I know that I’ve mentioned our second daughter was born with a cleft palate and spent some time in the NICU. While she is now free of most artificial attachments (she still has tubes in her ears), every day is a new day with her – she will be 18 months old this month and is still not speaking. Babbling, yes, but not talking. I also still have to feed her because if we let her feed herself, she will eat entirely too much and gag/choke. I also have to balance the fine line between too much food and not enough food. She is a bottomless pit, something I attribute to her being primarily tube fed for the first six months of her life. And this is beyond the normal baby care. Alot of mothers do more, and a lot do less. But for me, it’s my new normal. I check her mouth whenever she is teething to make sure there’s not one popping through the roof of her mouth.
All that being said, I still belong to an email group for parents of children with PRS (Pierre Robin Sequence/syndrome). Today, one of the moms sent a precious email. I will warn you – it made me cry. And I am not a crier. This one really hit home with me and I needed to read it. I LOVE how things like this that you need to read pop up right when you need them to!
So this is for mothers of handicapped/special needs kids – Know that you are amazing.
Some women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressure and a couple by habit.This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation.As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger. “Armstrong, Beth, son… Patron Saint, Matthew” “Forrest, Marjorie, daughter… Patron Saint, Cecillia” “Rudledge, Karen, Twins… Patron Saint… give her Gerard, he is used to profanity.”
Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a handicapped child.” The angel is curious, “Why this one, God? She is so happy.” “Exactly,” smiled God. “Could I give a handicapped child to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.” “But has she got patience?” asked the angel. “I don’t want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she’ll handle it. I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother.
You see, the child I am going to give her has his own world. She has to make the child live in her world and that is not going to be easy.” “But Lord, I don’t think she even believes in You.” God smiled, “No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.” The angel gasped, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?” God nods. “If she can’t seperate herself from the child ocassionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a “spoken word.” She will never consider a “step” ordinary. When her child says “Momma,” for the first time, she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or sunset to a blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creation. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see… ignorance, cruelty, prejudice… and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing My work as surely as if she were here by My side.” “And what about her Patron Saint?” asked the angel, his pen poised in mid air. God smiles, “A mirror will suffice.”