Ward and I get thanked – sometimes by total strangers – for adopting Thorin. I don’t like that. It assumes a couple things: “normal” children are better and somehow we have made some kind of sacrifice having “a less-than-child”. Plus, and, more importantly, it’s insulting to Thorin.
We weren’t looking for a kid with Down syndrome per se we wanted Thorin and that’s the way Thorin came – with Down syndrome.
We started out as foster-to-adopt parents. Thorin was removed from his home and became a ward of the state. We were foster-to-adopt because he was not legally terminated from his biological parents – yet.
For five months I was mandated by the court to take him to visit his biological mother every week. During that time we didn’t know if we were going to be able to keep this kid we loved or he would be taken away from us. For that hour and half visit each week I couldn’t breathe – or more accurately I couldn’t breathe easily. I alternated calling my friend Gina and my mom for support while he was there and not here. Both had children who had died. And – while losing Thorin would not have been a death. I would have grieved as though it were.
(Two people I greatly admire had their daughter who was foster-to-adopt removed to live with a member of her biological family and then brought back to them months later. Thankfully, now, they have legally adopted her forever. When I think of truly amazing parents (and all around great humans) it’s Dan and Rosie.)
For my part, I was brushing up on my high school Spanish, growing Thorin’s hair out so he could go by the alias Tori and squirreling away money during those long months.
With the fear of losing him as a distraction we didn’t really get to “Down syndrome” for awhile.