Over at Kelly’s Korner today there is link up for moms with special needs children. Although my son’s limitations were not physical and easily detected at first, the challenges we faced over the years were difficult.
It only seems like yesterday we got the call from our son’s kindergarten teacher for a parent conference. My sweet son was so excited to finally go to school like his big brothers. Jordan was our fourth son and such a sweet compliant child. We loved his teacher and knew she would be just perfect for him.
Mrs. M asked us a few questions about our son and preceded show us his work and her sincere concerns. The very next day we brought Jordan to the school board to be tested. I’ll never forget how shocked we were to hear the results of Jordan’s test scores and his dx of MMR.
Time stood still that day as tears filled my eyes. In only one day all our hopes and dreams for his future were suddenly changed. We were shocked and confused and had so many questions.
My son was placed in Special Ed and remained there throughout his time in school. Although learning came slowly for Jordan, loving and caring for others seemed natural for him.
At the age of 16 we were faced once again with some more devastating news. A brain tumor was found. Another major blow, but this time his very life was in the balance. We entered yet another world…childhood cancer.
(Jordan right before brain surgery)
Jordan was treated at St. Jude Children’s hospital in Memphis.
I’m here to tell you firsthand God was with us every step of the way. Two journeys we never dreamed of taking, yet both taught us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts. We watched God do miracle after miracle.
Today Jordan is 25, in remission, and is the joy of our lives. We would not trade one day of all we endured, and feel that it was and still is a privilege to be able to raise and care for a special needs child. His innocence, his love for people, and his huge tender heart has been his greatest strengths.
The poem “Welcome to Holland” perfectly describes what it is like to raise a special needs child. If you have not read this, please take a minute and do so.
I pray it encourages you in your journey. No matter what you are facing, with the Lord’s grace, loving friends, and family support you will make it. The rewards are unending.
Thank you so much for stopping by today.
Welcome To Holland
Emily Perl Kingsley
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.