Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Having Special Needs Kids is like X-ray Vision

I think a unique opportunity, a gift even, presents itself to those who parent children with any form of special needs, whether it comes from past trauma, is a physical disability, an emotional disability, a learning disability or a combination of several.

At first the gift may not seem like one.
At times it may seem like salt in a wound.
At times it may lift you out of the deep funk you've been in for weeks.

You see, children that need a little (or sometimes a lot) more help to succeed in life have a polarizing affect on the world around them.  Its like X-ray vision shining on everyone they encounter.  The outside of a person means nothing.  Instantly the inside of a person's soul is revealed in the way that they interact with this child.  Teachers, friends, co-workers, church members, and perfect strangers all fall subject to this equalizing standard: "How did they treat my child?"

As a parent, who you thought a person was just falls away when you watch them either react with delight, determination, apathy, or outright contempt as their life is touched by your child's.  Your opinion of that person hinges on the way their soul is revealed by your child.

People that you probably would never have chosen on your own to be friends with suddenly become your ally.  Those you thought had your back are sometimes last seen jumping off what they have labeled your crazy train.  You might find yourself counting therapists among your best friends while joking that you are probably going to hell for adding church members to your mental hit list. (that is a totally valid coping mechanism by the way)

Teachers can validate and encourage parents of special kiddos with their efforts that far surpassed what was expected; or they can frustrate the living #$*@) out of parents with their condescending tones and refusal to educate themselves just a little bit more.  I've been so grateful to some teachers while being so infuriated at others.  That X-ray vision pouring out of my kid just illuminates right to the very core of people.  A rough first impression can fade away when I see how a person relates to my kid.  People have gained my respect (and prayers to heaven for immeasurable favor because thank.you.God. when someone gets it) just for being willing to learn how to better help my child.  In the same fashion, an initial favorable impression can be shot all to heck when I get a note home raking my kid over the coals for something I warned was a trauma trigger. (hit list)  

Life with special needs children is surprisingly enlightening.
In some ways the world is more confusing (hello medical issues!), but it some ways it is just so much more clear.
We parent kids that shine a light right through people.  We get to see more.

This is what I meant when I wrote over there on my sidebar that our kids have taught us more about the world than we will ever teach them.  The lessons continue.
Sometimes painful, sometimes not; but always enlightening.  

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We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson