Friday, August 10, 2007

For Parents - What To Expect Emotionally --

We were recently asked by another mom what we went through and how we coped when we first learned our child was "special needs." Here's a copy of my reply:
I think you should expect to go through cycles emotionally when you find out your child has a disability. You probably will go through the grief process (denial, anger, sadness, acceptance...) more than once as you have new realizations of what your little one may struggle with.

There are days when I'm on top of the world, thinking about what a blessing from God our child is; and there are times when I am down in the dumps, crying over his struggles. Somewhere along the way, I've come to realize that life on this earth isn't all joy or all sorrow -- it's a mixture of both; and that analogy holds for parenting a special needs child as well.

Sometimes, it is a whirlwind. I especially found that true when we first got the diagnosis and were making decisions. I experienced that a second time when we were getting our son set up with the school. I found that I had to know what the education laws were, I had to know what the best way to educate my son was, and then I had to educate others.

For me, the uncertainty is always the hardest to deal with. When I know what the reality is going to be, I can better adjust to it. But when there are so many if's and maybe's out there, it's a lot tougher.
Here are two verses that have helped me tremendously in finding spiritual focus and direction:

2 Cor. 1:4 -- talks about how we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. I can't tell you how many people God has put in our paths because of our son's disability -- some we have ministered to and some have ministered to us. To some believers, God has used us to inspire them; and to some, He has shone the light of the gospel.

John 9:3 -- is another verse I hold onto, knowing that God has a special plan to be glorified in my child. The man was born blind so that the works of God -- the power of God -- could be revealed and displayed in him.