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The Backstory – Part One

Chrisa Hickey

So I guess I should start from the beginning, right?

Tom and I were married young, at 23. Not teenage-young, but a lot younger than most people get married these days. We had our oldest son right away, and after he was about a year old, we thought we’d like to have a second child.

But after a year of trying, I still wasn’t pregnant. We went to a fertility specialist who, after months of tests, meds, and monitoring, told me that I would probably never get pregnant again. Why is another story for another blog. But there we were, at 25, being told we were infertile.
It took another year for us to get over that before we decided we still wanted a second child, and to start looking in to adoption. The first thing we learned is that, when you want to adopt, you start telling everyone you know that you want to adopt. We read in books and heard from others who had been through it that it can take years to find a child, particularly if you want an infant, which we did.

It didn’t take that long for us. We heard about a friend of a friend of my parents of a woman who was looking for parents to adopt her unborn child. We met her parents (she didn’t want to meet us, and to this day, still hasn’t), provided information, showed them our home, and, after a few weeks of discussing and disclosing, they chose us as the adoptive parents. We were amazed. It had literally taken us just 4 months from the time we started talking and researching adoption until we were chosen by a birth family. And if that wasn’t quick enough, the child was due just 10 weeks from when we were chosen. Tim was born – Tom and I were 27 years old.

We didn’t know – and still don’t know – everything about Tim’s biological family health history, but we do know that both of his birth parents are cognitively disabled. We weren’t concerned – cognitive disabilities are not genetic, and every child has the potential to have special needs or be a genious.

Tim was a very happy baby, and by age 2, he was reaching his developmental milestones in normal time, except for one. He didn’t talk.

…more tomorrow.

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Chrisa Hickey

Imagine it – a new baby, beautiful, bright, happy. What a good baby – sleeps at night, eats well, smiles and meets his milestones.

Then – at year 2, still no words. Year 3 – rage – uncontrollable rage, for no obvious reason.

Year 5 – fleeing from teachers, hiding under desks. Year 9 – getting expelled for throwing desks, biting, kicking, punching. Still can’t read.

Year 12 – self-injury, suicidal thoughts, psychiatric hospitalizations. Can’t be in school. Year 14 – pacing, talking to himself, violent, homicidal, suicidal.

This is the story of my continuing journey, raising my schizoaffective son. I welcome the curious, the cautious, the afflicted and their friends and families.


Image by Alborzshawn

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