Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Gift From God

Like a lot of parents who have a child with a disability, I belong to a support group. In this group, we all have a child with the same disability. Like a lot of parents who have a child with a disability, I belong to a support group. In this group, all the parents have a child with the same disability. Sometimes the support group touches on this subject of how the parents can accept this situation they find themselves in. Members often remind everyone that the reason we have our child is because it is a gift from God. Yes, this child is in our lives because God knew unequivocally, we were the only one capable of handling this child’s life. This belief starts as only an affirmation but it does move most of us forward.
I think it takes us through the first stages of our realization of the work we have cut out for us. It heads us in the direction of the first stage of our recovery from this disability: acceptance.But is this enough? I don't think so. There are millions of little steps involved. I firmly believe that if we smack ourselves down on the sidewalk and feel overwhelmed at the task before us it means we gave up.Is this disability, as a parent, genetically or biologically inherited. Of course not but it IS spiritually inherited if we believe that God chose US to raise this child. I believe God knew we could overcome our own disability.
What made me reach the second step? It was a sharp reality check. Someone once asked me how I had managed, all these years, to raise my child and take care of the rest of my family. My eyes widened and I was startled by the question. It had never occured to me to think of this task in that way.All I could say was, my child, was my child. He had always been this way. It was not like all of a sudden we had a maze of things to learn and do to meet my child’s needs.My child has never known any difference and neither has anyone in our family. With each step of the journey, if a new road block was encountered, it was either attacked and resolved or gently nudged into alignment of what we thought would work. So what became a reality to me was this: this wasn't some new, over-the-top, insurmountable problem every day of my life. The reality was we took each day in our stride. If something needs to be adjusted we did it. If steps needed to be taken they were taken. If I needed to advocate for my child to another group, organization or agency, it was done. Simple as that.
It wasn't always that easy but God didn't drop a HUGE problem in my lap all at once. God eased me into the job gently. I just never asked what the job description was.

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