I found my son Tony in a book from a faraway state, when he was three years old. The description said he had cerebral palsy, and was severely retarded. He had been injured as a baby, and no one knew if the abuse caused his brain injury, or if he had been born that way. He came into foster care with a broken leg, and many broken bones in different stages of healing on their own. In his picture, he was sitting inside a tire, (to help him sit up) in a dusty yard, with little glasses on, as cute as can be. The description said he was Mexican Indian, and was at a twelve month mental level. I did some quick math, and thought, well, if he reaches six years old, in mental age, by eighteen, that will be plenty. A six year old can be very independent. They can dress themselves, make their own dry cereal, take their own baths, enjoy playing with their siblings, and play independently, too. They can do small chores, and go to the store, if they live in a safe place. An adult could have a very happy life, if able to accomplish these things, or most of them. He was going to be a fun brother for Chad. I adopted him, and home he came!
Tony shared a room with his big brother Chad, who was eight by this time. Kyle finally had a room of his own! The first night Tony was home, I tucked him into his crib, with a fuzzy blue sleeper on, and watched him sleep. He was a beautiful child. He had silky black hair, and huge, dark brown eyes, and tan skin. He smiled a lot, did not talk at all, and liked to throw things on the floor, laughing while you picked them up. the next morning he was on his knees, holding tightly to the edge of the crib, and rocking back and forth, laughing and laughing! It was as though he knew he was home. It was as though he had always been here. Tony never cried, or acted in any way like he was missing anything in his past. He just slid into our family, as a son and brother. He learned to obey without any problems. He was very sensitive, and eager to make me happy.
He fit in a highchair just right, and could feed himself finger foods like a half sandwich, and a bottle, but did not have enough fine motor skills to use a spoon. He would work endlessly to pick up cheerios and such, succeeding in the end, though many would hit the floor. I bought him a Tommy Tippee cup, and got him started on learning that. Luckily, it would not tip over when he dropped it, but he had a hard time learning not to tip it before he got the sippee-lip into his mouth! Many drinks poured down his shirt front, making him leap in a startle reflex, and the cup would go flying.
Please click on Tony's photo to find page two.