A quote from a talk given during conference (Russell M Nelson, Sunday Afternoon) has been going around my friends with special needs children. It is fun to have a Apostle of the church recognize what we all know.
Here's some of his talk from where I liked it.
"God gives unto men weakness that they may be humbled, for if they humble themselves and have faith in him, then He will make weak things be strong unto them"
Stellar spirits are often housed in imperfect bodies...
This is a picture of Leighton as she was trying to jump yesterday. She has an imperfect body. She can't jump yet, but oh does she try. She does little hops and she knows what her feet and legs should do. She has older siblings as an example.
Right now she just doesn't get that far off the ground, but I know she will.
She has extra genetic material that effects her life in every way. She is what the world would consider weak. A Weakened immune system, weakened imperfect heart, a weakened mental capacity, and the one we see most as a family is weakened muscle tone, but Oh does She have a strong will! She has from birth developed a strong will to live, move, and do what she wants in her life. I realized when I was teaching her to move that I just had to convince her that it was all her idea, it started when I convinced her she wanted to roll. I put her between two cords (she loved cords) and rolled her from one to the other over and over. Once I convinced her how great her life would be once she did this, she accomplished it soon after. Her strong will over came her weak body. She will jump soon because I can see now she has decided that she wants to.
"The gift of a special body can strengthen a family as parents and siblings willingly build their lives around the child born with special needs"
I often tell parents of new children with special needs and friends that our family has somehow made Leighton the center. I describe it as this...
She is the sun and we are the orbiting planets. She is the strongest force that our family naturally gravitates too. I realized we willing have built our lives around her. She humbles us all, and strengthens our family. She has become the light, and strength we always needed. She turns anger to happiness with a word or smile. She makes an ungrateful attitude quickly shift to a grateful one. She brings the focus to what is truly important.