Stories of God's Faithfulness: Special Needs

 One year ago, my husband and I brought home our first child, Israel, from Ethiopia. Israel had spent almost all of his first 7 months in institutionalized care, and he had some pretty obvious developmental delays. We were expecting to be one of those stories where kids with delays immediately bounced back and became "normal" just weeks after being within a family. Afterall, several of our friends' adopted kids had those stories, and we were expecting it to be just a matter of weeks before Israel was all caught up developmentally.

Well, weeks...then months went by with little progress. We were doing everything we could do show our son love and attention, how was he not caught up? I felt the pressure to be a better mom and the shame of having not done enough. Soon we were referred to specialists, neurologists, geneticists, therapists, etc... and we were given a big question mark as to WHY our son was not really progressing the way we wanted him to. We started Israel on a pretty heavy therapy schedule after being home around 3 months, and we committed to doing (and paying) anything to make our son "normal".

I'll go ahead and give you a quick catch up... we're still in therapies (more, in fact) and we are still seeing specialists and therapists on a regular basis. It has been almost a year since our son has come home, and the expected "catch up" has been slow and painful at times. We have had to trust God and to relinquish control over and over again.

But let me tell you, friends. God has been so faithful to us.

It is easy for me to be bitter at our son's timeline in Ethiopia and question God on why our son wasn't home faster or why he had to live in an orphanage for so long. I can try to blame his previous caregivers, or myself, or my husband, for not doing enough. But truly, God was faithful then and He is faithful now.

I am reminded of a passage in John 9 where a man was born blind, and Jesus was confronted about whose fault/sin caused the blindness. Jesus responds, "“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him." (vs 3).

When I think about our situation in light of this passage, my perspective completely changes. If God is giving us the opportunity for HIS GLORY through my son's delays and our crazy therapy schedule, then I must trust Him and be thankful for this season!

When I sit and try to pinpoint exactly HOW God has been faithful in this crazy season, I can think of several things of the top of my head. For starters, we live in rural Alabama yet have the most amazing support network of therapists and social workers. Our son has access to medical care. Our family can afford to seek therapies for Israel, and we were recently given the opportunity for a fund to help cover some of those co-pays too! I have been able to stay home with Israel to work with him. We are able to celebrate some MAJOR milestones with Israel (like sitting up or holding a cup) that may seem minor to others, but to us they are miracles! God has allowed our son's story to remind us of His sovereignty and control over and over again.

So yes, God has been faithful to us! I'm sure if I would have had the chance to write our story, it would have been one of the miraculously speedy recoveries after our son came home, but in the way that God has chosen to write our story, we are able to see the works of God displayed in our son, and for that I'm truly grateful.