When I was pregnant, several times I heard the often repeated phrase, “As long as the baby is healthy, that’s all that matters.” After my 20th week of pregnancy, I was not only being informed by doctors that my son was not considered healthy but that he potentially had a lethal form of dwarfism.
At the time, I didn’t ponder the fact I would be a special needs mom. My prayers were centered on my son beating all odds to be a miracle. One fall day in August, my prayers were answered and though I did not hear my son cry out at birth as I’d prayed, he was alive.
We were cautioned to count my sons time on earth in days rather than months or years. Then we celebrated his first month birthday and second and third month. Eventually my son came home and I remember baking a cake where I hand wrote “Happy 18 Month Birthday.” (A feat for me since I don’t bake.) It was a momentous occasion.
I didn’t wake up one day as a special needs mother. My son’s miraculous life made me one. But somewhere underneath it all, I sense others may not view my son’s life as being one of value because of his disabilities. How can I tell? It’s the questions. Will he ever talk? Will he ever walk? What do the doctors say?
How do I explain my son’s value? Then today I saw a picture on Facebook of another family and it became clear. The answer is in the picture. Here it is:
Do you see it?
This is Brittney Heard’s son, Carter and his father Joshua. Carter was born 25 weeks premature and has chronic lung disease and pulmonary hypertension. He is now 11 months old.
The answer to the question of value is summed up in one word in this picture. It is love. A father’s love for his son and a son’s love for his father. I think I speak for most special needs parents when I say the value of our children, though disabled, is the preciousness of this love and the bonds it creates.
When I was a girl, one of my favorite Bible passages was 1 Corinthians 13:13. And now these three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
And so it is. And so it is.
Are you special needs mom? Can you relate to this blog post? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share below. I read each comment and look forward to reading your response.
Written By Evelyn Mann
Author of A Miracle In My Living Room