Five years ago today, my nephew was born. Although I'm shocked that he's already five, it's hard for me to remember life before him. He has that kind of effect on people. My nephew is a brilliant child. By two he was singing all five versus of Good King Wenceslas by heart, by three he was multiplying and rattling off the state capitals, and by four he was telling time and reading at a 4th grade reading level. To say this kid is amazing would be an understatement. Watching him grow makes this auntie's heart swell with pride. As I look at him, I can't help but imagine what our little one will be like.
And yet, sometimes I find myself plagued by the fear that our child may come home with some undiagnosed special need. What if the medical report we are given has inadequate test results? What if poor nutrition early in life leads to complications later on? What if our child comes home with severe attachment issues? These possibilities terrify me.
However, my sister often reminds me that parenting a child- whether biological or adoptive- always involves risk. And my nephew reminds me everyday that a child's needs don't even begin to define who he or she is. So I guess if you measure the risk against goodnight kisses and little I love you's, it will always be worth it.