Older couple adopts boy with special needs

Published 1:56 am Friday, November 27, 2015

Adopting a toddler at 66 and 68 might sound like a daunting job, but for Myra and Bobby Parker of Jack, it was a no-brainer.

The pair, who have six biological children, adopted their grandson when he was small.

Shown are Myra and Bobby Parker, Clay and Probate Judge Ben Bowden.

Shown are Myra and Bobby Parker, Clay and Probate Judge Ben Bowden.

“We just needed to take care of him,” said Myra. “He was living with us.”

Now Clay has entered their lives.

“Clay, our baby, is 2.5,” Myra said. “We got him when he was 2.5 months old.”

Clay had shaken baby syndrome, Myra said.

According to the Mayo Clinic, shaken baby syndrome – also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury or whiplash shake syndrome – is a serious brain injury resulting from forcefully shaking an infant or toddler.

It destroys a child’s brain cells and prevents his or her brain from getting enough oxygen.

“He was in pretty bad shape when we went to Birmingham to get him,” she said. “He couldn’t do anything. They didn’t think he was going to live. They didn’t think he would be off a ventilator.”

But Clay did all of those things.

“He couldn’t do anything,” she said. “That’s not the plans God had for him. He has made improvements.”

Myra said Clay is blind and he can’t turn over.

“But he’s just precious,” she said.

Myra said that Clay has been a huge blessing in their lives.

In early 2013, Bobby had his left leg amputated. He was going through a hard time when they got the call to get Clay, Myra said.

“He had some depression from his pain in his leg,” she said. “They called and said could we take this baby. We didn’t even question. Clay has saved his life. He has given him something else to think about.”

The Parkers turned their focus to Clay and Myra said Bobby came out of his depression.

Myra said when Clay’s parents’ rights were terminated, she and Bobby had grown to love him.

“There was no way we could let him go,” she said. “We wanted to adopt him. We loved him. So bad, I wanted someone to want him, and we were the ones who wanted him.”

Myra said that Clay has the prettiest lips you’ve ever seen and he has gorgeous blue eyes and blonde hair.

With their ages, Myra said they have planned for their daughter to care for Clay if something should happen to them.

Myra said she wanted to encourage others not to be afraid to adopt or foster special needs children.

“There are so many children out there,” she said. “Everyone wants healthy, happy children, but usually when you adopt from foster care, they come with baggage and some with a lot of physical baggage. I wish there were more people who were willing and able to adopt.


“We have had so much fun,” she said. “We have laughed. Sometimes, it’s tough. He’s almost 35 pounds now, but God gives us the strength.”