February 14, 2013

Strengthened by Our Challenges.
I began to think about how it's relevant to so much more than
romance and how the same statement well applies to our
relationships with our special needs children.

You know, the ones we never expected to be in.  The ones that have
challenged every view we had.   Yeah, those.

Great Expectations

Even as a positive pregnancy test is only moments old, a life begins
to take shape.   Images of our child flash before our eyes.  Maybe
we're walking with them on the beach, or pointing to the elephants
at the zoo.  Maybe they're bounding down the stairs on Christmas
morning or sitting at the kitchen table elbow deep in a science fair
volcano.  

No matter what we envisioned, the life we live with a special needs
child can feel a million miles away.  The things we imagined simply
aren't possible.  Maybe their sensory issues prevent them from
touching sand and no matter how many times you say "Look!  Look
at the elephants!  Over there!" your words are unacknowledged.

And Christmas?  Anticipation of a gift is still a goal you're working
to meet while your kitchen table is more likely covered with
insurance papers than anything else.

Talk about an unexpected relationship.  We could never have
imagined how different things would be from the dreams that
played through our minds on the day we learned we were expecting.  

We simply couldn't have known our child would challenge every
view we had or how he or she would turn our McDonald's eating,
Bath and Body Works wearing, Teflon pan cooking, toxic world
upside down.

Challenge Accepted

It didn't happen all at once, but our love for our child has changed
our lives.   When we learn they are in need of healing and the
medical community doesn't have a roadmap, we rise to the
challenge and take matters into our own hands.

In the search for answers, we uncover truths we never would have
believed.  Things we blindly trusted, put our faith in, suddenly under
fire from every direction.  

From antibiotics to vaccines, we question it all.  Really question.  
And empower ourselves with knowledge.  We learn that our
children can't handle the toxic world in which we live.  

We start to change our lives.  Little things at first.   

We buy more organic foods.  We change laundry detergent and
shampoo.  We stop spraying chemicals on our lawn.

The more well versed we become, the more we find the choices are
clear.  We are changing for the better.   Changing because of love.  

Maybe next we change our child's diet.  Add supplements.  We see
results.  We begin to realize that the people who we used to trust,
the ones who told us diets don't affect behavior and biomedical
interventions are a waste of time, the "experts" in the field, may not
be experts after all.  

The real experts might be our friends on the..........  no, don't say it....
don't even think it........ but it's true.  Our friends on the.....  
internet
(gasp!) the ones who spend countless hours researching not
only how to heal our kids, but how to help ourselves.

And with that admission, our perspective has officially shifted.  We
are no longer afraid.  We are empowered.  We realize we have
learned how to help our children and our families find better health.

We try the diets ourselves.  Maybe it cures our eczema or helps us
finally be rid of IBS.  We don't reach for drugs as quickly.  We use
herbs or homeopathy for illness and find we recover faster than
ever before.  We've gained confidence and independence we never
realized possible.  

Soon, we are finding answers for not only for our family, but our
parents, siblings, even friends.  We have become a resource people
turn to for answers!    

All of it because of an unexpected relationship.  A relationship that
caught us by surprise.  A relationship that challenged our views and
a love that motivated us to learn more.  To seek answers.   And in so
doing, change lives.

We are stronger, better, healthier and happier.  We are confident
and empowered.  We have changed the lives of so many around us
and one step at a time are changing the face of the world.  

We are members of a community of passionate parents igniting
hope among so many with healing needs.  And all of it because of
our very special children and the incredible relationships that we
quite admittedly least expected, but absolutely
most needed.  
For future blog notifications:
Relationship quote meme Facebook pages are hot.   Whatever your
mood, there's one that's tailor made....  New love, love sick, feeling
betrayed, seeking revenge, there's even a page called "I love my
husband."  I'm not entirely sure if the fans are trying to convince
themselves or earn bonus points with their mate, but I'd bet my last
chocolate heart there are no "I love my wife" pages.  Just sayin.

So this Valentine's day, I joined the thousands no longer turning to
poetry books for romance and scanned the quote memes.

As I read and pondered love and life, one especially spoke to me...
Caroline has gained the weight back
from the
last blog.  She's happy,
healthy and excited to share her
shrinky dink valentines with friends.  

"Happy Valentine's Day!"