Special Parents For A Very Special Child
Kavita and her husband, Himanshu, recently moved back to India from United States and adopted their baby daughter, Veda. They specifically chose Veda, who has Down Syndrome, and couldn’t be happier about their decision. I talked to Kavita about her adoption journey and I am humbled to share her inspiring story in her own words.
What made you think about adoption? When did you tell your husband about your desire to adopt?
Adopting a girl child was always in my mind. I find it ironic that most people in society are busy raising their own family but very few are concerned about those kids who do not have anyone to look after them. I believe kids are just kids who need love, so instead of having biological one why not opt for those who really need a family.
So I promised myself that one day I will give a child a home. When I met my husband before marriage I shared this thought with him and coincidentally he took it really positively. We came to the conclusion that we’ll have our first child through adoption.
How did you decide that you will adopt a child with Down Syndrome?
Adoption was in our mind for past 5 years but a child with special needs was never a plan, I believe it was destined. We got introduced to the word Down syndrome last year during our stay in US when we saw few kids with Down syndrome. We spent many weeks gathering detailed information about Down syndrome (DS). Getting more into it inspired us to adopt a baby with DS as we could not find any reason not to do so. They are just kids who need love like all other kids, with some extra care.
What was your parents’ reaction when you told them about your decision to adopt?
When we shared the thought of adoption with our family, most reactions were not as positive as they are today. Our parents were hesitant regarding our decision to adopt a child, so for them a child with special needs was absolutely out of consideration. We were told that we are taking a risk, it’s complicated, or kids like these won’t be able to give anything back or support us once we get old. So, against all odds, my husband and I took the decision of going ahead with what we thought was right.
Why did you need to move back to India for the adoption?
We were living in USA for two years since my husband was assigned a project there. Being Indian citizens residing in USA, we were not eligible to adopt through CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority of India). Moving to India was really a tough step for us as we knew we wouldn’t be able to go back to USA for at least two years. Also, we knew our life was going to change both personally and professionally. But we were motivated to adopt, so we decided to come back to India.
Can you share the adoption process and how you felt when you met your daughter?
We moved back to India this year and got ourselves registered under CARA. After doing all the paperwork, our home study got completed in April. As there is no waiting time for special needs kids, we started going through the online information about available children instead of waiting for referrals. After a few days, we found our baby, a 15-month-old girl in Bhopal!
A first look at her picture and we started considering her as our baby. One day after we travelled to Bhopal to meet her. Our first meeting with her is the most memorable day till now. She was so tiny with the most gorgeous smile and beautiful eyes. We spent about an hour with her and gave the acceptance letter the very same day. We came to know that she was abandoned at the age of 6 months probably for the same reason that we were adopting her.
How was your daughter’s health when you met her? And how did she respond to the medical care you provided once she came home?
As she didn’t get any early intervention, there were developmental delays, no gross and fine motor skills and she couldn’t even hold her back. She was underweight and physically weak. We were told that she is legally free and will be ready for adoption in 10 days. So, we traveled to Bhopal again and within 40 days of registration we had her in our home.
We named her “Veda” which means knowledge. Once she came home we started her checkups and therapies. First month was all about doctor visits and checkups. Her physiotherapy and occupational therapies are going on and she is showing tremendous progress. Her gross and fine motor skills have improved a lot. She started sitting just after one month of therapy. She can now even stand with support.
How has your life changed?
Each day brings new learnings and a new aspect of her. We have seen her growing too fast in the last few months and ourselves too. She is such a happy kid that it’s really hard not to fall in love with her daily.
We are well aware of the fact that she will have developmental delays and health conditions. She will have challenges in learning new things. We are taking it one day at a time and just want her to be independent as she grows. She will grow at her own pace and we have all the time in the world for her to let it happen.
Most people would find your story extraordinary. How do you feel about that?
We actually don’t find anything extraordinary about our adoption as we believe providing her a good environment and a happy life is the least we can do. Every kid needs a family and positive environment to grow, whether it’s a girl or a boy, adopted or biological. No kid deserves to be left alone without family just for being a girl or a baby with special needs.
Thank you Kavita!
An interview posted by Smriti Gupta, an adoption activist who is working to raise the profile of adoption in India and to improve the adoption ecosystem so more and more children find their loving homes. She is an adoptive mother of two daughters and a champion for adoption of children with special needs, older children, and siblings, who form the largest pool of children available for adoption.