which was the first wheelchair I received when I was about 16).  I don’t remember what we did that day, or why we were even out, but it did remind me of my younger years (like I’m SO old).

It sparked a memory, however, of a time when mom and I went on an outing.  We had a few of the sibs (Josh?  Seth?) with us, and we took White Thunder (the 18 passenger van) with us.  We were on our way home and the van died!  It was summer, hot and humid.  The area was not the safest in the world, but I doubted any of us gave it two thoughts at the time.  But at least we were in a small city on a small (ish) road.  I theorized that the van ran out of gas…so I told my mom to stay put and I would get some gas.  I don’t know why…and I’m not sure why mom let me! lol  I was probably about 18 at the time…

This is me when I was about 18. LOVE THE BRACES!

I rolled across the four lane road to the nearest gas station.  I purchased a gallon of milk, and went outside and dumped it out.  I filled it with gas and took it back to the car.  To my mom’s horror (delight?), I rolled up proudly with a milk jug of gasoline and not a care in the world.  I asked if she had a funnel…I guess I should have known the answer to that…but I thought I’d ask.  The answer was “no” in case you were curious.  So…I did what any one would have done…I found an old Taco Bell cup and broke off the bottom.  I made a funnel from that and poured gas into the van.  TADA!  It was enough to get us home.

I am always pleased with my handiwork.  My mom had coined the phrase “handicapable” and that was definitely a day she used it.

Looking back, I realize:

1.  WHAT WAS I THINKING!?

2.  THAT WAS DANGEROUS.

3.  I SHOULD HAVE LOOKED BOTH WAYS BEFORE CROSSING THE STREET.

4.  WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

5.  Gas was very inexpensive back then…

6.  If push comes to shove…I’ll get it done!

I guess it’s when things go wrong, you get to see what you are truly capable of.  It also allows for good memories and a great story for the kids.  =)

…And It Begins…

Caiden is sleeping in his own room.  He is in his own bed.  My hand was forced!

It started out like this…

I put Caiden in his little bassinet three days ago.  I turned around to clean off the coffee table and I look back and not only has Caiden sat up, but he started pulling up on his legs.  He was leaning over the side of the bassinet onto the couch arm rest (luckily, that’s the side he chose for this death defying trick!).  I quickly rolled to him and put him on my lap.  Sadly…an end of a stage.

My heart broke a little bit.  My baby, this precious little boy that was in my tummy, is mobile.  When Chris came home, I had him lower the crib and the pack and play.  We are now in the process of baby proofing the house…this will be our next adventure.

The crib is a bit deep for me to get Caiden out of, however, I can get him out by myself.  He usually sits up for me and then I stand him up and lift him onto my lap.  It’s awkward, I admit, but effective.  I’ll need to get used to the height, and the feel of the crib.  Another factor to consider…his weight.  Luckily, I am adapting well to his continually changing body and mass.

With each new skill he’s picking up, I can’t help but fall even more in love with this baby.  Who knew…?  Me…married…and a mother!

Oh what a night!

I’ve been so busy reading everyone else’s blog, I forgot to write in mine. I guess I’ll give it a shot today.

I had one of the most interesting experience last weekend. Chris had promised that we could take a trip to Barnes and Noble last Saturday. We packed up the baby and set out to the long trip (a whole ten minutes) to BN.

We arrived and got the baby out, then realized in horror that the baby was sitting in a pool of poo. His little legs were kicking in it and all the while my baby boy was as happy as could be. He isn’t disturbed by much…and clearly dirty diapers/poo pools are included on this list. His little hands went from the little puddle of poo… straight to his…gulp…mouth! I’m gagging. Chris is disturbed. Caiden.. squealing with delight. We contemplated going back home, but I didn’t want to risk him ingesting this mess…so into BN we went. Poo and all.
I split up the job…Chris would take Caiden and I would take the baby seat. Both equally and disgustingly poo filled.  I had never been so frustrated in my life. The seat was bulky, stinky and hard to maneuver. The restroom doors were awkward and heavy. I was clearly struggling and people would see me and turn around without offering assistance, encouragement or the like. Sigh. Anyways, I made it to the sink and set up camp. Luckily, I carry baby shampoo in the diaper bag…HOWEVER I forgot to put the wipes in the bag. The counter was covered in poo, I was covered in poo. And I don’t want to get started on what remnants of Caiden had been exposed to this poor bathroom… and as ladies (this is Highland Village, mind you…) were leaving the stalls, I couldn’t help but notice..I was being judged. A lot! Who could blame the innocent bystanders that skipped the hand washes in fear of contamination. I wouldn’t want to wash my hands while the little girl in the wheelchair with a baby seat (and no sign of a baby) washed out poo and sloshed brown water every where. By the way…I ran out of paper towels in mid washing…and resorted to a onsie…what a sight!

