|This is David and He is My Son
Parent of a Child at Aleh
I was never quite sure what to answer when people asked me how many children we have. It seems simple enough, but unfortunately, in our case it wasn't.
You see, we have a three-year-old son who is severely disabled, both physically and mentally. And until Aleh came into our lives, we didn't know how to relate to him. We didn't know how to take care of him. We didn't know how to love him.
My husband and I are both healthy, as are our two other children. David, however, is not and will never be. I had what appeared to be a normal pregnancy, but David was born with a degenerative disorder. When he was born, we didn't know what to do or where to turn.
Then we were introduced to Aleh. Aleh is more than a rehabilitation center; it is a home – a supportive, beautiful, caring and warm home, whose mission is to provide multi-handicapped children with a quality of life. Aleh is a home where these children live twenty-four hours a day under the medical supervision and loving care of their professional and highly-qualified staff. Aleh provides our son with the tools and activities that he needs to develop and grow. Although David may never walk, talk or eat by himself, Aleh stimulates his senses, his mind and his emotions. Thanks to Aleh, David has been to the ocean, the zoo and the swimming pool. He does daily projects with paint, clay, music and lights to expose him to various sights, sounds and experiences.
When David first came to Aleh he was so withdrawn that no one could touch him or make eye contact with him. We thought he was incapable of interacting with others. We had no idea how to make him feel safe or show him that we loved him. Within a few months, when we came to visit, David had begun to raise his head and look straight at the person talking to him. Now he smiles constantly and loves to be held and cuddled. His siblings are finally not scared of him and have started asking to visit so that they can play together.
By giving David to Aleh, Aleh has given us our David. I am the proud mother of three beautiful children – Aleh has shown me that.