World Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day

Today is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. Many people are wearing green clothes or ribbons in honor of it. I've been following several CP accounts on twitter, and it is so encouraging to see how people with CP across the nation are thriving and living full lives!

As you know, our son Israel has CP. He has to work very hard for his milestones, but God is gracious to us and Israel works so hard! I am so thankful for the team of professionals that support our family and that work hard alongside our boy. I can look back over the past year and see how Israel has grown and developed so much! Each milestone feels like a miracle and I know that his CP has made me appreciate every little thing so much more.

If you are not very educated about CP yet, here's some info. defines CP as:

Cerebral palsy is considered a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while the child’s brain is under development. Cerebral palsy primarily affects body movement and muscle coordination. Though cerebral palsy can be defined, having cerebral palsy does not define the person that has the condition.

Like Autism, CP has a spectrum and there are many forms and types of CP.

Cerebral palsy affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning. 

Cerebral Palsy is permanent, non-progressive, not contagious, incurable, and chronic.

We believe that Israel was fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator God. We do not doubt that God has big plans for Israel, and our entire family!

The other day my husband and I were cleaning out our office and came across our original paperwork for our adoption agency. Our adoption took 2.5 years, and we had two homestudies for that process because we moved to a new state in the middle of it. On our first homestudy, we checked NO to every type of CP that our hypothetical baby could have. We wanted as healthy of a child as possible! I am so glad that God changed our hearts and that we were given the child we needed to have in our home.

I cannot imagine not being Israel's mama. Honestly, some days are really tough. Having a 3.5 year old that can't fully communicate, move around, or reach typical milestones can be really hard. I have to come to terms with losses of my dreams of what our family would look like or how we would interact. BUT! God is so good. His ways are higher than mine. I am so thankful for the many people that we have come to know and love that we never would have met without CP in our lives. I think of his teachers, therapists, special needs friends... they would not be a part of our lives or story if Israel did not have CP.

I know that our son's life will have challenges, but we have seen miracles happen already. I know that this diagnosis does not mean that his limitations are defined for him. We must believe big things for our boy and be the cheerleaders that he needs.

Thank you to our village, to our cheerleaders and support system- for praying for us, helping me when I need a break, and offering grace to our family. Thank you to the patient people who love my son and treat him just like any other kid. Thank you to the people who have posted pictures of their family wearing green today in honor of Israel and our other friends with CP!