Thoughts from Andrew

Struggle

Life with any of the conditions examined in Far from the Tree can be extremely difficult, and even for those who thrive, struggle is inevitable.

Parents struggle to accept their children; children wrestle with their conditions; families face oppressive social expectations. Everyone struggles with medical crises. Triumph is often preceded by great pain.

"I didn't know that there were other people like me," one deaf girl said to me. "I thought everyone in the world would rather talk to someone…

There is a race going on. One team consists of the doctors who will make the deaf hear. They are humanitarian miracle-workers. On the other team are the…

"They all said that you don’t take on problems or issues or differences you can avoid. They all thought that we should abort." The genetic…

"The primary job of most parents is to make their kids think they can do anything; my primary job is to take him down. Reduced to a sentence, it’s,…

"I stay up almost all night, and do things I can do alone in the dark, where I don’t have to see people going about normal activities that I can’t…

"My husband will sometimes say, 'Would you marry me again?’ I say, 'Yeah, but not with the kids.’ Had we known what we know now, we wouldn't…

More than half of children murdered in the US are killed by their own parents, and about half of those parents claim to have acted altruistically. Societal…

And when I tried to find thelover to show her how much Iloved her, all I found wasemptiness and frenzywith that loud sound in thebackground drowning out…

"The therapist who helped the most said, 'You've had the star quarterback. He’s run over by a truck, breaks every limb in his body. Your hope now…

Parents are broken, and full of error. Intention does not obliterate that error, but I think, that it does at least mitigate it. Being hurt by those you…

"Young people like romance stories and war stories and good-and-evil stories and old movies because their emotional life mostly is and should be…

"He has an issue with intimacy. He doesn't want anybody on his back. I know, because he doesn't want me on his back. He's totally free, joking, and…

"My friends keep saying, 'You have to be able to forgive him in order to accept it and move on.’ I want to punch people when they say that."…

"I named my daughter Eliza. Sad news is she was born dead." Six months later, she gave up Marcus; he was placed with a foster family that was…

"Because I knew it would mean a lot to Corinna, I actually called Donna, and asked her to call Corinna and say that she loved her and that she was…

"I love her, but when she touches me, it feels like hundreds of razor blades scraping across my skin, like I'm going to die. There’s always that…

A man killed her family, including her husband and three children, took her in sexual slavery for the duration of the genocide, and then fled. She gave…

"I think the other parents believed they had experienced loss, and I had not, because their children were of value, and mine was not. My child died…

When I asked the Klebolds what they would want to ask Dylan if he were in the room with us, Tom said, "I’d ask him what the hell he was thinking…

Kirk joined the Air Force and lived as a masculine man—until he hanged himself in 2003 at 38. His sister said, "The research has a postscript that…

I asked Tony whether he minded being called "Anne" and "she." He said, "Andrew, she thinks I'm a straight girl going through…

"I had a little present, and I gave it to Hannah and said, 'Here you go, baby boy.’ She just looked at me like, Mama, do you not accept me any…

"They were going to gut her. They were going to cut off her genitals and treat her like the woman she wanted to be. They were going to snatch her…

From the time George was conceived until that day, I had kept thinking how ironic it would be if, in the midst of writing about exceptional children,…

I want more than anything for my children to be happy, and I love them because they are sad, and the erratic project of kneading that sadness into joy…

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