I am not here to cast stones, nor empathize. I just want to talk, mother to mother. Blogger to blogger.
You recently ‘re-homed’ your adopted son after discovering he had autism and additional needs ‘you weren’t told about.’
This feels familiar to me. Not the giving away your child part, but life not turning out as planned. Special needs and trauma are surprises for everyone. I know this because I’ve experienced both firsthand.
In fact, I passed every prenatal test. I was handed two pink healthy newborns. Years later, much like you, my kids turned out different than expected.
And much like you, I’ve often wanted to quit. I’ve screamed and cried and wondered if I’m the right kind of mother for my children. But when you embark into motherhood—whether by womb or writing—you sign an agreement to give up the plan in your head.
And to never give up on your child.
If you felt ill-equipped, I wish you would’ve widened your village, not vanished your son.
If a doctor truly suggested ‘he’d be a better fit elsewhere,’ I wish you would’ve questioned their sanity. I’ve been privy to a lot of special needs parents, and none of them have ever been advised to get rid of their baby.
But most of all, I wish you would’ve just been honest.
I took a stroll through your social media page. It’s shiny over there. A lot of perfectly posed photos and sugary-sweet captions. I like pretty pictures too, but I like the story behind them even better. You shouldn’t say ‘I wouldn’t trade him for the world,’ if months later, you did.
Can you understand why people are outraged and confused? The real you and your highlight reel didn’t align. This is the danger of pretend posting.
You gained a lot of money and followers when you adopted your son, but I think you tapped out right before the big pay day.
Autism is sometimes heavy and hard, but it will change your life. It will open you up to a world of beauty—infinitely better than anything found in filtered photos.
I bet all the backlash you’re getting right now feels unfair. Do yourself a favor, and this time, don’t turn away from the difficult. Let it teach you something. Let the hard, messy moments make you a better mother. I’ve got a surprise for you, neurotypical children are challenging too.
Sometimes we don’t get what we want, we get what we need.
Lean into the heavy. Don’t re-home it.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Stephanie Hanrahan. Follow Stephanie on Facebook here, Instagram here and visit her website here. The article originally appeared here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more from Stephanie here:
‘You have the perfect family.’ That’s what they saw. A life tied up in a pretty little bow. No one could’ve known what was happening behind closed doors.’: Mom discusses life with 2 special needs children
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