This site addresses and confronts a lot of the darkness in being a special needs dad. But it is not all bleak. I believe there is some grace and peace and wonder and joy miracles not only at the end of everything, but also during the journey.
One theme that resonates with me on what a lot of us are missing in our lives is ‘wonder.’ It is a theme I will address at length at some point, but in relation to the world of special needs children, I think of Matthew 18:3, where Jesus said we need to be like little children to get into heaven. There is a ton in that one sentence, but the thing that gets me is ‘wonder.’ Little children have lots we need – and have forgotten – that we need to emulate: Openness, joy and wonder. We need to have wonder in our lives everyday. Cynicism and despair aren’t welcome. Worry is not welcome. Wide-eyed curiosity is.
One the things that A has taught me is grasping and regrasping that sense of wonder. I see wonder in the eyes of A and other special needs children more than anywhere else. Pure unfiltered joy. Excitement. Not eyeing the horizon, not criticizing the past, but discovering and rediscovering a sense of wonder in every moment. It will not solve all your problems, but learning that lesson from them is a blessing for this journey.
Let me show you what I can do, He told me
We got the looks, could sense the un-asked questions.
“Was your wife drinking when she was pregnant? Did she use drugs?”
“What did you do for God to punish you like this?”
“What terrible sin or crime did you commit.”
The answer of question is none of the above. My wife drinks less in a year than I do on a weekend. We did the prenatal vitamins, took the ultrasounds, were beyond safe with any toxins. Nothing showed up. Anywhere. We just hit the reverse lottery. One in three children on the planet at the time known with this certain chromosome deletion coupled with a few other medical issues.
Why did this happen to A? To us? To his brother? To our life? I don’t know, but beyond all, I have to cling to John 9:1 – 3. On the bleakest and on the brightest days, it gets me through.
1As [Jesus] passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
I pray to hold onto that and to remember that this life and my purpose – real or perceived – is greater than myself.