Up until I was an adult and came to India, I had never met anyone who was blind. To be honest, I don’t remember what I thought about blindness before Deepa came into my life. Most of society views blindness, unfortunately, as something scary. I imagine I likely had similar thoughts although my daughter has taught me otherwise.
A Picture To Ponder:
I first received a baby photo of Deepa a few short months before I was set to get on a plane and move to India. I was taking up a position with a children’s home that cares for kids with various disabilities including cerebral palsy, autism, limb difference, hearing loss… and visual impairment. Deepa was not yet in the care of this children’s home, but on the day I received her photo, her birth parents had brought her to the state orphanage, stating that they were unable to care for her because she was born with bilateral anophthalmia and therefore had no vision. I often wondered what it was about her blindness that made them unable to care for her.
Were they scared?
Did they think she was cursed, as many people in India view children and adults with disabilities?
Did a doctor or nurse at the delivery convince them that she is not worthy of a family?
That it would be too risky to accept her as a daughter?
I am grateful to now have an open adoption and have been able to ask them those questions face to face so that I will know the truth one day when Deepa gets older and asks me.
Deeply Grateful for Deepa:
Deepa came into my care at 17 months and her adoption was completed just after her 4th birthday. I certainly don’t believe that Deepa’s sole purpose in life is to be a teacher to others and to break down barriers and stereotypes about what it means to live with a disability. However, Deepa does break down barriers and stereotypes just by being who she is, and I think that’s a beautiful and wonderful thing to watch unfold. But she is more than just her blindness. Some of her interests and passions have already been discovered at age 4. Deepa loves to sing and has an adorably sweet voice. When she sings, she puts smiles on the faces of everyone who listens. I think God has innumerable plans for her, and I am looking forward to the future with my daughter and learning what else she comes to love, what she is passionate about in life, and who she becomes. Being Deepa’s Mommy is the best gift from God and is an immense honor and joy that I am forever thankful for!