Accepting This Was Not Plan B: On Raising and Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

Accepting This Was Not Plan B- On Raising and Homeschooling a Child with Special NeedsWelcome to Day 29 of the 31 Days of Random Reflections on Raising and Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs. You can find the main page for this series here.

When our son was born and testing was required for a diagnosis, for a split second I thought, “That’s OK. We’ll do that over again and he’ll be all right.”

Maybe it was because this was so foreign to me. Maybe it was because I was able to fix all other things in my life. I could surely redo a pregnancy and have this baby be OK.

I don’t know where in my rational mind that thought came from, but only a tiny second later I understood it was impossible to rebirth this child and have him start over again without a diagnosis.

For a long time afterward, questions whirled around my head:

What happened?

What went wrong?

Is it something I did?

What does this all mean?

What will the future look like?

Why is everything suddenly so different?

If God is so good and so mighty, why did He make this mistake? He surely didn’t want to hurt this child (and us) in this way. Why did He screw up?

Was He not around when our baby was being formed?

Did He not care or love him?

What about all other children with disabilities? Does He not love them either? Did He punish them? Punish their parents?

One day, I stumbled upon these words:

“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

I thought about my baby having been knit by God. I envisioned Him sitting there fussing over yarn, probably unraveling when it wasn’t to His liking, knitting again, unraveling, then, producing the final product.

No one ever hands a gift to someone they don’t feel is finished — they don’t feel is perfect.

God would not have handed us this child if He didn’t feel he was finished and perfect.

My baby was not a mistake.

God didn’t mess up.

This was His “Plan A” all along.

Once I understood this, I began my quest to accept that our lives and our son’s life was all in the original plan. This is as much our son’s story as it is ours. This diagnosis isn’t something that happened to him, it’s who he is. Period.

Even though our days are sometimes difficult, I am learning to find peace with that which I cannot change.

There is comfort in knowing that God was not only there for our baby, He intended for him to live the exact life he is leading in the exact physical form he wears.

Our son’s delays? Not Plan B.

Our son’s sensory issues? Not Plan B.

Our son’s behavioral issues? Not Plan B.

His frustrations? His suffering? His feeding issues? Not Plan B.

His illnesses? His need for medication? His inability to speak? Not Plan B.

His excessive drooling? His sleep issues? His constant need for oral input? Not Plan B.

The need for ASL to communicate? Not Plan B.

The choice to homeschool? Not Plan B.

The need for mom to work from home? Not Plan B.

The constant need for supervision? Not Plan B.

His never-ending files in medical and rehabilitation centers? Not Plan B.

Not one bit of it was not planned.

As I search for peace, inner-calm, and courage as a parent, I am reminded that all of this — including my inner-quest to remove the sad “victim” thoughts — all of it was in God’s original Plan A.

And, in that, I find great comfort.

 

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