Mary Gaskill of River Forest has adopted six children with
special needs, including a terminally ill baby girl who was given
six months to live-three years ago.
"Some days we think she has drawn her last breath, but she keeps
on going," says Gaskill, who also has four biological children and
two foster kids. "She is our great joy, and every day with her is
Gaskill points to her 3-year-old adopted daughter to illustrate
how parents of children with special needs shouldn't be paralyzed
by doctors' diagnoses, daunting daily worries or unwarranted
"Don't let fear freeze your love for your child," she says.
For so many adopted kids with special needs, it's extremely
difficult to escape the neglectful shadows of their early days and
months. What they often need more than medicine, treatment and
medical management is love, attention and affection, parents
"It's better to love them first and then deal with any special
needs they have," Gaskill says.
To read more Chicago Parent stories about adopting
children with special needs, click
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