I didn’t realize the stigmas and bad attitudes towards disabilites. I know this may sound unbelievable and even surprising that I would say this, knowing the disabilites that are in my family. I have never paid attention. I have 2 cousins that are legally blind. I have NEVER thought of them as being disabled. I know they have limitations. I know they cant see like me. But that is just how they are. My little brother had a girlfriend once with an extra special chromosone. It was just how she was. My little brother suffered from Reyes Syndrome at age 3 months and suffered brain damage. Today he is 33 years old, has seizures most every day and about 10 years old mentally. It is just how he is. My husband and I decided to adopt in Decemeber. We wanted to adopt a child that didnt have a waiting list. A child that could possibly not be adopted. The social worker with our adoption agency wanted to assure me that she wasnt sure I was understanding the needs of a special needs adoption. I kept saying, what special need? I dont see a disability with this child. This went on for about 6 weeks to 2 months. It finally struck me that because I have been around disabilities my entire life. I dont really see them. They dont change a person. They are just themselves. They dont need to be judged. They need to be loved and accepted for how God has made them. And mostly they DESERVE A HOME. My little brother is very special to me. But my mother has always dealt with my brother with such love and care. She has never EVER acted like he was a burden or that she was depressed about the way things were with him. She may have been sad or lonely (so many people distance themselves from disabilities). My mother never let it be known. My mother is such a strong person who has showed great love to me her entire life. One word to describe my mother’s life is LOVE. She has loved my brother in a way that has blinded me to disabilities. I thank her for this. I called my mother after speaking with my social worker and said, “Mom, the social worker doesnt think I understand disabilities? But I dont think I have ever known anyone with disabilites.” My mom said,” Are you kidding me? Have you ever met your little brother? Where have you been for 30 years? She said he is severely disabled.” I was shocked to say the least. I was. I cried for days…trying to figure out, how did I not know that my brother was ‘disabled’. I have lived and helped care for him for 30 years. NEVER have I heard my parents refer to my brother as disabled or handicapped or mental or anything. It was just Wes and we dealt with it. When I married Kenny, he simply dealt with it. NEVER has he ever labeled or said anything that would make me feel like Wes was disabled. Never have my aunts, uncles, cousins and friends made comments to me about Wes. On Christmas Day, my parents had the flu really bad. We were all at my Mamaws for Christmas. We all knew that Wes usually had a seizure on Christmas day because he is always so excited. So after dinner, Wes had a grand mal seizure. No one there made us feel abnormal…it is accepted. Kenny, my older brother and I just dealt with it. Then I realized…this is a wonderful thing that disabilities do not bother me. I can thank my mother for showing me such love to a child that is simply different. Wes is very special. I thank my mother for raising me to feel this way and to see these things. If you know someone with any sort of disability, choose to not see but to treat that person with the upmost respect. God has a plan for them as he does for all of this.