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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Future adoptive mom with??'s

My hubby and I are persuing adoption and we have been presented with a little boy in foster care who is 3yrs old and completely blind. Because all the I's & T's haven't been crossed on our paperwork yet they won't release his complete diagnosis to us just yet. Only to say that he has been completely blind since birth. They've also told us that he has been neglected (young & inexperienced parents) so his speech and coordination is behind, but he is making leaps & bounds in his current foster home!!

Hubby isn't completely on board just yet with accepting this little one. Which depresses me a little because my father was blind due to diabetes so the idea doesn't "freak me out" as much as it does to hubby. He's afraid because we currently have a 10yr old, 3yr old and a 19 month old in our home that this poor little one will get "mowed down" by our other kids.

Anyone want to jump in with some encouraging words?? Negative reactions?? How do the siblings react? Do your children attend a school for the blind or are they mainstreamed? How helpful is the school district? Are there any resources that I can look into? Books?

I've spoken with my mom about how taking care of my dad was before he passed away but so much has changed in 30yrs with technology and resources that her advice is kind of limited.

Thanks for your time!!

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Re:Future adoptive mom with??'s

I saw your question. I think it is great that you want to adopt a child. If you do get him, I would like to suggest some things for books. I am considered legally blind, and I remember my teacher in third grade tought me how to read braille. I also had a teacher who told me about a website that provides books for people who are qualified to have a reading dissability, or are visually impared. Thier site is Daisy is downloadable. it has books that are read, in braille, and large print. You can also read along with the books.

Re:Future adoptive mom with??'s

Not only has a lot changed, but the needs of the senior blind are very different than the needs of younger blind...and especially blind children. For this reason, AFB and the two consumer agencies also have developed special programs and/or sections for the senior blind. While your mom may be able to tell you what it was like with your dad, this would truly be an "apples to oranges" comparison.

First and foremost, if you do decide to go through with the adoption, be prepared to seek services early. The difference, I have found, between a vlind or visually impaired person who's successful and one who spends his or her life on disability is often early intervention. Your state may have a Commission for the Blind or your local school district may also have resources (I've become a big fan of Parents as Teachers in the past year or so here in Missouri).

Also, I'd encourage you to connect with as many successful blind and visually impaired adults as possible...and find what worked for them. You will find several people here who are good role models in that regard. I myself am visually impaired, but relatively "high" on the spectrum as far as this forum is concerned (visual aquity of 20/100 in the better eye). I have also enjoyed a successful career in non-profit management the past 20 years, and am currently a fund raising manager at one of this country's best known zoos. There are others here who are certainly more accomplished than I and many of those folks are totally blind. Connect with as many as you can.

Re:Future adoptive mom with??'s

I am a mother of five children. My oldest son was diagnosed with rod/cone degeneration when he was three. None of my other children have any mental or physical disabilities. His father and I are still coming to terms with the fact that he most likely will lose all of his eyesight. What has shocked me is his acceptance of his condition and his siblings reactions. We don't treat my son any different than our other children. He is expected to do chores etc. I cannot tell you how this adoption will affect your life or marriage but I can tell you that our son has been a huge blessing in my life. I have told him since birth that he can do anything that his sisters and brothers can do we just have to find a different way of doing it. He is mainstreamed in public school and goes to learn braille 2x a week. I will say that the teachers fight to have him in their classes the next years because they all say that he comes in with a smile every morning and inspires everyone he comes in contact with. I would ask my husband how would he have felt if you two had conceived this blind child? Would it make a difference? It does take patience but every child does as you being a parent I am sure you understand but David ( my son) has brought a light into my life and I would not change him. He is the light of my life. I don't know if this has helped but I am sure in your heart you and your husband will be able to make the right decision. My paryers are with you and yours. Natalie.

Re:Future adoptive mom with??'s

I'm sixteen and am almost Completely Blind with SOD. I'm also adopted from Paraguay. My family didn't even know I was blind until they adopted me! Let's just say they were shocked...I still don't know if they think of me differently because of that...anyways...I would be happy to discuss this with your further. I'm in school so I can't talk long, but e-mail me at and I'll be happy to talk to you about my experience being adopted, being blind, and so on.

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