A Mother Like Alex by Bernard Clark
by Manuela Timofte
It is a book about a mother and her family. That would be the shortest way of describing the book. Yet, it is about more than that. The book is not about an ordinary family. It is about a single woman adopting kids with disabilities and making an unusual and special family.
While in most families the birth of a baby with Down’s syndrome put pressure on the parents, Alex, a single woman adopted nine special children (seven Down’s kids).
Alex is the embodiment, both physically and spiritually, of a new kind of mother. She can change an adult nappy while totting up the househol budget, and write a letter to her Member of Parliament as nit lotion is purging the family’s hair.Bernard Clark
Bernard Clark, the author, had decided to write about Alex and her special family because he was mystified and the same time, captivated by them. For the purpose of the book, he spent several years with Alex and her family.
So, he met «nine of the nicest, weirdest. toughest, funniest. most generous, open honest, wackiest, happiest people on the planet. Yes, happiest, because tragedy a state of mind, our minds, no theirs.»
Also, he learned a lot about kids with Down’s syndrome before turning their story into a book.
Down’s people are still people. Some of them may have flatter faces, wider necks or shorter legs than the rest of us, some of them may babble and need forever to wear nappies, but they connect soul-to-soul, which is the hallmark of being part of the humankind.Bernard Clark
We all are part of humanity and know we need to communicate using words for understanding each other. What about those people who cannot use words? Who cannot speak? The answer is, we do not have to use words to communicate. A touch, a smile, and feelings can say more than we express through words. «Especially feel».
Turning back to Alex and her story, to adopt children does not mean just dealing with the kids and their needs. It means dealing with authorities, social workers, and bureaucracy. Therefore, Alex found herself in the position to deal with some people who know the theory but do not know or care too much about how their decisions may affect a kid’s life for a long term or forever.
A committiee who had never met any of the principals sniffed through the paperwork and rules, and pontificated, so that an innocent, settled boy would be escorted from a happy home to an impersonal institution. No wonder Alex cried – most of us would have cried along with her.Bernard Clark
However, reading the book, you will find how a single woman, at 28, battled with social services to adopt her first Down’s syndrome child and becomes one of the first single women in the UK to adopt. You will also find out how she takes on eight more children with disabilities, how she builds relationships with those special kids, but all flourishing in a safe and happy environment, with Alex’s love.
Title : A Mother like Alex Author : Bernard Clark Initially published : 2008 Published by Harper True
I conclude by saying that we all need to learn that we All are people being born worthy in our special way. We all carry inside a pot of gold.
There are those who see the rain
And those who see the rainbow.
But only lovers see the pots of gold.Bernard Clark
Now, paraphrasing the author: this book is not just a story about disability or adoption, social work or bureaucracy. It is a book about courage, perseverance and, about all, the power of Love.