Thursday, March 3, 2011

"It's not all hugging and the special olympics"...

Ha!  Well isn't that the truth?  

So hear me out.  

I heard this on a Grey's Anatomy recently and the episode (which you may have seen) had a small part about one of the doctors trying to decide if she should have an amniocentesis because she's slightly older (increased risk for DS) and her partner (another doctor) doesn't necessarily want a "special needs baby".

So it got me thinking.

No, I'm not going to write about an amnio and whether a mom should find out or not.  I am going to tell you that in fact the one doctor is right, it's not all hugging and the special olympics.  Again though, hear me out.

 It's hard having a baby that's "different" from most babies.  But don't go thinking, yeah, I could never do it.  

Right now I'm having a hard time in general.  With life "stressors" to be honest.  I've got quite a few things on my plate and while I've always thought "I can deal with it", "Just suck it up Adrienne and keep on keepin' on", "You're used to being stressed." I guess I can't really "deal" with it.  I mean I can, and I will but I'm not dealing with it so well right now.  And sure others are in more stressful situations but I guess we all handle things differently.  I'm not going to go into details and I don't want to sound like another mom that's majorly stressed out because aren't we all?  Oh and for the record, having a child with special needs really isn't my main stressor, just one of many.

But you see, I've got this super competitive personality and I'm rather impatient {probably doesn't go well with stress, huh?} and why God thought I would be a good mom to a child with special needs is sometimes questionable, well at least to me.  Like:
"Really God, you know how I am, you really think I can handle a child that is most likely going to be doing things later than children that are even younger than him?"

"Don't you know that hurts my pride just a tad?"-as if He cares if it hurts my pride!

"And really, can I deal with having to work on things over and over with him, you know how impatient I am, right?"  "Right???"

Yep, He knows exactly how I am.  And yet He still chose me and Mike of course.  But Mike's not really like me, that's why we work well together.  He handles stress very differently.  However, even though I sometimes find it odd that God thinks knows that I can do this, I'm still so thankful that God chose me {us}.

Raising a child with special needs {for me anyway} is like riding an emotional roller coaster at all times.    Clicking your way up to the top of the hill can be scary and rather stressful, okay super stressful but once you've reached the top, man, it's like you're on top of the world.  I mean, you've never felt so good.  It's hard to explain but the pure joy you experience is quite remarkable.   You've got your hands up in the air with a big smile on your face!  And I don't care if your kid just rolled over for the first time, you're going to scream it from the roof tops that....

"My kid just rolled over!!!"

lil' B at 4 months 


But then going down, you know you've got another steep hill to climb and the frustration creeps in, the fact that your kid is delayed shows up almost everywhere you look.

The highs are high, like really high, higher than you ever thought but the lows can be really low and sometimes lonely.

How is one to cope with it all?  One that is competitive, a worry wart, a bit of a stress ball, if you will?  Asking herself "Should I being doing more?"  "Should we try that with Bennett?"  As if not doing one specific thing is going to effect Bennett's entire future...I know, silly.

  I suppose a lot of it is fear.  Isn't it true that when we have our future painted out in front of us, for the most part and it's not necessarily the future you imagined, there is a lot of fear involved?   For example in my case:  your son has Down syndrome so the general consensus is:  he may never learn things most kids learn, he may never drive, he may never go to college, or live on his own, etc.

 Hello F.E.A.R!!!

Nope, it's not all hugging and the special olympics.

BUT {and this is a huge but, like the biggest but ever}

The highs are high baby.  And those lows aren't from God.  Not the God I know.

Oh, I still haven't figured this whole thing out.  Like I said, I've got some things going on that are telling me I'm not handling all the stress in my life like I should be.  I think it may be an accumulation of stress that I've stored away for years.  And I'm not quite sure how I'm going to tackle it all at this very moment.

Maybe get back into yoga, more time for me, better diet-lol-I don't know!  But what I do know, is that I'll take every stress there is that comes with Bennett and him having Down syndrome because I'm pretty sure, around the corner is a huge

"My kid just rolled over!!"

moment and well, frankly...'s all worth it.

Every.Stressful.Bit of it.

Because when this little guy smiles at you after doing something grand, your heart melts, seriously melts.

And the rest of it, well I've got some work to do.  And yes, I suppose I still have some work to do as far as my issues with Bennett go too though: not doing this or that, comparing him to others, etc.  But I wouldn't change it, I wouldn't change Bennett {okay maybe I'd like to change the fact that he's not eating solid food at 21 months but whatever};).

So while "it's not all hugging and the special olympics", those "highs" do stand out.  And they far outweigh the stressful, scary hills leading up to them.




  1. Awesome post!!! Right now we are approaching the top of the roller coaster with my little girl potty training..and well i just cant WAIT until we get to the top...but right now approaching that top is soooo frustrating and anyways it was refreshing to read your post!!!

  2. Awesome post Adrienne! It is a roller coaster. It varies daily as to where I am on that roller coaster. Sending hugs from a mommy who completely gets it!

