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eSpecially Parents July Edition: Elisa's Story

Loving an Only Child

Choosing to love an only child is the most difficult choice I have ever made. Years ago, I imagined myself as the mother of four boys. I have always thought of myself as a “boy mom,” the only girl in a wild house filled with male voices. We were on our way to building that “house” when Samson came. Then, his unique challenges began to fill our thoughts and alter our direction.

One day we were 40 and I had let go of my original plan. Genetics forced us to consider the certainty of other biological children having the same neurological challenges as Samson. The foster system was my original idea – open our hearts to other children and wait until God chose the one we could keep. The possibilities of it all seemed dreamy to me at first. Reality arrived soon, however, when we learned that single children were often adopted by family, and that most opportunities to foster would likely be to siblings. Combined with Samson’s needs, adopting siblings seemed much more than we could manage. I am starry-eyed and dreamy, but I can manage to glimpse enough reality to clear my vision in significant moments.

Last year, through our church, we became a host family to a young man who studied at a seminary. I went into the program with a wistful hope for a bond of brotherhood between him and Samson. Brent went north at the end of May for an internship. He has a few times made the 3-hour drive to spend weekends splashing in the backyard pool with his “brother,” and I watch Samson’s joy overflow.

Today there are three of us. Every day I struggle to “let go and let God” provide what our son will need when he is alone. I wish for the calm of believing someone will surely care for him with the same dignity we strive for everyday. The quiet in our house feels lonely sometimes. But at the end of an ordinary day, I remind myself that all is well with the little family we have made.

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