Parents of children with special needs are my heroes.
I follow the difficult lives of two acquaintances of mine, each who have a 2 year old with special physical needs. One acquaintance had a son born with spinal bifida and the other had a daughter born with arthrogryposis. I've read about their experiences over their last two years and theirs are truly stories of God granting grace and strength, wisdom, patience, and love and so much else to deal with the hospital, fight the system when needed and struggle as their children went through surgeries. I also have a cousin who fostered and then adopted a deaf-child, and less than a year after adoption they found out their child has a terminal illness. The power of God in their lives and through them is such an amazing thing.
Right now, I am doing a long-term substitute paraeducator position in a small classroom for children with autism who need extra help with behaviors before transitioning (hopefully) back to the normal school setting. These kids, who range in age, generally demonstrate the social-coping mechanisms of 2-4 year olds.... While there are some sad stories of parenting... there is one set of parents who have a particularly difficult and aggressive child, who demonstrate such patience and understanding, yet also the needed firmness and structure--even when they themselves are feeling sick. I can only imagine the overwhelming thoughts they must have day to day...while their son has made remarkable strides in the last year...from about a 2 year old to a 3 or 4 year old... it's overwhelming to consider his future-- and to hope for such different things as parents hope for a child without special needs.
God bless them all many times over!
"If you don't see the real me
You won't see what mercy's done
If you don't see my weakness
You won't see what love has won
If you don't see the distance from the darkness to the sun
You won't see
Let the light escape from this hole inside my soul
When I start to break then grace begins to flow
Let the light escape from this lonely place inside my soul