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, March 2, 2011

Three years ago my life changed forever. Though I never imagined the journey God had planned for me, I can't imagine things any differently. When we welcomed Brenden into our family, God knew what he was doing. He knew that just as much as Brenden needed me, I needed him. I needed to be taught unconditional love. I needed to learn how to be patient. I needed to realize just how fragile life can be and to make each moment count. God knew that our family could handle this curve ball called Spina Bifida. He knew that Brenden would be loved and cared for by grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles, cousins. He knew that Brenden would be safe and would be given every chance to succeed in life, that we would have high expectations of him, despite all the odds.
And oh how grateful I am that He trusted me....of all people, me, to take care of such a special child. Had you asked me 3 years ago I would have given every excuse in the book as to why this shouldn't have 'happened' to me. But I wish I could rewind, for just a moment, to the days following Brenden's birth. I wish I could take away those feelings of anger, resentment, fear, and doubt. I wish I could change the longing I had for it all to have been a dream....that I would wake up and Brenden still be inside me, instead of in the NICU. If I could turn back the hands of time I would change the moments I spent crying and instead just enjoy my baby boy.
Brenden had an appointment at UVA today and as I walked through the doors into the hospital I was flooded with emotions. I so vividly remember the first time I walked through those same doors, and to be entering again, exactly 3 years later was bittersweet. Remembering that first time, how scared I was, but this time, I was laughing because Brenden was asking for a grilled cheese....you can see the cafeteria as soon as you walk through the doors, and he ALWAYS wants a grilled cheese when we're there for appointments. Today, I had to explain to him that it was only 9am and the "grilled cheese" part wasn't open yet. He seemed so grown up today...for the first time he didn't cry when they took his blood pressure (he has always HATED that!) and he didn't even flinch when they stuck his arm to draw his blood....that was a first. Wow...what a difference three short, yet seemingly long, years can make.
I'm so proud of this little boy that made me a mom. He gives me strength, he makes me smile, and reminds me daily not to take those small things for granted. He has brought so much joy to our family but so many other people, too. He has given me the ability to make the most of each day, regardless what life throws our way. The quote at the top of the blog sums up how I feel. I never would have thought I would have the inner strength to do some of the things I do, but God knew that I could handle it....he knew 'we' could handle it.
To the most amazing three year old I know, thank you. Someday when you read this, know that you are just what I needed. You make each day an adventure. You continue to teach me what it means to never give up. You test my patience to the limits, but God just keeps giving me more. You mean the world to me.


Joanna said...

So so sweet. Your words echo the thoughts in my heart. Happy Birthday Brenden!

Colleen said...

Oh man, I'm bawling. Beautiful.

Uncle Larry/Aunt Barb said...

Happy Birthday Brenden
From the first time we saw you...you brought a smile to our face... Three years later and you still make us smile, Brenden you light up a room.. we are so proud of you. Keep making the world smile. We love you all !!!!!!!