A handful of the books I’ve been reading lately. (Jim and I were laughing yesterday about the fact that pretty soon this child will have an entire shelf for books devoted to his special needs! Hey—you can laugh, or you can cry…) Not necessarily the most entertaining titles, for sure, but I’ve learned lots. Quite frankly, some days I’d love not needing to know this stuff! But if we’re going to succeed with this child, then we’ll have to do our homework. I love each of his therapists, but with as many varied issues as we have, I’d love to find just 1 person who could help us untangle this web.
When we chose to adopt, we knew that special needs were part of the package. When we chose to adopt a child with a known medical need, we knew that surgery and speech therapy were in our future for sure, and that other therapy needs were possible. We didn’t anticipate a child with a known special need that was virtually a non-issue, but with a whole host of unknown special needs instead. On occasion it gets me down. Not so much for us as for him—he’s a delightful little boy trying his best to work through an intractable list of nearly overwhelming special needs (that are mostly solution-less, or so it seems). We can’t ‘fix’ his needs; instead we are doing our best to teach him adequate compensatory skills. Today, watching him struggle with the basics of communication (syntax and grammar as well as hearing and articulation) and coordination (things like not falling off the chair, and gross and fine motor skills), I feel like a failure. No matter how much I learn, it doesn’t seem to answer the big question: how to help. How to find the key to unlock this puzzle.
It is a learning process. I have no choice but to trust that God doesn’t make mistakes. He chose this child for our family, and apparently we have what it takes to be his parents. I’m not so sure. For now, we are gaining great insight into II Corinthians 4:7-9:
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Treasure? You bet! Jar of clay? For sure. Hard-pressed? Yes. Crushed? Nope. Perplexed? Absolutely!! Despairing? No way. Persecuted? Well…not really. Not much, anyway. Or not yet. We see potential for him because of his needs. Abandoned? Never. Struck down? Feeling that way. Destroyed? No.
Hanging on to hope…God’s hope. Mine’s pretty trashed at the moment.