I became a special needs parent on the first day of my daughter’s diagnosis. The moment the doctor spoke the words, “Your daughter has Cerebral Palsy” my journey began. No one is ever prepared to become a special needs parent. It happens in an instant.
When I was pregnant, I didn’t dream of having a child with health problems and physical limitations. Who does? Like everyone else, I dreamed of a child who would have every opportunity the world had to offer. I suddenly felt as if I was falling down the Rabbit Hole into Wonderland and was terrified of this unfamiliar new reality. I didn’t know what lay ahead for my daughter.
Getting stuck in the “what ifs” of what the future will hold, is a common mistake we make as special needs parents. The paths our journeys take quickly teaches us all that matters is now, and living in the present. It’s the once obstructive hurdles that were difficult to overcome, that one day turn into our child’s achievements that truly educate us on the importance of patience and time and teaches us a greater appreciation for these gifts.
My fears no longer exist and I don’t get hung up on the “what ifs”. There are things I don’t always know, but that’s ok, because I believe as our journey continues, we will be revealed these answers. I celebrate in what my daughter has overcome and I look forward to how she will impact the people and world around her. She has taught me courage and to appreciate today. I no longer feel as if I’m falling down the Rabbit Hole, for the first time, I feel two feet firmly planted and looking upward to whatever the future holds.