Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Addie's Village

"It takes a village to raise a child"...it's an age old saying...but so true.  Having a child with autism or any special needs can be lonley...and asking for help may be humbling or heartbreaking or embarrassing.  Even though I'm just starting this journey I have learned right away... that it takes a village.  It takes a support network of family and friends to make it through.  Be assured that behind this clueless scrambling mother and child...there is a BIG village.  There are people supporting, loving and praying for us every day.  We could never made it through this journey alone.

Many moments feel overwhelming for any mother....wether you have typical or special needs children...there many moments that you feel alone and isolated in this journey of parenthood.  From the moment you feel the first kick...they breath their first breath...or you hear that first heartbeat on the doppler....you feel the weight of overwhelming responsibility and unconditional LOVE.  This life that isn't even born yet...and you are already a mommy.  It's an incredible feeling.

We all have dreams and visions of what motherhood is "supposed" to be like.  And what our lives are "supposed" to be like.  I thought I knew what I wanted my life to be...and I mistakingly thought I had some sort of control of that...I thought it would never happen to me.  My children wouldn't have any sort of special needs.  Well....it can happen...and it did...and our lives are forever changed.  But I'm learning that what I thought I wanted... wasn't actually that great after all.

I'm just begining this journey..walking away from what I thought my life was going to be like.  I still have many moments when it's lonley...scrambling from therapist to therapist....seeking all the things that will help your child reach their full potential.  Searching for the right doctors, books, information...filling out evaluations, answering questions, meetings...and more meetings...appointments...and more appointments.  It feels like it's never going to end.  As the mommy..many times you are the main advocator for you child and it can be overwhelming and lonely because you are the only one that can answer those questions and sign those papers and deal with the day to day constant therapy.

Though there are mountains and valleys...and there are those moments where I stand alone and walk those "red lines" with Addie...I am not alone in this.  God has given Addie a village!  These people in Addie's life love her, support her, and accept her just the way she is...not for what they think she should or could be...but just for her. I am forever grateful for all the prayers and love that they have poured over our family.

Having a child with autism has made me ask for help more times than I ever thought I would.  It has humbled me and amazed me.  There are so many wonderfully strong people in Addie's village.  They have listened, cried, prayed, and jumped for joy with us.  They have seen us go through all the ups and downs...listened to all our crazy questions...and supported our nutty ideas.  They have bought us books, shared their stories, and been patient with our learning.  Some even knew before we were ready to accept that Addie was different.  They waited for us and prayed for us to open our eyes.  I could not have made it through and Addie could not be as successful as she is without our BIG village.

Every person she touches...every person in her village...has their own butterfly journey with her.  Some might have even had to walk "a red line" or two with her.  It's not easy to be in her village...it is a true test of faith and understanding...but it is so rewarding.  We all think we are here to support and teach her...but instead we walk away inspired and amazed by her.  Our lives are fuller and richer for being a part of hers.   She has opened our eyes to a whole new world.  She has opened our hearts and educated us on what autism really is.

Thank you God for the people in our lives that support us...many of you reading this are in Addie's Village...we can never thank you enough.  We love you and Addie loves you.


mother of the spawn said...

Thanks for being so welcoming to me in your village. A is lucky to have parents like you and J!

collectables22 said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with me. You should be so proud of yourselves and Addison.