When I finally completed my task to the best of my ability (I did ask God for his forgiveness for the choice language and glares I inadvertently let slip), I met up with my husband,  collected my half naked baby and fully clothed husband (in case that wasn’t clear) and allowed the seat to air dry in the car.

I realized that Caiden was still a bit dirty (I hadn’t packed wipes, so I can only imagine what Chris did to get this poor baby clean) and went back into the bathroom and (much to the dismay of the BN staff) I set up yet another camp and “bathed”poor Caiden. After ten minutes of repurposing burp rags into bath clothes, using old blankets as towels and dressing Caiden in an outfit I had luckily packed…we were ready for some book shopping!

My husband was covered in dried baby poo…for the rest of the outing (which included book browsing, cookies and a short stroll) and never once complained.

No matter how stressful the situation became…and it was STRESSFUL… We worked together and got what needed to be done…done. :). We ended the night reminiscing about our adventure after showers and and a baby bath. At least we could laugh about it…now!

I married the perfect man for me. God gave me the perfect son for me. I am truly blessed.

My family!

Mini-sode 3: Mallrats

My Holly Days Mini-Sode 03: Mallrats from Holly Cates on Vimeo.

It’s a Sling Thing!

Episode 02 from Holly Cates on Vimeo.

Mini-sode Episode 1: Going for a Roll

My Holly Days Mini-sode Episode 01 from Holly Cates on Vimeo.

What was I so worried about?

Caiden is a little over 5 months now.  He is so happy, just smiles all the time.  He is also just a laid back kid, nothing seems to faze him too much.  He is a social little bug!

Since the summer began (2 weeks ago!), I get to stay home with Caiden and just hang out with him.  I LOVE being at home with him.  I get to see him try to crawl, give me the MOST DRAMATIC frowns, and give me the happiest squeals and giggles.  I am also VERY protective of him.

I think the reasoning is that, well, first off, I’m a mommy.  Secondly, I feared (okay, I admit, I still fear) what others would say or think of him having a mommy in a wheelchair.  I get the vibe at times that some people are not too pleased that I made a conscious choice to get pregnant.  I could have “spread” my disability to him, or made his life harder than it needs to be.  WELL…to be honest…who’s life is NOT hard?  Seriously…!

However, the thought still stays in my head.  I keep thinking…well, I grew up like this (you know…not walking) and I’m used to the stares, the nervous smiles and the “OH @#*&$ how am I supposed to handle this situation” looks.  Chris (the hubby) married me knowing he would have to deal with the above types of people.  He is used to it.   I am quite in awe of how brave and self-confident he is about the whole situation.  It never bothered him, even when others were worried for him.

BUT…I brought a baby into the equation.  Caiden wasn’t really born into it (not really), and he didn’t choose this lifestyle or his mommy.  So, I fretted (as any normal mommy would do) about how others would treat him, what other people would say to him, or how others would treat me when he’s around.  I know I can do anything I set my mind to.  If you give me a challenge, or just tell me I can’t…well, I will do anything in my power to prove you wrong…and then some.  Still, you have people out there who do not know me well, and will still try to limit me.  Not really on purpose, but trying to be the good Samaritan, or trying to “help”.  It’s condescending.  Plain and simple.  I do not need to be taken care of and I usually don’t need assistance…unless I specifically ask.  =)  I don’t want Caiden exposed to that type of mindset.

Yesterday, for the first time ever…Caiden and I went out to a place that wasn’t with my husband or family members.  I took Caiden to the store.  Just me and Caiden.  I was so nervous and scared.  I wasn’t nervous because of the transferring in and out of the car, or being able to carry him around, that’s EASY PEASY!  It was how I thought people were going to react.  I thought people might stare at me or at Caiden and judge us. I thought people would be rude, or disrespectful.

I got out of my car, put Caiden in his front carrier and we rolled in to the store.  This is the store that Chris, Caiden and I usually go to every week.  It was so intimidating at first.  But everyone cooed and smiled and played with Caiden and greeted me in such a respectful manner.  The employees were so nice and friendly.  The customers were hilarious.  Chris was right…they weren’t judging, they weren’t disgusted.  They wanted to help.  They wanted to see what they could do to make things easier.  Why was I so worried?  I forgot, most of this world is actually…good.  =)

God knew what he was doing when he gave me Caiden.  We are a perfect match.

So, that’s one fear confronted….so many more to go.  But you know what?  I’ve got time.  =0)

Adaptability

Today was a good day. School is almost at an end, and summer vacation is fast approaching. It also means that Caiden is getting older…and more mobile.
Yesterday, I sat him in his pack and play and watched as he rolled from back to tummy and back again. He sits on my lap and we ride. He also nurses with his feet on my wheels. It’s amazing how adaptable babies are. Caiden somehow knows what I can and can’t do, and seems perfectly fine adapting to me.
I can’t wait to see what he will be like when he’s a little older (although parts of me want him to stay a baby!).
Ok…time for bed!

Post Navigation