For today's Giving Saturday I wanted bring up another issue that is close to my heart. During my elementary school years my parents were foster parents. My brother is 10 years older than me so at times it felt like I was an only child, I loved having new siblings come into my life and also knowing that we were giving many of these children a new hope for the future.
When I entered 6th grade my parents got a call to take in a baby who was still in the hospital who suffered from Shaken Baby Syndrome. He had a lot of medical problems he was only a few months old but my parents had taken care of a crack baby earlier so they understood to some extent how difficult it would be to take in a special needs child. As a family we agreed to take in this beautiful baby boy, and he later my parents were able to adopt him. Our lives with Michael were forever changed.
Because of what his father did to him Michael was never able to eat, walk, or talk. He had an amazing personality though and those who knew him loved him. My mother would take Michael and visit schools to help inform and teach others that violence was not an answer. When Michael turned 12 he lost his battle and passed away on March 30, 2003. I miss him everyday and I know that because of him my life is forever changed.
When my brother and mother were visiting the schools they were working with The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome and made videos to send out to schools. On their website http://www.dontshake.org/ you can donate to them and get more valuable information to Never Shake A Baby, and steps on what to do when you feel stressed.