When my mother was pregnant with me, the doctor told her there was only one way that she would carry me to term: bedrest.
She had a 2 year old, who was quite lively.
Dad was a young banker and not making any money. Mom had quit teaching because she wanted kids and pregnant teachers, in those days, were forced to quit when they started showing. She had to quit when she started showing with my brother, a very painful ordeal for her, because she loved teaching.
So they were faced with a huge challenge.
I don't know what most young couples would have done in that situation, but I know what my parents did. Despite college debts and a mortgage and everything else, Dad borrowed money to hire a maid. She took care of the housework and ironing, which in those days was a big chore. Mom stayed in bed.
My brother played in her room and Mom tried to keep him out of the maid's way. To keep him occupied, Mom taught him to read. He could read before he was 3.
I was born on July 4th, a month late. The doctors wanted to send Mom home. She refused to leave until I was discharged. Because I was so tiny [5 lbs. 8 oz.] they put me in an incubator. After a week or two, I was still in the incubator, and I was losing weight. The doctor refused to release me.
Mom gathered her things, went to the nursery, picked me up, and left.
For several months after that, I was held almost continuously, and fed tiny amounts of formula.
I lived because my mother and Daddy fought for me. I lived because no matter how tired they were, how much in debt, how much criticism they face from other people [and there was a fair amount from family members who liked to tell them what to do] they never.gave.up.
They NEVER gave up on me.
One of my cousins sent me a blog by Jonathan Morrow, On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas. I read it and teary-eyed. What an amazing story.
My response to adversity is to FIGHT. Never give in. Never give up.
Why? Because that's what I saw, growing up.
I feel sorry for people who come from families where that fighting spirit is not ingrained in them. I have worried about how to give my children that spirit. Their early lives were filled with a lot of chaos, and neglect, and images of mamas who turned to booze when things got tough.
Sometimes I have to give myself pep talks. I have to remind myself that I wasn't a miscarriage or a stillbirth [the cord was around my neck] for a reason. I have a purpose in being here. It has taken me a lot of years to come to accept that, and to try to keep that uppermost in my mind when I want to give up. I am proud to say I have not given up, and I will not give up.
Life has been tough lately. It has been stressful. The surgery a couple of months ago was an ordeal - more for my family than me, in all honesty. I feel perfectly fine. Now I just have to deal with the bills, which is not easy.
The website for parents that I am writing is the biggest undertaking I've ever conceived, potentially. I have an ambitious goal with it: to help other parents.Trying to figure out what is wrong with your child and how to help them? There is nothing more scary. I have walked that walk. I know that terror.
I've had my chance with my children. I've fought the good fight for them. I'm still fighting to help Michael overcome teen angst and keep his chin up. That's an ongoing fight, but I've got a lot of support. I can't do much for Alesia, because she won't let me. I pray, though.
I so admire mothers who won't give up. My friend Marriya has been through the mill, after adopting a 15 year old from Bulgaria. She has had a tough journey. She writes about it honestly, and she has done amazing things, with God's help. God continues to bless her.
I so admire and cheer on my friend Cindy LaJoy, who struggles so bravely, and writes so beautifully.
No matter what you are taking care of in life [children, parents, animals] it's important to hear stories of folks who don't give up.It's easier if you have faith in God, but even if you don't, I have a message for you: don't stop fighting.
DON'T GIVE UP.
We have a saying in the adoption world: if you give up, you will never be a parent. KEEP PUSHING.
It's better to try and fail, than to not try at all. [I think Teddy Roosevelt said that, although I am paraphrasing.]
No matter what your battle is: don't give up.
my son in his orphanage group - he's on the front row, second from left. he's my precious child because some good ladies in Kazakhstan were determined to find him a home and a new mama, thanks be to GOD