Every Friday (well, ALMOST every Friday) I sit around a big table in a conference room with 5, 6, 8 moms who also have children with a visual impairment. Many of their children have multiple special needs, like Sadie. And every week, I leave empowered, humbled, encouraged, and renewed. It's like church...for special needs families.
We meet at The Foundation for Blind Children and we've unofficially been dubbed "warrior women." It's like we're all part of a club. It's not a club anyone WANTS to be in, but you find yourself a member whether you like it or not. And it makes you stronger, but it also brings out your vulnerable side.
It's a club that welcomes new members with open arms. We cry together when someone is going through something hard. We hug to show our support of one another. We talk about mickey buttons and seizure medications. And we rejoice with one another when one of our children does something seemingly small, because we understand just how big it is. And when somebody new joins us, we never judge, we never turn a cold shoulder, we do our best to wrap our arms around this new member and help them navigate their way through "the system."
We are Warrior Women not because we want to be, but because we have to be. We feed our families special diets. We administer medications once, twice, three times a day. We take our children to therapy multiple times during the week. We sacrifice our sleep, we sacrifice our personal time, we sacrifice our pride to do what's best for our children. Some of us even have other children that we care for in addition to our little one with special needs. Most of us have strong men who hold us up when we feel the strength is gone. We all do whatever we have to, whatever we can, whatever is best for our families.
We fight, because we are warriors. We fight doctors who say our children are "disabled." We fight diagnoses that dictate more medication that we don't feel is necessary. We fight insurance companies who try to refuse payment for necessary equipment or services. We fight the government for support through programs like Long Term Care and public healthcare. We fight for what's best for our children because we love them more than anything in the world.
We're not that different from every other mom on the planet.
On this Mother's Day say thankyou to your mom, to a mom you know who works hard, to the mother of your children, to yourself. God made us strong so that we can raise our children, whether they are normal and healthy or have special needs. All mothers fight for what's best for their families. All mothers sacrifice so that their children can have what they need. All mothers are Warrior Women.
Happy Mother's Day 2011.
Happy Mother's Day 2011.