Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Adoption Awareness: Visual Impairment

Kait said:

"I have a question that is kind of related to adoption but kind of just
related to your experiences. My husband and I are in the process of
adopting two little boys, one who is HIV+ and the other who has
"possible vision issues". I know your husband is considered legally
blind. I don't think our son is, but honestly we don't know and won't
until he's home. I was just hoping you could offer some assurance that
someone with vision limitations can have a normal, full, lovely life."

Kait, most definitely! My husband is legally blind. He is completely
blind in one eye. In the other eye he has no peripheral vision, his eye
doesn't dilate (so dark is super dark and light is super light), and he
has 20/200 vision in the right lighting environment. He went blind in
college after not managing his diabetes well. Even so, he snagged a
great gal like me (ha!), was approved to adopt four kids
internationally, fully supports his family financially, and still enjoys
watching college sports! There are so many tools out there for the
visually impaired. As a software engineer Eric uses a program that
provides magnification and will read to him when needed.

As it happens, my niece Mia is also legally blind. She is more visually
impaired that my husband. My sister, Nichole, adopted her from
Guatemala as a toddler. I'm betting Nichole will speak up about how
fabulous Mia is doing at 7 years old. She amazes me! She is at the top
of her class, and is learning to read braille. She is planning to be a
teacher, and I absolutely believe she can do it!

I think the thing to remember is that for a person with special needs,
their "normal" is just different. No less than our normal--just different.



Nichole, Mia's Mommy 7:33 AM  

Yes Mia is perfectly able to do anything she puts her mind to! As Anita mentioned she is ahead of the "regular education" children and is keeping up with the 2nd graders reading braille (She is in 1st grade) She is considered legally blind as well with only light perception and periferal vision in her right eye while her left eye appears to be completely blind. During the adoption we were told she had a "hole in her brain" we think that was a mistranslation meaning a dark spot on her MRI and that she was completely blind. As she gets older and is able to recognize things she is able to see color and shape and we notice more and more vision everyday! It is definately a leap of Faith to adopt a child with such scary diagnosis but God rewards those that practice that Faith and follow His lead. Mia is my Joy and My Light (Her name even means My Light Admired, Mia Elaine Judith) Basically I am saying yes adopting a Visually Impaired child is scary but God knows what He is doing and just might surprise you, like He did me :)

Kait 10:02 AM  

Thank you both of you.

The vision issues are terrifying to me. My husband thinks it's hilarious that vision issues make me nervous but HIV doesn't.

I know this child is supposed to be our child and I am confident that we'll be able to seek out anything we need to help him have a wonderful life. But there is still this part of me that is terrified for this little boy.

Thank you so much, both of you, for addressing this for me.

mommajeane 11:23 AM  

I have adopted 2 sons who are completely blind from birth- congenitial conditions that caused the blindness. Our first son, Abraham is almost 28 yrs and he was our first adoption- 25 yrs ago from Mexico and we just brought home our second blind child, Andrew from Bulgaria last Christmas Eve... email me if you like... both have been a blessing and both see spiritually more than I do..God has graced both with amazing skills and abilities inspite of not being able to see.

A. Gillispie 11:56 AM  

Kait, don't feel bad for being concerned about it! My husband didn't bat an eye at adopting a child with HIV, but did not feel we were the right family to adopt a child with severe visual impairment. I could argue we would be a GREAT family for that (!) but he does feel like it's more challenging to be a dad to his kids with the vision impairment, and feels like it would be even more difficult for the "blind to lead the blind."