Parents Just in Time

9 years 6 months 5 days ago October 22, 2007 Oct 22, 2007 Monday, October 22 2007 Monday, October 22, 2007 5:54:58 PM CDT in News

At Peach Tree Farms, visitors adopt pumpkins. They snip them off the vine and give the gourds a home. It doesn't matter if they're symmetrical, or even still green, nearly all of the pumpkins will end up on someone's front porch. If only every child were so lucky.

And on a Delmar Cobble State School hay ride what you see isn't nearly as interesting as what you feel.

"Most of our students like to rock so there's that bouncing momentum that's on the hay ride. And they like that wind in their face, so that momentum is very soothing and relaxing for them," explained principal John Wiggans.

Mitchell is a kindergarten student at Delmar Cobble. Several years ago, Deborah and Don Barrett did something that may have saved his life.

"He likes vibration, so Don took him and put him up at the front of the wagon. And he liked that cause the wagon was bouncing, and he could sit there and feel the vibration and the bouncing," said Mitchell's mother, Deborah Barrett. 

"Doctor said if we didn't have him, he'd be dead," said Mitchell's father, Don Barrett.

"Years ago, Don was a deputy down in Lee County, Florida, and there was always the same couple of kids that he was having to take off the street and take back home to not very good situations. And at that time, we said when our kids were grown, we were going to have a home for those kids to come home to and be safe and be treated the way they needed to be treated and loved," said Deborah.

So after raising four children, the Barretts of Moberly became foster parents.

"As a foster parent, of course they call me and give me the diagnosis and ask me if I would take him," said Deborah. "I literally drove from Moberly to University Hospital to get him. I literally prayed all the way there that I would love him as much as the Lord loved him no matter what he looked like or what his abilities were."

Mitchell was born with Hydrocephelus, Cerebral Palsy. He has Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome and a seizure disorder. He's legally blind and doctors feared deaf as well. At two years old, he weighed just 18 pounds.

The Barrett's accepted Mitchell as their foster child.

"The doctors had accepted that he would pretty much be nothing, and we just haven't accepted that," said Deborah.

"He became very special to us," said Don.

Thanks to the Barrett's and the teachers and staff at Delmar Cobble, Mitchell is doing things doctors thought he'd never be able to do.

"Yeah, he loves to wrestle," explained Deborah.

"He loves to wrestle he starts grinning and flapping his arms," said Don.

The Barretts also learned Mitchell can hear.

"When I see these guys, I don't see the disabilities and I think Deborah and Don are the same way. They look at the ability," explained principal Wiggans.

"When you're married, and you have the kids and you raise a family, you have the kids that you have. But when you have somebody like this you choose to take, it changes your whole, I don't know, outlook of how you're raise your kids and why you're doing it," explained Don.

The Barretts are no longer Mitchell's foster parents. They're now his legal guardians. When it comes to his physicial needs, they say they're dedicated to go as many rounds as it takes.

The Missouri Department of Social Services says there are about 10,000 children in fostercare. There are nearly 2,000 waiting to be adopted, waiting on the vine, hoping someday, someone will pick them.

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