Monday, May 30, 2011

A Thankful Heart

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I love my embroidery machine. I love all of the great things I can create. I love that it is a source for a little extra money. But it is not all about the money.
I just finished embroidering 59 monogrammed beach towels for the staff at Reece's daycare, for their teacher appreaciation week. It turned out to be a big project, but I was happy to do it. In fact it seems like such an insignificant way to show how much I appreciate everyone on the staff. Jonathan was at this daycare from the day he was 3 months old until he want to kindergarten. Reece has been there for 4 years. And Matthew spent one year at this daycare. In fact there was about 1 year when all three boys were there. A little painful on the checkbook, but totally worth it. Not to mention, how much easier it is when they were all in the same place- now we have 3 kids in 3 different places- from one end of the county to the other.

Unfortunately, tomorrow is Reece's last day. It kinda breaks my heart. He will be going to another good preschool, which is where Jonathan is after school, and we will have 3 kids in just 2 places. Before I started monogramming their beach towels, I realized that almost every single person on the staff, has had some interaction with the boys. A few of them are like family.

Reece has been with Ms. Betty for the last 9 months. Friday he was crying as he left because he wanted to stay with Ms. Betty instead of going home. In fact, sometimes he calls me Ms. Betty.
I can't say enough for how accomodating the daycare was for Matthew. His physical and speach therapists would meet him there. When he got his button for tube feeding, they fed him with no complaints. Actually it was so much easier to tube feed him than bottle feed him. He refused to accept the bottle and the only time he would eat is when he was asleep. Ms. Melissa and myself were about the only 2 people that were able to feed him. He was given so much love from Ms. Melissa, Ms. Traci, and Ms Rosemary. It broke my heart when we moved him to another daycare that was able to meet his needs. I knew that developmentally he was going to a good place, but wondered if anyone could love him like they did.

I am not able to stay home to raise my boys, but it is so comforting to know that they have been in a great place. Thank you to all of you for making a difference in the life of a child! You are amazing.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I became connected with another mom, who shares a similar situation as I do- 3 little boys, and 1 with special needs. Her son is older than Matthew, and it has been comforting to hear about things I may expect in the future. One day I hope to meet her. She shared this essay with me a long time ago and it has blessed me. I am posting it here, but it comes from

Some Mothers get Babies with Something More
by Lori Borgman
Monday, May 12, 2002

My friend is expecting her first child. People keep asking what she wants. She smiles demurely, shakes her head and gives the answer mothers have given throughout the ages of time. She says it doesn't matter whether it's a boy or a girl. She just wants it to have ten fingers and ten toes. Of course, that's what she says. That's what mothers have always said. Mothers lie.

Truth be told, every mother wants a whole lot more. Every mother wants a perfectly healthy baby with a round head, rosebud lips, button nose, beautiful eyes and satin skin.

Every mother wants a baby so gorgeous that people will pity the Gerber baby for being flat-out ugly.

Every mother wants a baby that will roll over, sit up and take those first steps right on schedule (according to the baby development chart on page 57, column two).

Every mother wants a baby that can see, hear, run, jump and fire neurons by the billions. She wants a kid that can smack the ball out of the park and do toe points that are the envy of the entire ballet class.

Call it greed if you want, but we mothers want what we want. Some mothers get babies with something more.

Some mothers get babies with conditions they can't pronounce, a spine that didn't fuse, a missing chromosome or a palette that didn't close.

Most of those mothers can remember the time, the place, the shoes they were wearing and the color of the walls in the small, suffocating room where the doctor uttered the words that took their breath away. It felt like recess in the fourth grade when you didn't see the kick ball coming and it knocked the wind clean out of you.

Some mothers leave the hospital with a healthy bundle, then, months, even years later, take him in for a routine visit, or schedule her for a well check, and crash head first into a brick wall as they bear the brunt of devastating news. It can't be possible! That doesn't run in our family. Can this really be happening in our lifetime? I am a woman who watches the Olympics for the sheer thrill of seeing finely sculpted bodies. It's not a lust thing; it's a wondrous thing. The athletes appear as specimens without flaw - rippling muscles with nary an ounce of flab or fat, virtual powerhouses of strength with lungs and limbs working in perfect harmony. Then the athlete walks over to a tote bag, rustles through the contents and pulls out an inhaler.

As I've told my own kids, be it on the way to physical therapy after a third knee surgery, or on a trip home from an echo cardiogram, there's no such thing as a perfect body.

Everybody will bear something at some time or another. Maybe the affliction will be apparent to curious eyes, or maybe it will be unseen, quietly treated with trips to the doctor, medication or surgery. The health problems our children have experienced have been minimal and manageable, so I watch with keen interest and great admiration the mothers of children with serious disabilities, and wonder how they do it. Frankly, sometimes you mothers scare me. How you lift that child in and out of a wheelchair 20 times a day.

How you monitor tests, track medications, regulate diet and serve as the gatekeeper to a hundred specialists hammering in your ear.

I wonder how you endure the clich├ęs and the platitudes, well-intentioned souls explaining how God is at work when you've occasionally questioned if God is on strike. I even wonder how you endure schmaltzy pieces like this one -- saluting you, painting you as hero and saint, when you know you're ordinary. You snap, you bark, you bite. You didn't volunteer for this. You didn't jump up and down in the motherhood line yelling, "Choose me, God! Choose me! I've got what it takes." You're a woman who doesn't have time to step back and put things in perspective, so, please, let me do it for you.

From where I sit, you're way ahead of the pack. You've developed the strength of a draft horse while holding onto the delicacy of a daffodil. You have a heart that melts like chocolate in a glove box in July, carefully counter-balanced against the stubbornness of an Ozark mule.

You can be warm and tender one minute, and when circumstances require intense and aggressive the next. You are the mother, advocate and protector of a child with a disability.

You're a neighbor, a friend, a stranger I pass at the mall. You're the woman I sit next to at church, my cousin and my sister-in-law.

You're a woman who wanted ten fingers and ten toes, and got something more. You're a wonder.