  3. You rock, Adrienne! Thank you for this, today!

  4. I follow your blog almost every day. Your Bennett is just the sweetest as is the rest of your family. My stresses are different than yours, but I can still identify. Please don't get too discouraged. You are a wonderful wife, mother, and person. I do admire you very much.

  5. :) i love this...and it is so true...every single bit of it. thank you.

  6. Fabulous post, Adrienne. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. You are not alone! :-)

  7. Here is a toast to sweet victories.

  8. Love this!!! Been riding the roller coaster for two years now. Sometimes it really is scary, but I'm thankful to be along for the ride.

  9. five years later I think the rollercoaster is never going to end but would not change it at all. The lows are hard, very hard... but the highs make is so much more worth it. Great post

  10. I love that quote because its so darn true. This parenting things isn't for wimps. That includes good ol' regular parenting or *special needs parenting.* I'm right there with you Adrienne - I'm become a bit overwhelmed with all of the mountains we have ahead of us right now. Charlie has been doing so well, but I feel like we are in the middle of a valley right now and that next mountain seems so tall...


  11. Thanx Adrienne for your honesty, please listen to your body if you are getting signs to take some restoration time. Being a mum to 3 is such a tough gig sometimes (I know !) I get spread way to thin.
    BUT I am on a high at the moment as my kid just stood up on his own !! And for the lows of DS, I have taken to getting some counsellling from time to time it has been good for my soul and great for our family as a whole. Love and blessings for a lovely weekend ahead.

  12. this is a wonderful post, and
    I heard that too on Grey's... you put into words what I could not after hearing that.Awesome post my friend.

  13. Parenting is never easy! I believe God gave Bennett to you for those sweet victories. Bennett's is growing your patience~ unlike 'average' kids that just test it! lol He is beautiful and I know your heart must want to burst at times. Your girls are so precious and then top it off with Bennett. Needs or not, he is just "special." Looking at his pictures always puts a smile on my face! :)

  14. Adrienne, I can't tell you how much I needed to hear this today! Perfect! Thank you!

    (By the way, Nate is not eating solids either - if you want to put our brains together, I'd love it!)


  15. If you get a chance take a look at my post from yesterday...looks like we were having similar thoughts!

  16. I really needed this one. Today, we got great news about our little boy and I totally can relate, that HIGH was freaking HIGH, like YEAHHHH, we got this! But then around the corner is another 9 month old that everything came so easy for and then I get a little low. But It is so good to see we are not alone and we are all in this together. :) love this post again!!!

  17. [tears]

    I'll be emailing you in a little bit ;)

  18. I hear ya sista!! great post! I LIVE for the highs! and we get through the lows!! they make the highs that much better!! smiles

  19. Wonderful post. Parenting is so hard, and when you're waiting to become a parent it is all about your hopes and dreams. It takes time to realize there's more than just your own ideas about parenting involved.

    You find you can fear more, worry more, yell more and love more than you ever thought possible.

  20. You're just amazing my friend, very inspirational! Parents of kids with "special needs," and teachers alike, need you :) Keep it up. As always, you and yours are in my thoughts and prayers!

  21. adrienne...what an amazing post. you said it perfectly. praying for you...and don't worry about the solid food thing. maggie rae isn't either :) but it will be wonderful when they do...definitely a high!

  22. Perfect post our 2 boys are just about the same age ( Cody will be 2 in April ) and I have been having a hard time these past few days not really sure why but its a collection of just daily stuff.The lows with Codys DS can be very low but he can light up a room like no other and his hugs and kisses make up for the lows. Thanks you put into words what I could not. Sue

  23. Well said and hooray for "He rolled over" moments! We live for those too. :-)

  24. Thanks for this post. I'm a little delayed reading it...but, so glad I did. I'm kinda right there with you. My daughter is not DS, but the school psychologist just evaluated her and said she is a three-year-old in a seven-year-old body and scored an IQ of 55. I have always home schooled her and will continue to do so, while receiving speech services from the school. I KNOW it is tough MOST days. I can so relate to the "letdown" feeling that your child may never live independently. She is already announcing she is gonna drive our Blazer when she is sixteen. I wanna cry, cause seriously, I doubt it. However, the joy of home schooling is that she does not have to be placed in a labeled bubble and we will work at her pace to achieve as many of her dreams as we can...with God's help of course. Thanks for your blog. I love seeing Bennett's adorable face and the cool outfits your beautiful girls wear1
    Take care,]

  25. I love you and I love Bennett

  26. I am loving your post so much right now. As a Mom of 3 special needs kiddos, I can so relate to your post.
    WOW. Great with words :)

    Hang in there, good days, and bad, keep your faith and especially your sense of humor.
    The light at the end of the tunnel isn't always a train (although, yes, we feel very run over - often)...and keep celebrating the "little things" that are truly BIG THINGS to us and our kiddos <3


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