My day job is homeschooling my 4 kids and since I'm doing that 24/7 I usually like to escape into the world of politics when I write in my blog. But today I'm going to stray a little.
As I was sitting in church today I and others were admiring the cute baby girl (who had downs syndrome) in the pew in front of us. There was something about her that was special and made everyone smile. I started thinking about how so many people might view her and other special needs children. There is an outlook of pity and in some sense that her life isn't as good of quality as "normal" children.
A lady in our church recently had a baby at the age of 48 after already having 7 other children. She was very apprehensive about telling anyone she was pregnant because of the fear of what others would say and how they would judge her. Amazingly even in our church there were people that said hurtful things to her. I admit that even I thought, better her than me. I have no desire to have 8 children and especially to be pregnant at the age of 48 and what about the possiblity of having a baby with downs syndrome? Ofcourse I didn't say any of these things to her. But as I listened to her struggles and the mean things people said I realized something. If we truly say we are pro-life all life should be valuable. Her decisions may be different than ours but we should be saying more power to her and admire her for valuing life. A downs syndrome baby is just as precious as "normal" babies and maybe more so.
How do I know? I don't have a downs syndrome baby but I do have a son with special needs. My 4th and youngest child was 5 months old when I noticed something was wrong. I am prone to anxiety and so I immediately started fearing the worst. At 10 months we got him into a specialist and the developmental pediatrician said he suspected he had mild cerebral palsy. You have no idea how devastated I was and how hard it was to hear those words. First of all I didn't know what it would all mean and my biggest fear was that I had a child that wasn't "normal" and would other kids make fun of him?
We immediately got everyone praying. I started the grieving process of accepting that I had a special needs child. And we got him into therapy. It was amazing to see what God did with my little boy and with me. I started realizing what was most important. It hasn't been an easy road but God has really worked. He didn't walk until he was 2 1/2 and at age 3 he still wasn't really talking much. I had therapists telling me that he might never talk. But they were wrong. Today he is almost 6 yrs. old and walking well and talking in sentences. His diagnosis has changed to developmental delays with Ataxia. Most of the time I forget he is a special needs child. He can do anything his brother and sisters can do. But every once in awhile I will be brought back to earth with some of his limitations.
You love all of your children the same but my little boy is very special. He has a charm about him that makes everyone love him and he literally has a sparkle in his eyes. He is my most affectionate child and tells me he loves me more than any of my other kids. He is a HUGE blessing to me and I can't imagine life without him. My husband and I are not to be pitied for having a special needs child and his quality of life is not less than any "normal" child (whatever that means). All life and children are a blessing and are valuable.