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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Books by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
A Daily Dose of Miracles: The Reichard Family Story
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Friday, June 06, 2003

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The ups and downs of raising a family of special-needs kids. Fred Reichard is a co-worker of Bill Sandusky's; both work at Wal*Mart.

It isn't easy to raise a family anyway, but it is especially challenging when you have children who are special-needs.

My name is Freddie Reichard, and my wife's name is Kay; and we have five rambunctious children, all, of whom, have special needs. Some are physically disabled, and some are mentally handicapped; but they are all beautiful children who deserve a chance to succeed at life.

Our two youngest, Shane and Sean, as an example, are both a little over one year old, and both came to us from China; and they have both had one heart surgery between them, and they still face more in the future. Both boys, twins, were born with serious heart malformations, and they nearly died; and without the surgeries, they won't have a chance. So they are in need of more surgeries if they are going to have a chance at living. Right now they are doing fairly well, all things considering. At least one surgery is behind them; that is definitely a step in the right direction.

The other three (Hala, Kyung Me, and Rahid) have since gotten used to having younger brothers around the house, and they are always fighting to see who will get to care for them when they need to be fed or changed or dressed. It is rather amusing to watch them, but they are so good with their little brothers it is unreal. They are still learning English, and so it is interesting, as their conversations are half in English, and half in Farsi (Iranian) or Korean. They try to communicate with one another, but they are often met with blank stares or total confusion; and that is when mommy or I have to step in and tell them, "No. English. Please talk ENGLISH to us!" and they usually comply to our request.

The children are all growing like weeds, and it takes a lot of food and clothes to keep them happy. They love hot dogs or pizza, just like any normal American kid, and they are entranced with all that America has to offer. They love the flag, and they think it is very pretty; and they also love it whenever there is a parade; the floats, bands, and firetrucks fascinate them; and they, of course, love getting candy or balloons. They also love filling up on junk food and the festive atmoosphere that the parade often brings. They also love the different colors of the people that live here, and they love the excitement of living in a big city like the one we live in (Nashville). There is always something to do with the kids, and they love getting out and going to the mall, to the zoo, or to a concert.

Yet, people often forget that my kids are just that..KIDS. They only seem to see the DISABILITY that my kids have and NOT their ABILITIES, and that is something we are working really hard to change. Yes, our kids are disabled, but they are as ABLED as any other kid if one is only willing enough to give them that hope, that chance. This is why we try to include our kids in nearly everything we do, and we want people to be used to being around kids who have special-needs; how are they going to learn if they are not? Do they want our kids to be locked up or hidden away forever, like these kids have been for so very long? It is about time people learn to accept our kids--or ANY other kid (OR adult) with special needs and learn to include them in ALL aspects of life! They are people too, and they deserve to be treated with dignity, hope, and RESPECT!

This is why Kay and I have adopted these children because they need a chance at life, and how are they going to get along in life if nobody is willing to help them when they need it the most?

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Reviewed by Bianca Boonstra 6/7/2003
Wonderful story, my friend!
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 6/6/2003
Wow Karen you never cease to amaze me, keep up the great work.
God Bless
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 6/6/2003

excellent! you take us into their world, and bring it vividly to life

well done

(((HUGS))) and love,

karla. :)
Reviewed by Robert Blackwell 6/6/2003
You weave such magic when you write about these neighbors of ours. Nicely done!
Reviewed by Trish - The Trickster 6/6/2003
A wonderful story, Karen. Excellent writing and message....bravo!!!! ~Trish~
Reviewed by Tony Nerone 6/6/2003
Great tell all story, Karen! These are special kind of people in my mind. We all have this virtue in us I think. But maybe go about different ways of caring. Just like your beautiful way!


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