I’d like to clarify why I’m writing this series on Isaiah. Obviously, given the title, he’s changed our lives, but there are so many facets to that simple statement. Most of those aspects revolve around specifically how things have changed. But why am I writing this? That’s something I’ve been chewing on for weeks. While attempting to write Part 4 on our journey I had to refocus on what my point was. What I discovered is there are basically three reasons why I’m sharing this walk. Mostly, I want to help others like me, next I want to inform those people who make up the support system for families like ours, and lastly writing about this experience is therapeutic for me.
Other Parents Like Us
If you are a parent in a similar situation the list of things I’d like to share with you is almost endless. But I recognized your time is precious, so for now I’d like to take just a moment and outline a few of the things that I feel are important to say:
- The gut-wrenching fears will subside.
- You will find a new “normal” in your life.
- You’re not crazy, things are unimaginably hard – for now.
But I also remember that little blog posts like “5 Things Special Needs Moms Should Know” or “10 Ways to Help a Family with Special Needs” are not, in and of themselves, comforting at all. It was only through the exposure to other stories like Isaiah’s that I found encouragement and hope. It’s with that mindset, that I try to spend the time writing each segment in a way that shares our experience rather than simply tells you about it. It is my desire that by seeing it unfold through us, you will take the same reassurance from us that we gained from others.
People Supporting the Parents
You’re important. Plain and simple. More important than can ever be expressed in words. It’s necessary to understand how to (or not to) offer support. I hope writing this series clarifies things for our friends and family who have walked with us so far (or even for those who have walked away). This wasn’t an easy aspect for my husband and I; we were pride-filled and would much rather be on the helping side of things rather than the people being helped. Mostly, we tried to put on a good face. Our emotions were all over the map and sometimes they still are. It’s important to note, we weren’t trying to be difficult. Often, we didn’t know when or how to ask for help.
It’s hard to convey to people on the outside what we were feeling back then. Still today, it’s challenging to put it into words. There are times when I just want things to be “normal” and not even mention what we are currently going through. Its a tricky dance, I get it. In this series I want to reveal how our support system was absolutely crucial and hopefully help others who are supporting families like ours.
Cost-Effective Therapy for Me
Ultimately, if nobody reads any of this, I still receive some valuable therapy by merely writing down my thoughts. I consider it an exercise in refinement for my reflections and a way to deal with each event thus far. Writing also lets me record and remember the important blessings we have received through this experience. As with everything in life, it’s an on-going process and I will undoubtedly learn more with each passing year. So I guess I could call this my therapeutic scrapbook.
In the end, it doesn’t have to be extreme prematurity or Down Syndrome. It could be any serious diagnosis or health concern. When it affects your child and you are helpless to change it, it will absolutely wreak havoc in your life. I just hope to offer some optimism to families in this type of situation and education for those of you surrounding them, in the meantime I will reap the medicinal benefits from all this typing.