Identifying Support Systems

The other day I was having a real pity party. It was one of those awful mornings, where there was a lot going on and Israel was in a bad mood.

It started when I took Israel (by myself) to his pediatrician appointment for his 18 month check up. At the start of every check-up, the nurse asks a bunch of questions about his development and I always have to face the disappointment and realization that Israel is still behind. For a mom with a special needs child, that is the worst part of a check-up.

Then the doctor came in. Sidenote: I love our pediatrician! He is Ethiopian and he has always been very proactive about getting services for Israel. I told our doctor about our pregnancy news, and he was very worried that I didn't have help at home. He didn't even know about my grad school plans- he just thought with all the running around we do with Israel's therapy appointments + a newborn, it would be too much.

So then I thought, wow, it will be too much! I need help! Who will help me? Am I supposed to have helpers? And my thoughts trailed to all the gaps in our support system, and how I didn't have *anyone* to help me (which isn't true, but in those pity party moments there is no truth, right?).

After the doctor appointment I had to run a few errands with my very pitiful child (who was screaming because of his shots) and then came home to rush lunch before we had an evaluation for more services for Israel. Will came home for lunch and I basically unloaded on him about how I needed help, there was no one, and why didn't anyone care about how we have a special needs son.

Then, the lady with CRS came over, and she began the enrollment process for Israel in some more local services. They will fill a gap in our service plan and I am VERY thankful that God is providing for us with this program!

Later, I was thinking about how Israel was starting daycare and how the service team at the UCP Early Intervention has completely loved us and has gone out of their way to serve us and meet our needs. Free daycare, who does that? Three types of therapy, in our home every month?! Women who pray for us and who truly, truly care that Israel is progressing and will celebrate milestones with us?! Such a blessing to me. Also, I can honestly say that some of Israel's therapists have become dear friends to me. I am so thankful for the motherly wisdom that they have passed on and how they never judge me but always encourage.

It can be really hard sometimes, having a special needs child that doesn't "look" special needs and most people don't get it. My husband and I were recently chatting about how it is really frustrating when people say things about Israel's development and they don't know what all we are doing. Or when we have to explain over and over what he CAN'T do. It is hard when people don't realize that his special needs are a BIG deal to us. We don't want you to write it off, saying "he'll get there" or "in his own time" and dismiss all the work we are doing. We WANT prayers, we want support and we want others to walk beside us in this.

So, I am thankful for the support systems we DO have- certain family members/friends/service team members who have truly loved us and walked beside us. And I'm hopeful that through our story, others will see how to love other special needs families.

We really do trust God's sovereignty and know that God is working in Israel. We are claiming miracles for our boy. We know God is going to do amazing works in Israel's story and that we will see how God was working in this season. But during the hard days, we have to remind ourselves of what God has given us and those people who have blessed us by walking beside us in this.


  1. Oh, hugs to you today! I, too, have a son with some special needs that do not show. So when my five year old is having a shrieking tantrum, it is hard to see the looks we get. But you already know in your heart that he is wonderfully made, and in his time he will become who he is meant to be. Hang in there. Like you said, find your support, but do not panic. You will be a wonderful mother of two (my kids are 22 months apart, and then the next two are 24 months apart, and we foster kids who are somewhere in that age range as well sometimes). Like your love, your ability to care for and cope with the kids expands as they come to you. Good luck- trust yourself (and remember when you are dealing with two, you won't also be pregnant!)


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