Thursday, June 25, 2009
Were we really meant to have kids with special needs?
The other day, Live to Love and Laugh (sorry, I only know your screen name!) wrote, in response to my post about Max running over my begonias, "God only gives 'special' children to special parents He knows will love them. He trusts you!"
This is something I heard a fair amount of times after Max was born. That and, "Ellen, if anyone can handle this, you can." I was both despondent and angry that my baby had a stroke, and felt that people were saying these things just to make me feel better. Eventually, I started having raging debates inside my head on the topic. They went something like this:
Me: I'm a person who's always loved children. Why am I the one who ends up with a child who will probably have significant disabilities?
Me: That's right—I love children. I will love this child no matter what. He needs me. And I have lots and lots of experience with kids. Maybe this is why I got a child who is going to have special needs.
Me: But I am not a person with vast amounts of patience. I am, however, a person who likes to control things. This situation is out of my control. Nothing makes sense. I am not cut out to do this.
Me: OMG, he is so delicious. I don't care about why this happened. I am just going to focus on helping him however I can.
Me: Why did this happen?
And so on and so on.
As I got to know more parents of kids with special needs, I was not convinced that all of them were meant to have their children. As "Anonymous" said in her comment on the begonias post:
"Having 18 years experience as a parent of special needs children, I respectfully have to disagree with the statement that God only gives special children to special parents who will love them. I wish it was true, just as we all wish ALL children were given just to parents that will love them. I've seen many special needs children who are neglected or you can not get their parents involved or even attending IEP meetings. Children go further with involved parents! I know of many people with disabilities that have appointed guardians because their parent stole what little funds they got monthly, from them. Sometimes I think special children should be given to smart parents. Then we could figure out all the medical terminology or abbreviations thrown at us, work with the professionals and always know what is best for our child!"
Here's where I stand: I am a good mom to Max. That much, I know. But I do not feel that I am special, in particular. I know so many amazing moms. I believe I was meant to have my Max whether or not he was destined to have disabilities.
I have a feeling a lot of you have thought about this topic. Share your thoughts?
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 12:01 PM