God only gives us….

… as much as we can handle, that’s how the saying goes – right? Special needs parents hear this one and variations of it a lot. It’s a hard one to respond to. Another hard one is “God gave you Isaac for a reason”, how do I respond to that?
Deep down, when somebody shares one of these with me I know they mean well. I know that they are complimenting me. I also suspect that they are thinking something to the effect of “Thank God I’m not her”, and I’m really okay with that. I have many of those “there but for the grace of God” thoughts – I often realize how lucky we are.
I also know that these kind words can make me pretty crazy, it took me a while to figure out why. It comes down to a realization that MY God wouldn’t have put Isaac through so much as a compliment to me. I don’t think God thinks so very highly of me that he made Isaac more complicated than most. What I believe has actually happened is that Greg and I have handled what God gave us.
For a long time I wondered about God, not just because of Isaac – I simply had doubts. I believed in a higher spirit, but I didn’t put it all on God. For the first year of Isaac’s life I never prayed, I saw no reason – the doctors were going to fix Isaac, not God. During this time though I heard a lot of people tell us they were praying for Isaac, and it started to mean something to me. I wasn’t sure how those prayers were helping, but I know they were making us feel loved – and that was meaningful.
Over the past few years I have grown spiritually, and I feel like that allows me the right to believe that MY God gave me the gift of 2 children, not because I was more able to care for a kid like Isaac, but because I wanted two beautiful kids.
One of those kids happened to arrive with some crazy issues, and we have moved mountains to make sure he gets the care he deserves. When someone tells me that I have Isaac for a reason, or because God knew I could “handle” him I want to ask them what they would expect from me? Would they expect us to give up on him or ourselves? We are doing nothing that nobody else would do. I know that anyone of my friends or family that was faced with what we have been faced with would have responded the same – because that’s what you do when you have a child, you move mountains. In fact, if I didn’t believe you would do what we have done we probably aren’t friends, because I can’t think of one person who wouldn’t rise to the occasion.
We have hard times, and we have moments that make us wonder what we are doing and how we’re going to get through it, but get through it. We are not any more special than any other parent. We are raising our children under extraordinary circumstances.

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