Adam was a very special little blessing. He was born with a very severe form of Dandy Walker Syndrome, and other various problems, including a severe seizure disorder. Nevertheless, he did fairly well, learning to feed himself with a bottle, and then with a spoon. He began to speak, with words such as "hi-baby!"
Then he got sick with meningitis, and his brain was damaged much more. This changed everything for Adam. He could not do the things he had, any more. He could not digest properly. He had a terrible time eating, and then could not keep it down. Dear, sweet baby.
Adam was the only one who was not wholly mine. He was given to me by his birth mother, and she gave me guardianship over him. For nine years I loved him and cared for him as though he were my own, and his entire family visited often. Adam was blind, hydrocephalic, tube-fed, and had a seizure disorder, and Cerebral Palsy. He had a shunt. His forehead bulged out because of an unusual brain malformation. Instead of brain matter, in many places, he had cysts filled with water. But his main problem when I welcomed him into our family was his constant vomiting. This was caused by his damaged brain stem.
He was a sweet slender baby of a little boy, with the endearing habit of sleeping with his right leg lying across his chest, and his foot cuddled up against his forehead, or tucked behind his head! In fact, he could not sleep without his own personal "security leg"! He was still just as limber as an unborn baby!
Adam had the silkiest hair I have ever felt. Blonde and curly, it was finer than fine. It felt more like a baby bunny than a child. It was a treat to stroke, so it was good that he did not mind me stroking it. In fact, he absolutely loved for his head to be stroked. He would smile and smile, and lean his head toward me!
I got to work right away to get Adam a feeding pump, because he just had a terrible time keeping his food in. After that, with a slow drip, he stopped vomiting, in time, and grew well ever after. What a relief that was!
Adam needed to be approached slowly, with consideration, because he could not see. He would scream with anger if someone touched him without speaking first. We all learned to tell him what we were doing. Adam loved to be cuddled and rocked. He would snuggle, and smile as I rocked him in my well-worn big overstuffed rocking chair. Ah, how many babies and children I have rocked there!
As the years went by, I found that Adam was espcially fond of the scent of oranges. I had discovered a spray that smelled just like an orange being peeled. It proved to be one of his happiest experiences. Every time I sprayed it near him, he would immediately stop rolling his head, wrinkle up his nose, and smile the biggest smile! Oh, yes, he let me know that was his favorite scent!
Like many blind children, Adam was very picky as to what he would touch. Year after year, most things I tried to get him to hold, he would throw violently acros the room. But when he grew older, he learned to play for considerable lengths of time, with hand bells, and a toddler tamborine. He would put the bell on his chest, then pick it up, shake it to hear the clear, pure sound, then put it on the floor on one side of him. (He liked to do this lying on his back on the floor.) Then he would feel around for it, pick it up, and put it back on his chest. Sometimes he would tap his chest with it gently. You could just about see him thinking about this. He would have an intense look on his face, like he was really concentrating. We took movies of him doing this, because it was so cute and exciting to see!