This post was written by Mike, an adoptive dad who bursts with pride for his children every day.
Like many of you, we watched Kodi Lee’s performance on America’s Got Talent last week through tears and celebration. But his performance meant something beyond deep and meaningful for every child with a special need, and their parents.
You can do anything!
You are not discredited or disqualified because you have a disability, or a special need!
You are equal to all human beings!
Parenting children with special needs brings about many challenges. In fact, there are days when it’s nearly paralyzing. But that is exponentially greater when you overhear others criticizing your child for something that is out of their control.
I’m sitting in the bathroom stall sobbing. I’m pleading with myself to just get it together.
It all started an hour earlier at Meet The Teacher night. In the upper middle class suburban school district this is a crucial time. It’s critical to dress nicely, smile and for the love of all that’s holy, put on a little make-up! It’s all about first impressions and signing up for the PTA. You must remember all of your children’s supplies, labeled with their first name and last initial. Don’t forget the last initial! As luck would have it, 1/3 of the parents in the first grade were inspired to name their sons Jake.
*Editors Note- This is a guest post by our good friend, and fellow blogger, Ellen Stumbo. She is a writer, speaker, and blogger who writes about finding beauty in brokenness with gritty honesty and openness. She tackles issues about faith, parenting, special needs, adoption, and confessions related to these topics. You can check out her blog here
, and follow her on Facebook here
As parents of children with special needs we often carry the weight of a world that doesn’t understand our children, or unfairly labels them. Sometimes the only way we can make it on this journey, is hearing some reassurance from others in the trench.
Dear special needs parent,
Some people will never get what it is like to walk in our shoes. No matter how many times we try to explain our situation, our child, the challenges our family has to face – no matter how many details we share – the reality is that most people won’t get it. And some people might think we are exaggerating, or that we are not doing enough, and we might feel judged by their words or forgotten by their actions. So I want to say something very important to you, to me, to all of us that have been misunderstood: I know the pain and the hurt because I have felt it too, but, it’s time to forgive and let go.
Parenting children with special needs is a mixture of joy and exhaustion. We are in this trench. In today’s episode we, along with our co-host Nicole Goerges, interview popular blogger and speaker Ellen Stumbo on how to fight this sometimes lonely and exhausting battle.
We consider parenting children with special needs an amazing gift. Over the years we’ve had so many moments of sheer joy and excitement. Not a day goes by where we don’t give thanks for our amazing, creative, and precious children. But, there have also been many moments of exhaustion, weariness and defeat. Let’s face it, parenting children with special needs is hard! How can you fight this sometimes lonely battle? In today’s podcast, we answer this question, and discuss some practical steps every person currently in this trench, can take to find renewal and strength.