Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Dreams

I have been thinking lately about parenting special needs children. I do not understand what it is like to give birth to an expected healthy child only to have your dreams shattered. We adopted our children, fully knowing the extent of the disabilities. I do; however, know what it is like to feel sorry for myself.
There are days that I wish my children were like everyone else's. There are days I dream of a place where Matthew walks and talks and eats consistently, where Autumn runs down the sidewalk chasing butterflies. Then reality steps in, slaps me in the face, and I wake up.
I do not regret the decision we made. Brandon and I were put on this earth to care for special needs children. We know this now. But lately, my heart hurts.
One of my dearest friends, more like a sister, received uncomfortable news yesterday. Her son's EEG, which we all assumed would be normal, came back abnormal. It showed a decrease in brain activity. This is something I have not dealt with and am at a loss with how to help. M has Aspergers. He is very high functioning. So this bit of news shattered my dear friends nerves. I try very hard to be a support and encouragement, but most of the time I feel as if I am really speaking to myself.

Being a mother of two special needs children, whose disabilities are very different, is not easy. Every doctor's appointment takes the wind out of my sails. I leave the office more confused than I was when I walked in. I have come to know this is how it will always be.

Sometimes, you just have to Dream New Dreams.

When bad news from the doctor enters our reality I allow myself a few minutes to grieve. I grieve for their mobility, their function, their health, and even just what I anticipated to be a moment of normalcy. I cry. I scream. I mourn.

Then, I move forward. I dream new dreams. I focus on what they can do. I pray harder, not for a miracle cure, but for me to be an adequate mother, adequate advocate, constant support. I do not allow many moments of sorrow. What is done cannot be undone. We accept and we give thanks.

I want my community to view my children not as children with disabilities but as children with possibilities.

And therefore, I continue to dream new dreams.

Matthew and Autumn Grace are the lights of our lives. I love them not just for who they are but for what they have shown me.

So please, when you find yourself in a moment of weakness, and you feel as if no one understands you~~remember sometimes you just have to Dream New Dreams!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I live by routine.

I wake up and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee (actually a little coffee with my cream and sugar).
I call my dearest friend that is 214 miles away and we share our coffee together along with our expectations for the day.

I crave routine.

Well, that was before I became a mother.

Motherhood is all about expecting the unexpected. It takes guts! You have to be able to look fear in the face and stand your ground.

Even if that fear is an explosive diaper!

Our sweet Autumn has been home for just over three weeks now! Has time really gone by that fast?? She is thriving! She has adjusted well, and now runs this roost. Autumn is the opposite of Matthew. Matthew is my surfer dude. He takes things in stride and goes so easily with the flow. Autumn on the other hand is my Diva (with a capital D). She is vocal and verbalizes what she wants at all times. Her favorite person is the pretty little girl with the big bow that she sees only when she looks into the mirror. She prefers to be the center of attention. She has the sweetest laugh, and has decided she is too big for baby food. Apparently we are going to bypass the baby food stage all together and leap in with both feet into "big people" food.

Matthew's adoption has been finalized for right at two months now. He has been home for eight months. Each and every day has been a discovery for Matthew. He is so good natured. He loves people! He loves to be snuggled. He has the best giggle when you tickle his back. His smile is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Just this morning as he sat in his rocker with his glow worm, he focused on his toy and touched it. I realize this is not late breaking evening news to most of you, but for us I would post in on a billboard if I could. He is constantly growing and learning.

I have been thinking a lot about being a mom. I had visions of what I thought it would be like. I played out the movies in my mind of the perfect little family

  • we would hang our laundry out to dry on a line while the children played in the yard
  • we would lave leisurely afternoons with happy children
  • we would send out the most beautiful Christmas cards with a perfect picture of us smiling

Then I became a mom. Although every moment is a blessing, things are not neatly packed into this beautiful scenario I envisioned.

  • There are more dirty diapers than I know what to do with.
  • I have successfully learned how to change a diaper while in public quickly and effeciently without having anyone notice.
  • My dryer and my dishwasher and I have a healthy relationship.
  • I can hold a 22 lb child in one hand and rock a 10 lb baby in the other.
  • I have found my voice when it comes to doctor appointments, medication, treatments, etc.
  • The perfect picture taken at my house consists of drool or snot coming from one of the kids.

And I wouldn't change a thing.

I still enjoy my morning coffee with my dearest friend. We still disscuss our day. I still love routine.

More importantly, I love my life. I love my children for making me a mother. I love the craziness of the day to day.

More posts to come~~as soon as~~~well somewhere in the midst of my chaos!