God doesn't give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people and then gives them strength. Raising a child with special needs doesn't take a special family, it makes a special family.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Is it really Thanksgiving?!?!? This Thanksgiving will be a little different for us as dinner will be at my parents house instead of my grandparents. For longer than I've been alive my grandmother has made Thanksgiving dinner, rejecting any help from any of us! But this past Monday she had a knee replacement and will be getting discharged from the hospital Thursday morning, just in time for our family to gather around the table!
As I look back on this past year, I have so much to be thankful for. We have had many road blocks along the way, but for each road block we have had two triumphs. This time last year, Brenden had just mastered the art of the army crawl. And now, he is using his walker more and more. At the mall, at church, at the park. And each time, he goes further than the time before and each time I still get teary eyed. Tell my child he won't do something, and by the grace of God, he will. This time last year, we were so frustrated that Brenden didn't have many words. And now, well, we just wish he would stop talking sometimes!! This time last year, I still had a 7 pound baby girl kicking and poking inside my belly. And now, I have the happiest little girl who will turn ONE in just three days. (Doesn't seem possible!!)

Brenden has become an amazing big brother to Madelynn. I know it's bound to change in a few years, but for now, I love watching their relationship. Madelynn's face lights up every morning when she comes out of her bedroom and sees Brenden sitting in his chair. He makes sure she has her binky....he watches out for his little sister. He still asks to hold her, but she usually doesn't oblige!
In the past year, Jonathan and I have had the opportunity to meet several other local families with young children with SB or couples expecting a baby with SB. It has been so amazing how we get connected with these families....one family goes to church with Jonathan's dad...one mom is a nursing student who was matched with an RN that we go to church with, and the rest is history. My point is, that no matter how much we wish SB weren't a part of our lives, it's impossible to deny that God needed it to be us. He needed to use Brenden to show these other families that it will be ok. I thank God for each opportunity we have to reach out and help other familes in their time of uncertainty.
Our wonderful physical therapist, Nicole, always jokes that Brenden is the future mayor of Martinsburg. We can't go anywhere without people coming up saying, "Hi Brenden!" And there Jonathan and I are on the sideline wondering how in the world this stranger knows our son! He has touched SO many people....he has inspired not only families living with SB, but families with children living with other disabilities. We've had other families tell us they keep the newspaper articles on Brenden posted on the fridge just as inspiration and hope. I'm thankful that our story has touched others.
I'm thankful for a great team of doctors. While I spend more time going to appointments than should be legal, I am so grateful we have such a wonderful team who have Brenden's best interest at heart. We aren't just another number or another patient. We are another family...they all know us by name and always take the time to listen to my concerns (even if I am just being a neurotic mom sometimes!). And of course I have to mention his early intervention team....I.Love.Them. I will shed tears on March 2nd when we will no longer see them every week. They have become friends and like part of our family. They are my sanity savers when I've been in the house with 3 kids all day!! They remind me to celebrate the small things that Brenden accomplishes. We have the perfect team of therapists and I truly don't know how I would have survived the last almost 3 years without them. I could never put into words how much I appreciate all they have done for Brenden...and for me.
So thankful for these two beautiful gifts!!


"The Popham's" said...

Wow...You truly touched me with your words!!! God is so good! I love you guys and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Uncle Larry/Aunt Barb said...

God is truly always with us..throught it all !!!!! Thank you Lord !!!!!!