I have a child with special needs?
When my friend, Kari, asked me to write something for her blog, which was created to be a ministry for moms of children with special needs, I really had to pray about what to write because I do not really see my three year old Matthew as disabled.
Yes, he has been diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, wears braces all day, walks with a reverse Kaye walker, receives occupational, speech, and physical therapy twice a week, and gets botox injections every three months in his legs. He has seen more specialists than this article will allow space. He spent two months in the NICU before he could come home, and has had surgery (achilles tendon lengthening) on his legs. He still needs his wheelchair for any long distances like trips to the zoo and we have a handicap placard for the van. So, to the naked eye, at first glance, yes, we have a disabled son.
But look just a little longer, and you will see his smile. And then you will hear his laugh.
And that image of the disabled child melts away. At least it does for me, because when I hear him laughing five minutes after receiving painful botox injections, or playing tag with his six year old sister while in heavy casts after surgery, which he had to wear for a month, I am reminded that I am blessed to have a DAILY encounter with God's grace and love.
Matthew struggles with feeding himself with a spoon/fork. It is not easy for him to get into a chair by himself. By the time he sits down at the table with the other kids, they are ready to get up and move on to the next thing. When the kids are playing tag, Matthew can participate but may bump the other kids with his walker. Some kids understand, and others do not want to play anymore. Through all of these things, he has a remarkable spirit. When he prays at night, he thanks God for his walker and his wheelchair. He just keeps going....and so will I...
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
Faith is to believe what you do not yet see, the reward for this faith is to see what you believe. Saint Augustine