I love what this woman said in her blog, “No One is Perfect and You Are A Great Kid” and I’ve repeated it here: “My hope and prayer is that the people in general open their minds and come to realize that children like mine, who suffer with these illnesses, are not bad kids, not evil or purposefully oppositional but are lovable, kind, funny, smart and full of promise as is every other child. Yes, they may do things differently, loudly, extremely, and outrageously. They need to be given understanding, reassurance, patience, acceptance and compassion.”
She went on to talk about people criticizing her parenting style and saying that her son was “spoiled,” a term I heard just this past week from a family member. Even though three separate professionals have categorized my son with ADHD, there are people who still think he’s just “spoiled,” which is a commentary on our parental choices rather than an acknowledgement of his illness. No one wants to admit, even though our son was adopted, that there is possibly something wrong. Despite his imperfections, there is also a lot of something great about him. He is a great story teller, who weaves characters into intricate scenarios that are often humorous. He is (mostly) caring toward his sister. He is affectionate and sensitive. He is sings on key and creates his own lyrics to popular tunes. He has a great memory and call out the finest details from an event. He is observant and bright. He is as cute and any Gap model. Like the child referenced in “No One Is Perfect …” our son has amazing gifts that far surpass the frustration in having to raise him in a way that will allow him to be who he is while still functioning in society.
He may not fit into a neat little box. He may not behave exactly as everyone would like. But he has been given a mother who knows what it’s like to think outside of the box. I never fit in either and I rarely behave the way people would like for me to (even today). I am far from perfect and therefore I do not expect my son to be either.