Have you ever had to make a life changing decision? Were you ever forced to make a decision quickly that would alter your life or a family member? I did. It was probably the most gut wrenching decision my husband and I ever had to make.
I do not want to give away too much here because I wrote about this decision in detail in my book that will be published very soon. However, in order to help me write this post and hopefully reach a young mother or father who are facing this in their life now, my ultimate decision was to let go of my son and allow him to be cared for in an institution.
I want to reach out to young parents who have severely physically challenged special needs children home with them now. You probably are reading this and wanting to curse me out or respond with a dreadful post about how terrible I am and how could I have given up on my son.
This is a very normal reaction, believe me. Please listen to me just a little longer. You need to reach deep into your inner soul and answer these questions. Are you depressed? Do you cry yourself to sleep? Do you have other children you worry about because you cannot give them the attention they need? Do you care for you child around the clock without support? Can you provide quality care to your child while still being a mother, wife, daughter, and possibly a co-worker? Are you worried about what other people will think of you if you make this decision? Are you a single mom and cannot make ends meet because you need to care for your child? Do you have a husband who requires your attention as well?
My guess is you can probably answer yes to many of the above questions. I did! Let me tell you the most important question you need to ask yourself…Can you provide the quality medical care for your special needs child at home which includes daily range of motion, full time care for personal needs, possibly tube feeding, nursing services and most importantly, being the best advocate you can be for your child.
I am not a professional or a social worker. I am a mother who had to make this decision many years ago. It was 28 years ago when I chose to place my son. He lived in a wonderful facility which was located 2 1/2 hours away from me. He lived there for 20 years, the last two in a community home.
I will end this post by saying now that I can look back at the decision we made 28 years ago, it was the best decision I ever made for MY SON!!! I am emphasizing the last few words because ultimately it turned out to be the most unselfish decision I made in my life. His quality of life improved along with ours. We visited him often. He was a very happy and loving child and young man. He loved all his friends and caregivers. They were his second family.
I would love to hear from you if you have any questions for me. If you are reading this and need emotional support or suggestions in how to start the process, contact me. I will guide you toward the direction you need to go.
Best wishes to you all!