By Angela Drews-Weaver
We are a blended family of five. I am a step-mom, adopted mom and a birth mom. My adopted son has sensory issues, anxiety, ADD fetal alcohol, as well as is on the spectrum. He is a wonderful, delightful little boy who doesn’t quite understand his needs. It can be challenging going to the grocery store with him, let alone plan a vacation.
I am an on-the-go kind of person. As my husband says, I can’t sit still. So every day I have to plan my day and pick and choose what’s in the best interest for my son as well as the rest of the family. It’s so stressful trying to find the right fit for my son.
He is the in-between child, can’t play sports on a team, and can’t be in a “regular” class. Everything is thought out. Yes, that’s part of parenting, but with your special child, it’s intensified. Add on traveling and vacationing, and that’s added stress. You go on vacation to relax, enjoy family time, and make memories. When you travel with your special child, you’re on complete edge with questions. You have done so much research before you go just to feel some comfort that your child will be able to handle things. You wonder if others will be able to handle him.
I have gotten the stares at the stores; the “Can’t you control your child?” comments at a restaurant; the feeling you want to just cry (and sometimes I have). I feel that in this day and age, families just need a safe place we can go to and connect with, just so we know we are not alone on the special journey. I believe my little boy is a complete gift. He has taught me so much in life and has made me grow as a person.