Someone asked my thoughts on the beautiful essay by Emily Perl Kingsley called Welcome to Holland, which is frequently circulated among special needs families.
I can appreciate Ms. Kingsley’s essay. For the first several months after realizing something was different with my first born son’s overall development, it was a difficult fact to face. I wondered why this happened to us and would look around at all the families with their “typical” children and wonder how they got so lucky.
So while I relate to much of what she wrote, there’s one line of which I 110% disagree.
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
While I admired parents with special needs children and even wondered if God would entrust us with one of these souls, I felt sick when the reality hit.
Only one week after giving birth to our third child, I felt things were spiraling out of control. To regain a sense of control, I went into research mode and started reading and watching anything I could find on language disorders, Autism, developmental delays, and hearing loss.
Yes it was a very difficult time for our family.
But to say that pain “never, ever, ever, ever” went away is simply not something I can relate to.
Because of our son, I met families I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I realized the potential in children whom the world has decided are not “normal” (aka typical). I discovered that there’s an instant camaraderie among special needs families–it really is amazing to find such an instant support system.
My son has grown more and more each year, but most importantly, I’ve learned that God has a plan for him and is working in a way that’s different compared to how He’s working in my other children. Over the years, I’ve had folks look at us with pity in their eyes, but please don’t feel sorry for us. I don’t look at my children and think, “Oh, it’s so sad and painful that he isn’t like his siblings.” I believe all of my children have a purpose and that they were each given talents, abilities, and interests to help them realize that purpose.
As I often say, “Parenting a child with special needs isn’t a tragedy; it’s an honor.”
In the early years, I wondered how I could handle the responsibility of mothering this little boy. I still wonder today. But I remind myself that out of all the women in the world, God saw fit to place our son in our family and to make me his mama. So I’m trusting that God equipped me with what I need to bring up this little boy so that he can fulfill his purpose.
So as for the grand plans we may have made for our family before we knew better? Isn’t it great that God knows what’s best for us? We would never have seen more of the beauty of His creation if we weren’t given the opportunity to view it from the eyes of our son.
Sharing with Your Thriving Family, Happy and Blessed Home, Our Simple Farm, Whole-Hearted Home, Raising Homemakers, Cornerstone Confessions, Holy Spirit Led Homeschooling,The Better Mom, Teaching What is Good, Far Above Rubies, Growing Home, The Modest Mom, The Time-Warp Wife, Moms the Word, A Proverbs 31 Wife
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