To our foster baby's mother.
Your son turns one on Tuesday and I've been thinking about you. I am a mother and you are a mother and that gives us a strong bond. I wonder if you are from a village. I wonder if you are from the city. I wonder if I have ever seen you on the streets of our city. I wonder if you think about your son.
Sometimes I look at your son and I think "Who are you?" He has a name that was given to him by the orphanage- what was the name that you gave him? Who is he really?
I wonder what it was like for you. Did you notice that something was a little off? Or did you find out what was wrong with him when you took him to the hospital when he was two months? Did you think that going to the orphanage would give him a better chance? That maybe he could get some help there? Or did you just see the hard reality in front of you- that you had a child that could not get help or be educated in this country. That your son would never be able to take care of you in your old age. In this country of only children , that is a hard reality.
Most mothers would go down with their children if the ship was sinking. But somehow you jumped off to save your own life. I have to believe that you felt desperate. I choose to believe the best of you. I believe that your heart aches for your son.
Your son has a condition and it is called Down Syndrome. It's not contagious or dangerous. It's a condition that not many people in your country seem to know a lot about. But your son is not the sum of this condition. He has issues associated with it- low muscle tone for one. He has some unique physical characteristics like lower set ears and wider set eyes. He'll learn differently than other children. Yes, he can learn if he is taught in the right way.
But he is so much more than that. He is fun and sweet and cuddly. He loves music. He loves being held. When he wakes up in the middle of the night, I love holding his sweet little body.
He loves peas and carrots. He loves his bottle. He needs to nap! He wakes up every morning happy and talking. He loves our cat. He loves his Jie Jie.
Things have been hard for your son. He was near death when we got him. He became very small in the orphanage and has some lung damage due to inhaling formula. We have to watch him closely when he gets a cold. We spend a lot of time making sure that he is getting enough oxygen. He spent five days in a hospital because of a pneumonia that led to an oxygen deficit. We don't want to go there again.
Maybe the most important thing that I want you to know is that we love him. We love him because he is very lovable. We love him because he is worthy of being loved. We love him enough to know that he needs a younger family who can care for him long term.
We are committed to finding him a forever family when the time is right. For now, we are doing all we can to keep him safe, help him to be healthy. He has a group of loving people in his life that think he is very special. His doctor's will come to our house to make sure he is healthy. Other people will watch him for us so that we can go out occasionally. Our neighbors ask about him. He is surrounded by a community of love.
So happy birthday to our sweet baby. You (and many like you) are truly the boy who lived. We pray for you and we pray for your mother. You are a gift in our life.