Thursday, September 10, 2009

What I have seen, confessions of a mother........

It seems like there is a pattern of posts, lately, about special needs children and their capabilities and potential. So I thought I would toss my hat in the ring and talk about some of the things that I have witnessed as a mother of a child with cerebral palsy.
I remember when Faith was born and all the terrible things that happened. It didn't seem real, but we got all sorts of "bad news" predictions about how she would be. Some were true, some were not and some were close. But I have learned over the last 5 1/2 yrs that potential is what you make it. When she was little, I would watch her and talk to her and wonder "Does she know who I am? Does she understand me? Will she ever be able to talk? Will she ever call me momma?" I used to agonize over things like that. So to answer those questions.... Yes, she knows me! Of course! I am her mom! Yes, she understands me, maybe not every word but if I ask her where is a dog she can point out our dog! Talking? Well, that is still a work in progress, she is making more sounds and some sound like words. But she does have her own collection of languages, both real (ASL) and made up that we can understand. And best of all, this spring, we finally got something that she calls me for mom..... "Ahhhna" Which sounds alot like Mama and will be accepted with pride!
I think that the worst thing for all parents is the uncertainty of what our children will be is magnified ten fold for special needs parents. And the delays in development make things seem even worse, it's like watching paint dry! Every one else's kids are cruising right along past our children, doing new things, going to school, learning to ride bikes and play dress up. While our children are still mastering how to sit up. It is definitely one of the worst things about being a parent like us.
But, everything has a season and all children can progress. Maybe not like others, but in their own time at their own pace. It can be hard for us to see, especially when our special children are very young. For the longest time, over 4 yrs, Faith had NO form of communication. She would watch us talk to her, but never respond other than a smile. Then last year in July, we were waiting outside of her therapist's office for our turn and a little baby girl came out with her mother. Faith reached out and make a gesture towards the baby, so I said BABY and signed the word. All of a sudden, she copied me! She actually did a sign, and did it correctly! I was FLOORED! Called every one I knew to brag on my girl! After that it was like a light bulb was turned on! She wanted me to show her everything! Right now, 14 months after beginning, she has about 40 signs that she can do w/o much prompting. And she is always asking me (with her own made up sign for Help) to show her more, when she sees something new! It is truly a miracle! After 4 1/2 yrs!
I think that sometimes God has to teach us patience so that we can truly appreciate the miracles that go on around us. I used to think I had never seen a miracle, but after Faith was born I witnessed many miracles! I am a miracle veteran, now! And He has taught me patience! I treasure every small thing that she learns or masters, even if it isn't quite how other kids do it! And as Katy from Bird On The Street said, disabilities are part of the human condition. We all have our own things to master and challenges to overcome. Some are just more obvious than others. I have learned about patience, persistence, resolve, determination, strength and most importantly FAITH AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! And those are things that not everyone is blessed enough to experience in their lives, truly!
I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was born to be the mother of this child, just as she is, just like God made her. And for me that is a big source of pride.


Katy said...

Oh my gosh--Miracle Veteran--I love it! That is such an awesome way to describe our roles.

This is such a great, inspirational post--do you mind if I link to it the next time I write?

Amy Genn said...

Great post...again!

Miracle Veteran - another T-shirt I think I need! :)

that is fabulous that Faith can do so much sign language!

Candace said...

Hi Katy, Yes of course you can link up! Thanks for the kind words, it's nice to know people are reading. I think I am going to get a t shirt made with this on it. Thnks for the idea, Amy!

Beverly said...

love this post!

therextras said...

"After that it was like a light bulb was turned on!"

Reminds me of the story of Helen Keller. *smile*