Taking on the task to write to the families with special needs children feels a little daunting, even though I have children with special needs, both educational and emotional. As I write in the coming months, my hope is that you are encouraged to keep your focus on Christ as you walk in your calling as a homeschooling mama whether you find a good tip, resource, or walk away just knowing you are not alone.
The Lord saw fit to bring our children into our family by way of adoption and with that came the possibility that the children would have special needs: medical, emotional, spiritual, and educational.
I thought I was up to the task. I mean, I was an older woman, read…wiser (hopefully) and had years worth of child care experience including working for a special needs school. I hold a degree in child and youth ministry and in the past was a foster-mother. With all the training and experience, I felt that I was starting off on a better foot than most mothers.
Well, what did I REALLY know?!?!
Nothing really could have EVER prepared me for what I would encounter day in and day out 24/7. There wasn’t a training manual on how to handle an infant that screamed 90% of the time when awake and only slept 20 minutes at a time!
The training I did have from both college and foster parenting classes over the years didn’t give me the tools I would need to survive sleep deprivation and the feeling of utter failure that came every time some well-meaning person gave advice on how to get that sweet child to stop screaming and sleep.
That however, as many of you know, was only the beginning.
I never saw a training manual on how to deal with therapists coming and going from your home, or how to wisely handle pushy pediatricians that mean well, but really didn’t know how to handle your child’s specific needs.
I mean when they are reading a medical manual and showing you what they guess is going on it’s a little hard not to feel like you want to scream at them to do something to help your child feel better!
Well wishers–family and friends–who have thousands of tips, that really don’t work, want to help you maneuver into motherhood, but only leave you feeling more exhausted and more like a failure as each day passes.
As the years have flown by I have gained more perspective and confidence as I discovered: I am not alone!
The friendships that the Lord has blessed me with have reassured and strengthened me! It is through these friendships that I have learned–um, am trying to learn–to let go of other people’s expectations for both me and my children and just lean on the Lord strength to keep making it moment by moment through the tough days and His grace and mercy to love the good days.
I know that many of you know exactly what I am talking about and some of you are dealing with even more difficult situations than I am.
Please note that I am not an expert. I am just a mama. One who often struggles to know what new tip or method will work with my children as I struggle to face the task of just making it through a school day with the hope that they learned ANYTHING! I’m still learning how to not be frustrated and give up when a 15 minute math lesson turns into an all day affair or when I’ve tried the umpteenth reading curriculum to get a child reading.
I know that He called us to this and will help us keep going as we trust Him to lead us as we try to teach them. He is growing us more like Christ as we live with and love these precious gifts He gave us.
Remember, you are not alone, we are all walking on this path together. Our stories may look different, but each of us has one to tell. It’s His story of the work He is doing in our lives.
I hope that we will be able to connect and share our stories as we become better homeschooling mamas. May we endeavor to keep our eyes on Him, leaning on and trusting in His plan for our children as we teach them and are taught by them.
How about you?
We’d love to hear your stories of what the Lord is teaching you.