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God does not make mistakes, He is all powerful and perfect and so is His creation. Children and adults who are born with disabilities are not mistakes, they are gifts from God who need just a little extra attention and care. Some cultures, like the Haitian culture, may not see these individuals are equal and precious compared to others, but that does not mean that they are anything less than anyone sitting next to them. Especially individuals with disabilities require love and care from their loved ones to thrive and survive in the society. A family institution, whether it be the biological parents or adopted parents, is a great place to start to look to find those two needs for a disabled individual. The Laurent family is no exception, Andre and Marie adopting a mentally disabled child named Michael into their family after Michael’s biological parents died from an earthquake. The reflection paper will focus on discussion of Michael’s and family subsystems, boundaries, social systems, and cultural influences of the family described in the Laurent family case.For a social worker to be able to understand and help Michael and his adopted family, thesocial worker must first study Michael and the family’s subsystems. Human’s behavior can be traced back to their family institution, where various values, beliefs and traditions are instilled from an early age. Minuchin believed that each family system can be broken down to four subsystems: spousal, parental, parent-child, and sibling. According to Dale and Smith, “the structures that evolve in families are formed in order to carry out the various functions required of the family” (2013, p. 214). In the Laurent case, Andre and Marie are an example of spousal subsystem. Marie and Andre met through Andre’s cousin a little while after she immigrated to the United States. In 2007, Marie and Andre got married. Minuchin believed that “that complementarity and accommodation were important ingredients for the spousal subsystem” (Dale and Smith, 2013, p. 216). Andre and Maire respected each other’s role as being husband and wife and working individuals. Although Andre made good income himself, he did not force
his wife to be a stay at-home wife who cooks and cleans because he understood that Marie wanted to work to provide for her family back home in Haiti (LeCroy, 2014). The next subsystem is the parental subsystem. When an earthquake hit Haiti, Michael was the only surviving member from his family. Marie is Michael’s aunt, so she knew who Michael was and the family members that she and he both lost. Because Michael lived in Haiti and Marie moved to the United States at early age, they were almost strangers to each other. Andre and Marie adopted Michael into their family, turning the spousal subsystem into the parental subsystem.