A special needs diagnosis is the beginning of an unexpected journey. Guest blogger Michelle Selent recently heard an analogy that resonated with the journey her family is on. Here are her reflections on what she heard.
Special Needs Parenting: Not the Expected Destination
I heard something recently that was so good I just had to share it with you. I was listening to a sermon and an analogy was shared from a special needs parent. I can’t take credit for this but I certainly can relate to it. Let me try my best to relay the story.
Imagine yourself planning for a trip. A trip to Italy. You prepare with much excitement. You get every detail set to the best of your ability. Then your travel day arrives and you board your plane eagerly anticipating your arrival in Italy. As your plane lands and you get off the plane you realize you have actually landed in Holland. You explain to the flight attendant that this is not the destination you set out for. You realize then that there is no going back. It was a one way trip and Holland is where you are. At first it is disappointing. You had certain plans in your mind that you realize now are never going to happen. You can wallow in that unexpected disappointment or you can open your eyes and see the beauty that Holland has to offer.
I think that is how it is with special needs parenting sometimes. Before we adopted our daughters with fetal alcohol syndrome all I had was Italy on the brain. Our new family members were going to be just like our biological children just a different color ;). Well when we landed we realized we were not in Italy at all. Then it hits you that you won’t even get to Italy. I really had to mourn my expectations. I had to mourn what I thought would be. But you know what Holland really is beautiful. My daughters are so very very precious. They don’t learn or progress the same and they require so much support but you know what they have grown and come so far. They went from failure to thrive to thriving. They smile and are happy. They laugh big beautiful gut laughs. They love to play dress up. They can feel and give love. Yes that has come with years of therapy and specialist and medications and lots and lots of prayer but you know what I see the beauty in Holland. Holland isn’t where I planned to be but you know what it is full of tulips.
Have you ended up somewhere you did not plan on being? Let me encourage you to examine your surroundings. It may be different but I am sure it is full of beauty.
Where Are You Going?
If you have an answer to Michelle’s question, leave a comment in the box below. You might discover other people on the same road with you.
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photo credit: photopin cc