“God knew that it doesn’t matter how your children get to your family. It just matters that they get there”. Motherhood is bliss. No other feeling could be compared to holding your new-born child. But, then there are mothers like Kavita who believe that motherhood is not just about giving birth to a baby. There are so many children around us who are waiting to be embraced by a loving family. Kavita and Himanshu are the first Indian couple to adopt a baby girl with Down syndrome.
Kavita and her husband decided long back during their courtship period to adopt a baby girl, no matter they have a biological kid or not. Kavita who was an HR professional and a preschool teacher got married to Himanshu, an IT professional and moved to the US for better career prospects. The couple came to know about Down syndrome when they met a few children with this genetic condition during their stay in the US.
[Down syndrome is a genetic condition where a third copy of chromosome 21 is present. The condition is associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features and mild to moderate intellectual disability.]
They were determined to adopt a baby girl with Down syndrome and as Kavita said, “there were no reasons to not do this.” They contacted CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority), the legal body in India that manages the adoption procedure. However, they were not allowed to register on CARA because they were on work permit in the US. However, this didn’t hold them back from making their dream come true. The couple came back to India only for this and got themselves registered in 2017.
Soon, they welcomed home their little princess “Veda”. Little Veda has Down syndrome but she has completed Kavita and Himanshu’s life. As Kavita recalls fondly, the journey has been mesmerizing and it makes her feel complete. Although Veda has emotional and physical delays the couple is delighted that Veda has accepted them so well. In fact, Kavita no longer follows the milestone chart. “Whatever Veda can achieve is a milestone for us,” says the proud mother.
However, it has not been a path of roses for Kavita and Himanshu. The couple faced a lot of challenges but they overcame all the odds. As Kavita recalls, “there was not much family support as adoption is still a taboo in India. And, we were going for a special needs child. But, the best thing about me and my husband is, we never bothered about others. Neither, did we look for support. However, Veda won the heart of everyone and the family has started accepting her. She is a happy and loving child who loves to enjoy the company of others.”
For Kavita, her husband has been her pillar of support and she wishes our society to have more such men. Kavita is now home-schooling the 3-year-old Veda. She says that people are either ignorant or rude or stare at Veda whenever they go out. But, Kavita and Himanshu are never bothered by people’s attitude. They take her out every day to the park, shopping mall, and other public places.
To spread awareness on Down syndrome, Kavita has resorted to social media channels where people can catch a glimpse of Veda’s life. Kavita says, “When I began my journey I had no resources to look upon. I am glad if this could help anyone in any way.” She further adds, “You don’t realize until you see it. And that’s the purpose of starting a social media channel for Veda. Kavita says, “I really feel happy when parents of disabled children get in touch with me from remote corners of the country to learn more about how to deal with such situations, how to convince the family, etc. I feel motivated if I can impact the lives of some parents with some amount of positivity.”
This is what Kavita has to say to all the prospective adoptive parents who wish to adopt a special need child as well as to those parents who have a special need biological child — “Always look for your tribe, talk to the parents of special need children and don’t think it as a burden. None of us are perfect. Focus on the capabilities of the child and not on the disabilities. Be positive. Trust your kid and give them time to bloom. Also, ensure you are prepared mentally, emotionally and financially.”
Kudos to you, Kavita and Himanshu!
Veda’s social media pages: