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Being a special needs mom is one of God’s greatest gifts. I remember the day I found out my daughter would be born with spina bifida was one of the hardest days of my life. I truly walked out of the doctor’s office a changed person. I didn’t know what to think or feel. I was feeling and thinking all the things. Fast forward 5 years later and I can assure you it’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given. I get the honor and privilege of raising my daughter Ryann into being an amazing example of an adult with special needs.
She has taught me so much about life and the things that matter. I don't even recognize who I was in the office that day getting the news that my unborn baby would be born with spina bifida.
7 ways having a child with special needs changes you:
The level of empathy you have when you have a child with special needs is unfathomable. I don't feel like I had a high level of empathy beforehand, but now I feel my feelings on a deeper level. It’s so much easier to feel empathy towards others and empathize with what they’re going through.
2. Seeing people for the person first
I used to try not to look at people with disabilities because I thought it was rude. Now, I try to see people first.
3. Appreciation for the little things
When you think your child may not hit developmental milestones at all or later, you learn to become super thankful for all the little things. My daughter barely even talked until she was 3 years old. I became thankful for every single word or syllable she said. I dreamed of hearing her talk one day. I used to hear parents complaining about their children not being quiet and used to dream about having that problem.
4. Realize how miraculous and precious life is
Today is the best day in the history of time for a baby to be born with special needs. There is so much more medical advancement. The gift of life is a true miracle. Knowing how much time and energy God spent in creating each person is miraculous. Everyone had to be individually created by God. There aren't any molds or assembly lines. Every one is custom. Everyone is unique. It puts it into perspective when you see your child in the NICU. How easy something can go downhill. It makes you appreciate the good times and realize how complex the human body is and how miraculous its existence is.
5. Special needs community is amazing
The special needs community is so amazing. They know what you’re going through better than anyone else. They can empathize on a whole new level. They can also be a community of Mama bears too! They can be a great shoulder to cry on, vent to, etc. They truly are a gift!
6. Everyone is perfect and doesn’t need to change to be perfect or fit a mold.
You realize how unique everyone is and how they were created perfectly by God. Everyone is created on purpose and with a purpose. God doesn’t make mistakes and children with special needs are perfect as they are. They don’t need fixing. They have been created by the greatest Creator of all time. They are truly perfect.
7. Helped me get my life together
My daughter helped me grow up and grow into someone I don't recognize. I learned quickly that there is a lot of negativity about people with special needs and in the special need’s community. Everything is doom and gloom. I didn’t want that for my daughter. I want her to know she is perfect as she is and if someone else can’t see that, then that’s their problem. I want people to know that she is more than just a wheelchair user. She is an example of an amazing human being. But guess what, you have to believe it first.
Being a parent of a child with special needs is a gift. I can't say it enough. I am so glad God picked me to be Ryann's mom. I thank the Lord for her every day. She has taught me so much about life and true unconditional love.
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