Our son arrived shortly afterwards, (reasonably) healthy, a little boy with beautiful eyes and hair, a little boy who needed lots of love. We were smitten on the spot.
Little Jerome Shamus Michael stole our hearts the first time we laid eyes on him. He continues to do so to this day. He is now six, smart as a whip, and a perfect playmate for our other two children, Rosemary and Manuri, whom we'd adopted from China and India.
When people ask us if we ever regretted in taking in a handicapped child as our own, we are more than happy to answer: "NO!" We love the challenges, the excitment, the uncertainties that parenting a child with special needs presents, and we know that with help he can reach each and any goal he may have. Just because he cannot walk or talk doesn't mean his brain's messed up. He is one of the smartest little guys we've ever met, and sometimes he's too smart for his own good: he can spring an attitude on you when you least expect it.
Jerome is like any other six-year-old boy: he loves watching "Between The Lions", "Caillou", "Berenstein Bears", or "The Backyardigans" on television (he also adores "Thomas The Tank Engine"), looking at picture books, playing with his toy cars or trucks, playing games like hide-and-go-seek, Red Rover, Red Rover, shadow puppets, or ping-pong, playing with the pets, and sleeping in most mornings. He doesn't like to go to physical therapy (to him, it's nothing but work), and he definitely hates going to his pediatrician's every few months.
When he's mad, Jerome will scowl, make an ugly expression on his face. Sometimes he'll make mad noises, like a dinosaur or perhaps a monster. When he is in one of his moods, we have to try to reason with him, which is nothing short of impossible at times. He is incredibly stubborn (like his mother LOL).
More often than not, Jerome is a very sweet, loving boy with a mercurial personality. One never has to second-guess his moods; they can read his emotions like a well-read book. He is a delight, a challenge, a paradox; however, we know that with the right kind of help and/or support, he will make it far in life.
~To be continued.~