Life is different when you have a child with special needs. Seasons of life that come and pass for the 'average' family stay longer than can be enjoyed. Issues that most parents are able to identify and deal with are issues that seem to stay and be dealt with over and over again. Sometimes, years at a time. It gets long. It requires patience and in most cases it can drain patience over and over again. Christian parents with a special needs child find themselves often praying and asking for wisdom, answers and more patience.

We did not plan on having a special needs child. Does anyone ? Our special needs child came to us through adoption. We had filled out the forms and told them that we were not parents that were able to handle a special needs child. Then God brought us Zak. His needs were hidden. Looking back, our eyes were blind to the needs he had. If I was to adopt again today, having had Zak for the past 8 years, I would see right away that something was not right. But 8 years ago I saw nothing but a little boy who needed a family to love him. I think that is exactly what God wanted me to see. It was His plan. Eight years ago I believed that with time and a lot of love Zak would be a 'normal' kid. That all the things that they kept pointing out to me would disappear. I firmly believed that love could cure anything.

I was wrong.

Having a special needs child drains so much of you. The thing that has amazed me the most is how having a special needs child is a 24/7 job. It requires you all the time. The time it takes to invest in the needs of the child can drain you. There is constant pressure. Pressure from wondering if he is up - again - getting into something; to the pressure you get from dropping him off at Sunday school and sitting in your chair constantly watching the door for them to come and get you. What used to be easy - (going to church, doing school, shopping) - is always hard. Eight long years of hard. The hard does not go away like it does for the Mom with the baby in the car seat and the heavy diaper bag thrown over her shoulder. It stays. It lingers. It is always there. The seasons of life don't change. He does not grow and mature like other kids - he just grows. You still have to watch him in the store the same way you watched him in the store when he was two.

The pressure, as of late, has been intense. I am drained and know that some decisions will need to be made. Other options are being explored from having someone come in and offer respite care for him to enrolment in a special needs program. They are hard decisions; but ones that are needing to be made. It is easy to fear the unknown; but faith says that God can lead - even where we have never been. Please pray for us. We need God's direction. We need something more for Zak. We are committed to him - to giving him the care that he needs; but we realize that we are unable to continue to provide that for him by ourselves. We need help. We are praying that God will show us from where that help is to come.

We are so thankful for Zak. We have invested so much into him and so thankful that our Heavenly Father has a lot invested in him too. So, we wait, tired, drained and a bit discouraged knowing that God will lead.

Thanks for stopping by. I am so glad you did.



Loretta Gill said...

Martie- You surely put into words what so many parents must feel. What a blessing this will be to those who read it and need to know they're not alone. The mountain you face with Zak's special needs is understandably daunting. While his success will be a testimony to your love for him, it will also be a testimony of God's love, mercy, faithfulness, and strength... For when an accomplishment is clearly beyond what human strength could ever do, it is then that the LORD'S involvement is indisputable - even to those who have not yet chosen to believe. We have yet to see the total of wonderful things the Lord will do with Zak. I know that you take courage and comfort in trusting that He who began this work will complete it.

Sheryl Shaffer said...

Wish I had an answer for you. I don't...but His grace is sufficient. I'm hugging you in my heart.

Becky K. said...

God knew that you would love Zak enough to swallow any pride and seek the help you need. He is truly blessed to be in your home......

Praying for God's guidance!

Deborah said...

I haven't stopped by in many months, but so glad I did this morning. I have no words of encouragement for you, as I'm in about the same place as you...but it's nice to know I'm not the only one.
I have a child with FASD...funny thing is, he's not the one who exhausts's the one who has no diagnosed or visible special needs, the one who taught himself to read, the one I've parented from 2 days old....yes, special needs can definately be hidden!
I hope you get the help and the break you need...hope to stop by again soon.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you as of right now our experience with respite has been a positive one. The family is a Christian and very respectful of our rules at home. We had the choice to let Tessy attend their church or not.There is never a doubt of how much you love your special needs children. But you do have to take care of yourself and the other children. It took me a bit to realize that. I almost feel more focused when she comes back home. Praying for your family!


Jennifer Fink said...

You reached out, you prayed, friends surrounded you and answers came. May we always be mindful that God is there, somewhere.

For the record, though, some of the things that you describe as previously easy -- going to church, for instance, were never easy for me with kids! :)