In 2013, we featured travel reflections from Beth Anne Schwamberger as she embarked on a mission to India to meet her son, Holden — a child she learned of in a waiting child story, also featured on our blog in 2012. Then, last month, Beth Anne provided a beautiful update on Holden and some great reflection and encouragement about the process to adopt a child with special needs.
Bringing Up Betty is a podcast about parenting children with special needs, and Beth Anne is featured on back-to-back episodes. In the first episode, Beth Anne discusses how she and her husband came to be Holden’s parents, how they decided which special needs they were open to when adopting a child, and how Holden is thriving today.
In part 2, Beth Anne discusses Holden’s transition home, the joy of his first wheelchair and his blossoming personality. While parenting a child with special needs brings many joys, it can also bring many challenges — both emotionally and physically. Beth Anne admits that it can be difficult to watch Holden field questions from other children about why he is in a wheelchair or help him cope when he just wants to keep up with other children as they run and play around him.
Beth Anne discusses one incident, in particular.
“We went to an Easter egg hunt at this great big church in our area in this great big grassy field,” she shares. “So we’ve got Holden in his manual wheelchair. But in grass, man, it’s hard for him and he has to work so hard. We offer to push him, but he doesn’t really like to be pushed. He really, really wants to do it himself all the time. There were tons of kids there, and none of them had met Holden before. And all eyes were just on him, just everywhere we walked and went and we could just feel the stares. And they’re just kids. There’s no mean intentions in any of that, but just feeling the weight of everyone looking at us.”
Beth Anne also discusses the gratitude she feels to parent such a smart, wonderful child. “God created you perfectly,” Beth Anne often says to Holden, and in her “Bringing Up Betty” podcasts, she discusses Holden’s range of talents and skills, and his heart for children waiting for families.
Both beautiful and inspirational, we encourage any parents of children with special needs or anyone considering international adoption to listen in and check out more episodes of “Bringing Up Betty.”
Here’s episode 9:
Here’s episode 10: