Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Grieving for a Special Needs Child

There are times in our lives when we ask ourselves "how did I get here?" or wonder "I never thought I would be in this situation."

If you have a child that others describe as having "special needs" you know exactly what I am referring to. I can almost guarantee that like myself, you never imagined yourself the parent of a "special needs" child. I know I certainly never did, not in a million years. Having a child with uniquely beautiful blessings was one of those things I always thought happened to other people.

But here I am, immensely blessed with my amazing little Jillian.

Realizing, accepting, and embracing your special child is a process though. Most of us don't come by it naturally and must go through an emotional roller coaster much like the process of grieving. I must admit that I suspect I am early in my grieving process. During the day I happily embrace Jillian for all that she offers our family. But at night when I am alone, sometimes I cry. I cry because it is overwhelming, I cry for my worries, I cry for a whole host of other reasons. I need that release, that emotional opening of the pent up worries from the day. I know there will be more crying, more worrying, and more questions as we walk down this road with our beautiful Jillian. After all, we don't even have a diagnosis yet.

January 29th is the day. I know I will be a mess. . .I'll keep it together during the marathon appointment but eventually I will have to cave and cry and cry and cry some more. Then I will be ready to continue advocating for Jillian like I have from the very beginning.

Jillian is a huge blessing and an overwhelming joy to our family. We wouldn't be complete without her. But until you are the parent of a beautifully blessed child you won't fully grasp what that means. Just like you don't know unconditional love until you are a parent. Likewise, you don't know how joyful a child with unique needs is until they are your own flesh and blood. From the outside these children may look like a stress and a burden. But please, I implore you, do not ever think that when you see a unique needs child. They are a joy! A pure, innocent, beautiful blessing to their family and everyone that comes to love them.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy Halloween

Ever wonder how hard it is to get 6 kids to all smile and look at the camera for a simple photo? 15 attempts at a picture before trick-or-treating and this is the best one. It is all about the memories right? :)

We were blessed to be able to spend Halloween in San Diego this year. It has been over 2 years since were "home". It was a fast 10 days but we had so much fun and had amazing weather.

Our 6 beautiful blessings: L-R Irelynn as Ariel, Jillian the Ladybug,
Alex the pirate, Britian the ladybug, Tyler the pirate and Liam the Iowa Hawkeye football player. 
I didn't get a good one of the girls by themselves but here is my little hambone grinning for the camera.

This was the first year that the twins got to go out trick-or-treating. While they didn't go door to door they did ride along while we took the older 3 out. It was a ton of fun and they enjoyed watching all of the activity.