Guest blogger Ellen Stumbo is parenting a child with special needs. In her post, she tells how she & her husband joined the special needs parenting ranks.

Today, I’m tickled to introduce Ellen Stumbo, a new guest blogger at Ellen and I met at a writers’ conference a few years back and quickly became good friends since we are both parenting a child with special needs. She agreed to share part of her family’s story in Different Dream Parenting, which will be released in October of this year, and we’ve tossed around some book ideas to tackle together. In the last couple of years she and her husband adopted their third daughter and moved to a different state. But finally, things are slowing down for Ellen, and she has time to guest blog now and then.

So get ready to meet Ellen. You’re gonna love her!

  Parenting a Child with Special Needs: How We Got Here

As my second daughter made her entrance into the world, she was lifted up to be placed on my chest.  While the rush and noise of labor and delivery continued all around me, my world was reduced to nothingness except for the naked backside of my baby. I was familiar enough with Down syndrome to know, just from that glance, that my baby girl had an extra chromosome. Once she was placed in my arms and I was able to see her face, there was no doubt that I had become the mother of a child with special needs.

Becoming the Mother of a Child with Special Needs

Dealing with Nichole’s diagnosis was extremely difficult. I cried several times a day and questioned what our new life would be like. I worried about my oldest daughter having a sister with a disability, and I was convinced that our life would be defined by limitations. I was so scared back then.

Now I Experience Miracles

Almost 4 years later and I am amazed at how God chose to use a little baby girl with Down syndrome to change my heart. Nichole’s life has transformed me. Her extra chromosome has been one of the most significant blessings I have been given. The value of her life took us to a small orphanage in Ukraine where we got our third daughter.  A little girl with Cerebral Palsy.

Some Days Are Hard

Some days are hard, yet some days I get to experience miracles that many take for granted. Moreover, while this is a road I would not have willingly chosen at the beginning, now that I walk this road, I would not want it any other way. We are living and loving life with special needs.

How About You?

Now you know how Ellen and her family became part of the special needs community. But how did your family get here? Leave a comment to share your story, if you like. To learn more about Ellen, check out her bio on the guest blogger page…just keep scrolling down until you see her smiling face!

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