Flipping the script –

On adopting a kid with Down syndrome –

Please read my new post on Huffington Post: The question is, I told her, “Imagine what his expectations were for coming into this world?”

It’s worth your while. So go, now!

This entry was posted in Adopting, By Notatypicalmom, Down syndrome, education, Foster care, Inclusion, Marriage, Special Needs and tagged , , by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She has a M.S.W. and has been at various times a practicing social worker, documentary videographer, film festival director and retail clerk. She is the author of Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: kariwagnerpeck.com Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: www.facebook.com/NotAlwaysHappyLive/ Email: kariwagnerpeck@gmail.com

22 thoughts on “Flipping the script –

  1. I read the article. I liked your perspective. I think your story is awesome. Parents and children have a way of finding each other, at least that’s what a wise person keeps telling me, and I believe her. You seem to want to know about the people reading your stuff, so I will tell you, I am a 37 year old woman who has a very small chance at having a child of my own. I have thought many times about doing what you have done, but it would mean convincing my husband, and having to use the word convince in that sentence makes me uncomfortable. He would have to come to that decision on his own. So, I read a story like yours, and I smile, because you inspire me, so thank you!

    • My husband needing “convincing” too. It’s a process. One day he was like “Ok, let’s adopt”. I really wish you the best both of you. If you decide to it is such an amazing journey. I cannot believe how lucky I am. I appreciate you putting yourself out there. Thank you.

  2. So all I can say is that you make sense. Total sense. And for those people who think there is only one way for a human to be – aren’t very realistic. I love that you adopted your son because you knew he was the one. And for those who don’t get it – WHATEVA.

  3. Read your Huffington Post article. Came to your blog. Your kid is beyond cute, absolutely adorable and absolutely model material!

  4. I left a comment on Twitter but I need more words. When you said ‘I talked to him constantly in my head before I ever saw him in person. Mostly, I said things like, “Hold on.” “Soon.” “I love you.” ‘ and then I saw his picture, my eyes immediately filled with tears and I had to catch my breath. But when you said “That is not an enlightened thought. The question is, I told her, “Imagine what his expectations were for coming into this world?”‘ that is what really hit the mark.

    So many people are stuck in their own self-centered way of thinking; your way of seeing this wouldn’t even occur to them. I am very glad you are sharing this with others. The only way we will ever see improvements in the way people think is by taking these opportunities to educate the people with whom we cross paths.

    • Lyndsay,

      You get it! I am trying to change the narrative. Let’s look at this from the perspective of the person who has Down syndrome. I hope later when my son is old enough he will not hate me for using what is really his story to try and influence people’s thinking. I want the world to accept my son as is. Thank you so very much.

  5. Ok, first, I agree with all the posts above about your writing talent, love of life, and all that (not the least of which is the adorableness of your son – I love his locks the most, I think. But, being a reddish blonde, you could say I “prefer” lighter colored hair. Just don’t tell that to my two darker-haired adopted children!). I happened across your blog via Huffington post, and am eagerly waiting to read more.

    Anyway, about me, briefly as possible (not easy!) – I am 45 yrs old, have four kids (though all we ever planned on was – two for me, after convincing – there’s that word again – that my husband missed out on not having a sibling as I had had one). So our story is that I had grown up in less than ideal, though not deplorable, family and child care settings. So, to “correct” that, and to be a positive influence on the world, I decided 25 some odd years ago that I would open a family child care business out of my home “to at least be a safe, affordable, welcoming place for the kids I cared for.” And not the less-than-ideal child care situations I was placed in for care as a child. I somehow always knew I wanted to adopt. My husband was open to it, but only after we struggled with 5 years of infertility and finally had a bio child to love. More infertility, and he felt, despite reservations about the foster care system, that he was ready, since we had one already, to face the risky, dangerously potentially very hurtful chance of losing a child we’d come to attach to and love in our dual licensed foster-child care home. My “bracing” involved telling myself that, no matter the outcome, I’d at least had helped the children who were, possibly, temporarily in our care, to be safe, and hopefully, happy, while in our lives – no matter how short or long the duration. Also that, as long as permitted, if they were to go back to bio family, then we would remain supportive as it would be best for them.

    Along came our first placement – a boy/girl sibling group. We loved them immediately. Eventually, and actually, fairly quickly, we met and formed a trustful relationship with the father, mother, and the father’s family. About two months after placement, the mother overdosed herself on cocaine and died. The father, he eventually got into treatment, but this was after the plan had changed to “adoption” for the kids. Termination of Parental rights began, and was refuted by the father. At the subsequent mediation meeting, the father relented to us adopting the kids, with the stipulation that he continue to get visitation. In the agreement, it is written that he may do so, but if, at our discretion, it appears at any time that he may be a threat to the health and/or welfare of the kids, we have the right to stop visitation. Ours is a rather unusual case. Today, and ever since the 2008 adoption finalization, the bio father sees his children every weekend on average. He takes them out to family meals or has them in his home with their grandfather. Occasionally, he invites our two bio children along – to the movies, for instance. We have formed a close relationship with the bio mother’s sister – who we had first met at the grave site funeral service, and whom I now call my other/new Sister. We spend holidays and other special occasions together. I feel I have gained far more than just two children – my family size has MORE than doubled with distant relatives as well! Today, my two adopted children call both men in their lives “dad.” I just have to sometimes ask which dad they are referring to. LOL.

    My plans for the future – ask me, and I”ll elaborate. I want to foster more kids, that’s for sure, but I have some obstacles to overcome first…. more on that later, if you would like to know. :-)

  6. “Imagine what his expectations were for coming into this world?” I wish I’d seen the look on her face. I wish everyone thought like you. And wrote like you! Keep it coming, mama.

  7. You and your husband are brave people. Congratulations on knowing your strength, recognizing your son at first sight, and eloquently conveying it. You help restore my faith in humanity.

    • Stef,

      Don’t give me too much credit:) When you know it’s your kid no bravery needed just an open heart and mind.

      Thank you for commenting!

  8. Isn’t it wonderful when you find “the one”? (first husband, then child). I strongly believe that my (adopted) kids were meant for me and my husband. I never would have imagined it while we were struggling with infertility, but I’m so grateful that things worked out the way they did, because my children are perfect for me and I am the right mother for them. And it’s not just parents of kids with special needs – we also get the comments from people about “oh, you are such wonderful people for adopting two kids from foster care, those kids are so lucky, etc.” My husband and I are the lucky ones!

    • YES! I think so often people talk about adoption as less than rather than same as. We all have a “birth” or coming-together story. Everyone gets that experience. I love that you commented. Thank you, kwp

      • Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention that is kind of random… I love that your son’s name is Thorin! My cousin named her son Thorin – he’s 18 now and a freshman in college – and up until I found your blog, he was the only person I’d ever known or heard of with that name. Our Thorin is a wonderful young man, and it sounds like yours is pretty great too!

      • I love that! Well, except for The Hobbit your Thorin is the only other ‘Thorin’ we have heard of:)

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