Angela, Axel, Asher and I walk into Target together. Angela usually takes the lead, Asher holds my hand and Axel walks about 10 feet behind me. I constantly say things like, "Angela, wait for the rest of us. Can you walk with us? Axel, you need to walk faster. Can you walk with me? Asher, tongue in your mouth."
You walk in right behind us. As I pull a cart from those parked at the entry, I turn to check the whereabouts of my kids and catch your eye. I can see you trying to figure us out. Your eyes first go to Angela who is probably in a mood and you can feel it, then they scan to Axel who looks a little bit lost. He sees you and says, "Hi!" Your eyes then move to Asher...does he or doesn't he? There is something different about him but you can't quite decide what it is.
Once you've checked over my kids your eyes meet mine. I can see your questions, mostly because they've been asked of me plenty of times. Let me answer the 20 most common questions for you, in no particular order.
1) Yes they're all ours.
2) No, we don't have a group home. (this one cracks me up as I can only imagine the questions that get asked of my friends who have far more kids with special needs than I do!)
3) Yes, they all of Down syndrome.
4) Yes, I'm sure.
5) Yes, even Asher.
6) Yes, really.
7) No, I don't have any trouble "managing" all three of them alone. We don't have any trouble parenting them either.
8) Yes, we knew they had Down syndrome when we adopted them.
9) Yes, we chose them based on that diagnosis.
10) No we are not special parents.
11) Yes, you could do it if that's what God wanted you to do.
12) No there is no cure for "it".
13) Yes she is really 15. Yes he's really 11, and yes, he is REALLY 7. (Why would I make this up?)
14) No, we don't know if they will ever talk.
15) I don't know what he just signed to you because he made it up. He's a genius like that.
16) They came from Serbia.
17) Serbia, not to be confused with Syria or Siberia.
18) No, they did not know English when we adopted them. See #17.
19) Yes, I had to travel to Serbia to get them.
20) The place God has waiting for us in heaven is no more special than yours. It was planned before we was born, just as yours was.