Couple Adopts Children with Disabilities
In 1989, Scott and Laura Price were looking for direction in life. As devout Christians, and while vacationing in Colorado, they began praying and sensing a strong desire to begin adopting special needs children.
Said 49-year-old Scott, "Before that, Laura and I had tried having (birth) children for five years and were unable. On that trip (to Colorado) we didn't see lightning or hear thunder, but individually, in our hearts, we knew what we were being asked to do."
Today, the Prices have six adopted children ranging in age from 8 to 22, with the oldest four having severe disabilities. Two of these children, ages 19 and 22, have myotonic dystrophy, which is a form of muscular dystrophy characterized by "progressive muscle wasting and weakness," according to the National Institutes of Health.
They also have a 21-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy affecting all four of her limbs. She has a service dog and uses a power wheelchair, which she drives using head controls. Her speech is difficult for most people to understand.
And they have an 18-year-old daughter with the rare genetic condition 1P36 deletion syndrome. Said Scott, "This daughter functions well, but at a kindergartner's level. She would rather sit and color and do beads. She doesn't read except for a few words, yet people enjoy her contagious smile and happy attitude."
Price had good things to say about all his children. He said adopting a child with special needs in his county had been easy because of the tremendous need. For example, his county paid all their adoption expenses.
He said, "When starting out on this life journey, we had a checklist of things of what we thought we couldn't handle in raising a child, such as certain mental or physical issues. Looking back, all the things we thought we couldn't handle we ended up having in at least one child. We really limited ourselves then, but God showed up and helped us with things we thought we couldn't handle."
Over the years, he said, some people have thought he and his wife were crazy for adopting so many special needs children, while others have tended to put the Prices on a pedestal as saints or heroes. As for the latter, Price said, "I really feel uncomfortable hearing that because we feel like we are just doing what we have been asked to do."
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Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
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