Taro Ibu has been with our family for five years now. We adopted him, when he was a year old.
He has grown into a beautiful litle boy who is whip-smart and has only made our lives much brighter. He has stick-straight black hair that is thick and silky-soft, big, round, almond-shaped brown eyes, a small, snub nose, and a wonderful smile that lights up his entire face.
Taro speaks English exclusively, but is also taking Japanese at school. He wants to learn the language of his home country, "just in case I meet my parents," he tells us. He is trying to teach us Japanese, but it's a lot harder than it looks: we cannot read the characters except for the character for the word "tree" because it looks like ... a tree. LOL
Taro does have a moderate case of cerebral palsy (diagnosed just after we adopted him) that causes him to use crutches and ankle-foot orthotic braces. None of that has ever slowed him down. If he falls, he gets right back up again and goes right back to what he was doing.
Other than that, he is perfectly healthy. We are very thankful for that.
He uses a wheelchair sometimes, especially if we take him and the other children to Six Flags Over Mid-America here in Missouri, which is where we make our home. Most of the time, his crutches are just fine.
A bonus is that we get to cut in line for rides at Six Flags and get to meet the stars when we go to concerts.
So far, Taro has met Loretta Lynn, Garth Brooks, Joe Diffie, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Little Jimmy Dickens, Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Jack Greene, Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, and Reba McEntire in person. All posed for a picture with Taro and signed autographs for him. Taro was thrilled beyond words!
Besides Taro, we have two other children: Janae' Aurora (seven) and Paxton Judah (three). Both Paxton and Janae' love their brother fiercely, but sometimes Paxton will fight with his big brother, as brothers often do. Happily, Janae' has never fought with Taro. We are grateful. Very grateful!
We take the children everywhere we go: to the park near our house, to the amusement park, to the zoo, to the store, to and from school, to visit friends and/or family, to church.
We won't force them into any lessons unless they express an interest in them. So far, they are happy, healthy, normal kids who have all the opportunity to have fun, something a lot of kids today are denied because they are so bogged down with sporting events, lessons, or other extracurricular activities before or after school.
We discipline the children and teach them about God. They know right from wrong. Even Taro gets disciplined. He doesn't get away with things just because he is disabled. Oh, no. If he messes up, then he will hear about it and we will deal with the infraction as soon as possible.
Well, Ryder (my husband) and I are going to get the two older children from school. They'll do their homework and if they've been good, we're planning on taking them out to eat. We haven't been out to eat in a while and they opened a brand new Golden Corral up the road from where we live. I don't feel like cooking tonight.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our family.
Sayonara (good bye) in Japanese ... one of the words I remember! God bless!
~Austin Kimberly McIntosh, Eureka, Missouri. :)