Thursday, January 31, 2013


Many times people will ask me how we manage parenting children who are blind.   Helping them with things they cannot do, working on Braille (Lexi), guiding them as we navigate places-- those are all the easy things.  The difficult part for me about their blindness is not being able to fix it.   Loving someone so much and not being able to "fix" their struggles in any way is almost physically painful.  Listening to Lexi cry, "Mom, I'm so tired of being blind!  I want to SEE!" is really heartbreaking beyond anything I can describe here.

Often Lexi will be sitting and "watching" TV with the kids.  She will laugh when they laugh-- even when she can't see what's funny.  Most of the time it makes me smile.  Sometimes it makes me cry.  She talks with absolute adoration about Andrea Bocelli and how she wants to meet him and asks what he looks like.  I try to describe him and realize I'm using words that she really can't even comprehend because she has never had sight.   But she doesn't seem to care... She just smiles as I describe things she doesn't understand in the way I yearn for her to understand.

Yesterday Lexi had a field trip to a children's theatre.  She talked excitedly about the ride on the bus and the things she "saw" along the way.  This is typical-- we will often be driving and Lexi will get a huge grin on her face and say "Oh, look at those beautiful mountains!" while staring straight ahead.  Or, "Mom, do you see the pretty sun?  It's so yellow!"  And yet all along I know she is seeing just one thing.  Blackness.

And then there is Elli.   Many times she is happy-- giggling and singing and genuinely content.  Other times she seems so despondent in her dark little world.  Her rages and frustration seem more frequent than they used to be, and I can't help but wonder how much of that is because she feels trapped in a body that cannot see and cannot communicate like it wants to.   I watch her trip on things and bang her head and just want the world to be more fair to her!!!!!!

Sometimes life can be so hard.  And yet, though I would give absolutely anything to give eyesight to my sweet girls, there is something about their blindness that makes them so special.  I don't know how to describe it, and there aren't really words for it.  But today I came upon a quote that maybe helps:

  “If love is blind, then maybe a blind person that loves has a greater understanding of it.” --Criss Jami.

There is something extra special about the love that comes from these two girls. 

 I am so blessed to be their mother.


  1. And I am so blessed to be their father. What beautiful thoughts. Thank you.

  2. This is beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

  3. I loved this post! And... I am LOVING your 50 post promise. I absolutely adore you and your family. At the risk of sounding like a creepy stalker... I wish I knew you outside of this cyber world, because I sincerely believe we would be great friends. Thanks for being such an amazing gal (and family).

  4. IS there any chance that either of your sweeties could gain sight? I have one adopted Chinese childandlove reading your blog.

  5. Kristen - you're right - you would love knowing these folks IRL - Jer, Taylor, Parker and Graci are all known to us "in person" - and one day we'll meet the rest of them - but they are among the finest on the planet!

    Christi - brilliant words - as usual y'all touch me!

    hugs - love you guys - aus and co.

    1. Aus-- I have to tell you that in the past, as I've read your comments, I've had the same thoughts about you. Isn't the Internet a crazy thing? It's a place where we get to know and care about people that we will never get a chance to meet. It's a wonderful thing and a sad thing all at the same time.

  6. Thank you for those beautiful thoughts. Every time I'm around Lexi, I walk away determined to never forget the sheer joy that can be found in simply living. There is much these two little girls can open our eyes to see.

  7. Your daughters are beautiful (and your sons are handsome)! Have you ever seen the movie "The Mask"? There is a part where the main character is trying to describe colors (or something - I'm foggy on the details) and he hands his blind friend things that feel like the word he's describing. Something hot for red, cotton for clouds, etc. Perhaps there is a similar way to describe Andrea Bocelli? If I remember correctly he has a beard, so something scratchy might feel like a beard would. I'm mostly thinking out loud here. :)
    Thank you for your honest blogging. You have an amazing family, and beautiful children.

  8. Kristen and Aus it's so true isn't it that you "meet" the most wonderful people through adoption? One of my dearest friends is someone I've never met. She lives in New Jersey and I'm in Mississippi. Who knows if we'll ever meet? Our sons are from the same orphanage in China.
    Christianne, this post made me cry. I wish I could give sweet Lexi and Elli sight as well.
    You know all our children's special needs are unique in that they're great burdens and blessings. They're burdens because they're often hard to live with and care for. But the needs are absolutely blessings because they're the reasons our children were able to come to us. I am sure my sons' biological families would NOT have abandoned them had they been "healthy" and "whole" so to speak. And then how different and incomplete our family would be!
    I remember before our first adoption being ignorant enough to think ill of people in China who abandon babies because they have medical needs. Then I saw someone who completely changed my mindset. We were walking to The Forbidden City and I saw a young man begging. His legs were withered. He was sitting on a board with of those furniture dollies for big pieces like a piano. He was rolling himself around with one hand and holding his cup with the other. At that moment I realized that, left in China with his biological family, my son would have faced a similar fate. His biological family had no choice but to abandon him so that he could have a life.
    So yes, I wish Elli and Lexi were not blind. But I do not wish they were not yours. What beautiful little Eternal gifts they are! And in Eternity they will see!


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