Oliver's Story (Dwarfism)
Our son Oliver's file stated that his special need was dwarfism and pigeon chest. From the dwarfism we knew that Oliver would be small, but he is small for the dwarfism charts too. He has been home now six months. He has gone from a weak little baby weighing 13 pounds, who could barely hold his head up, to a mischievous smart toddler. Oliver runs around our house and town spreading joy and melting hearts wherever he goes. He loves to make people laugh, and he loves to snuggle. His momma has declared his squishy cheeks a work of kissable art. Oliver can also be stubburn and a fighter. We believe that is how he survived the orphanage. Stubbornness is also a family trait; so he fits right in.
Adoption has always been a dream of mine. It has been something that my husband and I talked about many times. I'm sure my husband probably thought it would never really happen, especially sense we already had four biological children. In January 2013 I felt strongly that we should adopt and asked my husband to pray about it. A very looong month later, my husband told me that he thought we should too, and he even had a solution for the adoptions costs. We originally were not open to dwarfism and wanted to bring home an infant with very minor needs. But I had been praying for guidance in our adoption and felt we needed to look into dwarfism as a special need. After studying it I just knew we could easily add this special need to our list. A few days later I decided to browse a waiting child list. Our son was the first one on the list. I actually went past his picture. I remember thinking that he looked so sad. Something, made me feel like I needed to go back and give him a chance; so I did. His special need was dwarfism, and I knew then he was ours.
Parenting a child with this special need has not been hard. I consider dwarfism a non-need. The hardest part is explaining why he is the size of a nine month old at three years old. I think it is also hard educating people about dwarfism... helping people to know that people with dwarfism are just people. I studied a lot of different forms of dwarfism before bringing Oliver home and felt really prepared. The only thing we didn't know was that high flexibility can come with certain types of dwarfism. Oliver can fold himself in half, fold his fingers back, and do splits plus two inches off the ground. The first time we saw that it was scary.
Oliver has had tests and x-rays done. He will be meeting with a geneticist in a few months to help determine what type of dwarfism he has. I do not foresee any operations in his future. Some children with dwarfism may have mild hydrocephalus or bone issues. In a more extreme case there may be spinal surgery. We now have quite a few friends that have adopted children with dwarfism. Everyone of the kids are amazing! The LPA (Little People of America) community are very supportive. There is a whole website of some very awesome kids needing homes.