Becoming the Parent of a Special Needs Child

becoming the parent

One Year ago my son came home. Even writing those words seems crazy. Right now I am cuddling next to my sweet boy as he settles down before nap. I remember the very first time we met. We had flown to Texas (I was seven months pregnant btw) to meet this little one sitting next to me. I was so nervous about so many things… “would he like us?” “would he be scared?” “What if we didn’t feel anything?” and on and on and on. I sat in the car quiet as we drove to his house, Michael* kept looking over at me worrying. we walked up those front steps and knocked on the door. All the sudden I saw a little blonde toddler running to the door. My heart leaped out of my chest. His eyes, hair, hands, nose everything was perfect! He was so beautiful! It was my son!

From that moment on I have been daily amazed by this young little man. Two months later his sister would come home and things would get crazy. I kept thinking that the hard part would be getting used to having two kids at the same time. But it wasn’t. It was a transition for sure. But I have LOVED having two! I get to do toddler things like go down slides but I also got to do infant things like breastfeed and snuggle in the wee hours. The difficulty came when I realized two things:

1. They would never both at the same time always have my full attention. I felt like I was cheating them because they couldn’t each have all my time and attention. It was heartbreaking.

2. DS’s disorders, and the fact that he is so far behind others his age. I don’t mind at all but you have no idea the pain of a parent watching their child struggle. It is debilitating. DS has a therapy every day of the week. And at least once a week one of the therapists sits me down to tell me how my baby is struggling. Nothing makes my heart sink like the look in their eyes when their about to “talk to me.” The worst part is Daddy has to go to work. And boy do we all miss him. I miss the support and encouraging words when I see my perfect DS struggling to say the word “music.” Or when he is throwing a tantrum or fit because he feels he is not being understood, because he can’t yet communicate. Even if I know what he wants he doesn’t know that. You will never know the daily struggles of a parent who has a child with disabilities or disorders until you are one. I have nannied and worked with children with these struggles for years, I even have a sibling who struggles but never did I understand until now. The pain of watching your child struggle.

But through all of this I learned that it wasn’t having two kids at the same time, it was learning how to be the best mom I can be to DS. I am learning and being taught daily what it means to be a mom of a baby who has been beaten, sick, hurt, and behind. I am so blessed that DS had wonderful Foster parents in Texas after he was put into the system. His foster Mom was at the hospital almost every week in the beginning but she fought hard for Carter.* And I hope and pray I will always do the same. DS is my little ball of sunshine, he truly is magnificent. He loves everyone and always has a smile ready to share. Everything about him warms my heart and I would not be the same without him in my life. I thank God for him daily. Every moment of this last year has been magical. I have been blessed with two exceptional kids. Their laughs and giggles are more than I could ever deserve.

Also when you have a child that doesn’t go through life normally you get to celebrate things that most people would not even notice. such as, when your baby chews their food correctly without choking! Or when he walks up a hill without any help. Or says ANY word at all! DS did four puzzles today by himself and I was beyond excited! He is brilliant! And I want him to shoot for the stars and have big dreams. I will push Harvard like nobody’s business but if he want to be a professional break dancer I am okay with that too. I want him to know he will do great and amazing things for the LORD. Because God made Him special. And I am so privileged and honored to be his Mommy. He was the best Mothers day gift I have ever been given. I adore being a mom, and I highly recommend it! Babies are truly the best. I cannot imagine life without them. Being a mom of a special needs child has taught me to appreciate small victories and see good in any circumstance. It isn’t easy but it is very rewarding.

This story was submitted by Samantha. If you would like to contribute, click here.
*Names have been changed to protect privacy
DS=Dear Son

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