Whenever I tell people I want to adopt a child with Autism, I get half-crazy, half-pity looks. Most people tell me I’m being innocent and naïve, and I’ll change my mind as I get older and see more of the world.
I like to believe they are wrong.
There are so many things I love in my life, but one of my biggest passions is working with kids with Autism. I have been doing it for about 2 years now, just at my college, as a side job on campus. It has completely changed my world. There is something about working with a child who sees the world so differently from you that will make you love him or her even more.
That being said, I remember working with my first child: it was a disaster. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I felt like I was teaching him the wrong way; I felt like I couldn’t connect with these kids. I remember thinking “I just have to get through the semester, and this will be over.”
I laugh at that thought now.
That summer, I was asked to come back and work for them, and so I did mainly because I desperately needed a job and they believed I was cut out for it again. And thank God for second chances at falling in love, because I fell right in love with this program over the summer. Coincidentally, I was assigned to teach my first child again; this was the biggest blessing I have ever received. I don’t know what happened or what changed, but goodness, it changed my entire life. I loved working with him for so many reasons. When he would grab my hands for no reason and trace them along empty, white walls or when he would laugh at something so silly that I didn’t understand. When he learned my name and could say bye to me for the first time. When he ran up to me and squeezed my legs, giving me the best half-hug I have ever received. When I watched him graduate from the program, I knew this was it. This is when I realized I wanted to adopt a child with Autism someday.
I want to adopt this child and grow with him or her. I want to see this child’s eyes get big whenever they encounter a new toy. I want them to grab my face and squeeze it tightly for no reason at all but simply because that is how they show love. I want to wake up every morning and wonder what this child is thinking in that little, but wonderful mind. I want to watch this child grow up to be intelligent, intriguing, loving, caring but unique. I want to show this child that the world doesn’t have to be so cruel; that it can be showered with love, and that this child has the ability to do so. I want to love this child. I will love this child. I want my world to light up every day, instead of it just lighting it up in that colorful workspace I call my job. I want to love a child with Autism.