I've changed so much as a mother over these past seven years. Actually sounds kinda funny saying that as seven years is such a little amount of time -- but I guess if you take a little Karen Owens life experience inventory, I guess I can claim a bit more than the average mother.
I remember being a first time mom to Madison -- buying the best and reading every parenting magazine known to man. I was pretty much a typical young first time mom. Then Gavin came along. At first I was still that typical mom but then after we learned that his days were numbered I began to change.
He was extremely medically fragile. But over time I learned to take risks and we soon embraced it as our new life style. We wanted to hold nothing back from our little boy, knowing that it was our job as his parents to cram as much living into what ever amount of time God was going to give him here on earth.
Gavin's life helped prepare me for this new season. So many things that we did with and for Gavin just simply don't work for Angela and Jayden, but probably the most important lesson learned, applies to the point of being life changing. Holding nothing back.
Having children with special needs can be scary. As a mother my first instinct is to hold them tight and never let another human being touch them. Will they know how to hold her? Will they be able to understand what he is trying to say? These are all the things that go through my mind. But holding them back from life and experiencing things that typical children experience benefits them in no way.
Letting go is hard. But I've learned that letting go is the very thing that lets them grow. I am often asked by so many people what my secret it -- how is it that my kids make such amazing and fast progress. Its makes me giggle because I don't do anything at all. I'm the same stressed out mommie who loves at the end of the day to put on my sweats and change my name to anything but mommie. But what I do do -- what we do as a family, is simply let go and let our children live.
And this, I'm very proud of.
We had our meeting with our new church regarding Angela joining in at kids church -- amazing. Actually amazing is an understatement. After church we walked into a room where about twelve kids ministry staff and volunteers were all sitting in a circle waiting for us to join them. They were all there for us. To simply learn about us and to learn how they can support Angela and give her the same opportunity to learn about the God is a very real and appropriate way for a three year old. Angela is totally over big church and if she could talk I'm sure she would have some choice words for us making her stay with us these past few weeks.
Inclusion in the church is not only needed it should be done without any questions asked. Jesus was all about inclusion -- in fact he seemed to seek out those that had the most trouble fitting in. Yet somehow as Christian we kinda messed this all up and seem to think Church is all about us. We can be such idiots some times.
So excited for Angela and one day Jayden will be ready to join his big sisters. Holding nothing back -- my children deserve nothing less!