The month of January is set aside to recognize the value of all human life. Who adopts special needs or severely disabled children? Why and how do they take on this challenge? What is God's purpose for the life of a profoundly retarded, blind child? I wrote "Adopting Darrell" to answer these questions and to educate about shaken baby syndrome and child abuse, and to empower caregivers of special needs persons.
In honor of Darrell, age 29, I am offering a free copy of "Adopting Darrell" to anyone who requests the book by e-mail which follows this excerpt from the book.
The mail carrier honked as he drove up our gravel drive. I was surprised when he handed me four thick, manila mailers. Each bore the Texas Department of Human Service's return address. Weeks earlier, I had requested a copy of my adopted son's Children's Protectice Services file. I never expected to be overwhelmed by four volumes of material.
Awed by the stack of mailers, I retreated to our back porch, sat down on the swing, and tore the taped flap off the top envelope. Darrell, my adopted son, ambled over to the swing.
"Hi?" Darrell intoned a question.
"Hi, yourself, Darrell". I answered. "Want to swing?"
Laughing loudly, he climbed up next to me, turned around, and kicked his legs. With both hands he patted the mailers that lay on my lap. Suddenly he grabbed the mailer on top and began to swing his outstretched arms from side to side in flashing arcs across his thin body.
Afraid the contents would spill out, I caught Darrell in a bear hug to stop his gyrations. He patted the mailer against his head and covered his left eye. Although Darrell was legally blind, he had limited vision in his left eye. By covering or pushing against his eye, he stimulated light flashes and created light and dark contrast.
Distracting him, I swapped several pieces of junk mail for the mailer. My heart ached. Darrell had just celebrated his eighth birthday.
For your copy of "Adopting Darrell" please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with "book" on the subject line.