“While every child deserves a loving parent, not everyone who’s a parent is deserving of a child. With the whole concept looked more often than not, as a hedge for one’s older days, there’s always an expectation placed on the offspring to eventually look after the family, than being given the freedom to fly wholeheartedly, towards their dreams.
Now here’s where I believe the concept of differentiating also stems from. This particular expectation makes society label some kids as “normal” and “capable” while slotting others as “special”, viewing them with either contempt or pity. And I can vouch for this, as the first parent in India to adopt a child with Down syndrome.
Veda, to me and my husband, is nothing short of a blessing, but it took us quite a bit of convincing to make the folks around understand why we wanted to adopt her. It wasn’t ever to prove a point or rebel against expectations. And it was definitely not due to any medical complications. We were, in fact, a perfectly healthy couple completely in love, but just not in favour of bringing a child into this world for the sake of it.
Plus right from my formative years, I’ve had a lingering curiosity on the plight of the children at orphanages and why the world is expanding its population when a whole chunk of it is already devoid of families and care. The thought never really left my head and four years into my marriage, I was lucky enough to have a partner with the same perspectives on the matter. Now the plight was even more sad for kids with disabilities since no one wanted to adopt them. Seeing this void, we were able to figure out what we exactly desired!
So that’s really how Veda came into our lives. Initially, again, there was a lot of hesitance from all corners. People in real life aren’t as supportive as they seem online, but I guess, with time, Veda’s pure heart totally won them over. Today, my focus is to provide her with the best, most independent life possible, empowering her for the times to come. It’s been 4 joyous years with her, and she’s already quite self-reliant, both in terms of her routine and personality!
Besides that, I also strive to create more awareness surrounding her disability and, of course, on the wonders of adoption. It’s conversations like these that will ultimately spark powerful changes, and if we were to build an inclusive society for our kids in the future, it should start somewhere. In the end, a child didn’t ask to be born; so it’s our collective responsibility as parents to ensure our little ones gets access to the best life possible, regardless of the circumstances!”