Argentine woman adopts child with special needs after losing her own

Rosanna Maidana from Santa Fe, Argentina, was playing with her two-year-old son Renzo in a field when the child, in a carefree moment, ran over to a horse. Frightened, the animal kicked out at the little boy and connected violently with his head.  

Everything seemed to happen in slow motion as Renzo was knocked over onto his back with his skull caved in. While making their way to nearest hospital as quickly as possible, Rosanna kept on trying to talk to her boy so that he stayed conscious. At the emergency room, her son underwent a CT scan to determine the extent of the damage. Unfortunately, it wasn't good news: Renzo was suffering from a severe head injury and his life would never be the same again.

With extensive neurological damage, the boy had to be kept alive with the aid of a medical ventilator. Ever since this horrific incident, Renzo was classified as a child with special needs.

Over the following years, Rosanna and her son were regular visitors at the hospital. At one of Renzo's check-ups, Rosanna noticed a nurse accompanying a child with problems similar to those her son was suffering from. It seemed strange to her that this child was alone with no family members present, so she asked who he was. That's when she heard the heart-wrenching story of Axel Figueroa, a young boy with neurological problems who had been abandoned by his parents. 

Like Renzo, Axel had been an ordinary child until he was two years old. However, his biological mother and her partner had abused him so badly that he was left with brain injuries. Deeply moved, Rosanna couldn't get Axel's sad tale out of her head: "From the moment I first saw him, I couldn't stop thinking about him and wanted to take him home. I could never understand how a mother could abandon her child in such away," the Argentine woman said. Though she had little information about Axel, she knew he was living in an orphanage which usually houses children with special needs. 

Despite her young age, 25-year-old Rosanna was clear on one thing: she had to adopt Axel and give him the family he deserved. As she had another three-year-old son in addition to Renzo at that time, she asked her parents for some help. Together, they worked through the paperwork required for adopting Axel, but ran into difficulties due to her being a single mother. 

A year after beginning the process to adopt Axel, Rosanna suffered a great tragedy that no parent should have to endure: Renzo died. "Once I started feeling better, I understood that beyond my pain there was a kid waiting in a home for a family," said Rosanna. She then put all of her energy into trying to adopt Axel. Rosanna went to support centers, filled in hundreds of forms, and went through many psychological examinations. Thankfully, all of her efforts paid off when she could finally call herself Axel's official mother in August 2014. 

Since then, Rosanna, Axel, and her other son have been living happily as a family. Renzo remains in her memories — he opened her eyes to the terrible abandonment that many children with special needs suffer. Thanks to Rosanna's incredible goodwill, Axel has not ended up alone and can look to a loving family to receive the affection he needs. "When I bathed him, I realized that there were parts of his skull missing and I wondered how a two-year-old child could get hit in a way with such drastic physical consequences," said Rosanna. 

As well as showing her big heart, Rosanna is also making us aware of the difficulties children with disabilities face without parents. Many of them are consigned to a life in orphanages and don't receive the love everyone deserves. Axel was one of the lucky ones, but there are many who are waiting for a family. Let's hope people will follow Rosanna's example! 

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