My wife Adéye and I are very ordinary people.  When we got married in 1997, we both agreed to have from two to four children.  We had three boys biologically, and then God did something inside of us.  He gave us the desire to adopt seven children at different times from three different countries.  Six of them have severe special needs, but they are all a loving part of our family, and we cannot imagine life without them.

That’s why we became parent CNAs.  We didn’t want to send our special ones to some institution or community home.  It defeats the purpose of having children if we never see them!  However, we also knew that the road ahead would be a rough one.

We are so grateful that the state of Colorado allows us to make a living by taking care of our children with needs.  The responsibility is great, and the work is hard, but it is 100% worth it.  We have the opportunity to touch them, hold them, laugh with them, joke with them, read to them, take them out for fun things, push them gently toward their limits, and kiss them goodnight every day.

The bond we have with our children is powerful only because we can spend time with them, caring for their needs.  Who is better to help them be the best they can be if not us — their parents — who love them and are committed to them?

The greatest surprise in our entire journey as parent CNAs is not how instrumental we’ve been in changing their lives for the better, but how much they’ve changed OUR lives and the lives of our three biological boys for the better.  They will ever know what it’s like to love and to be loved by children who started this life as castaways from their respective societies because of their disabilities.  Love conquers all.

–Anthony S., PCNA