As a mother of a child with multiple disabilities, moments often arise where I find myself clinging to hope.
Sometimes it alone is what keeps me going.
Wishing to someday see her walk and to hear her speak; hope is a part of our everyday life.
At a recent appointment to discuss orthopedic surgery for my daughter, hope found me.
While I scribbled down her medical history and listed the endless number of specialists that she already sees, my daughter happily crawled all around the waiting room.
My husband scooped her up and sat down on a sofa to snuggle, across from me.
My son was intently playing on his iPad beside me.
I was almost oblivious to the goings on around me as I dove into the overwhelming questionnaire on my daughter’s medical issues.
As I tried to concentrate on the paperwork, I heard a conversation begin between my husband and another mom.
She was sitting beside him and asking about our daughter.
He was telling her our daughter’s diagnosis and she was sharing about her own daughter.
As fast a rocket, I darted over and joined them on the sofa.
I apologized for interrupting her and introduced myself. What happened next gave me chills and left me fighting back tears.
She told us that she had been watching our daughter crawl, and it looked identical to how her daughter once crawled.
Her daughter also had extremely lax joints and very low muscle tone.
She said that our girl even looked like her own daughter when she was little.
I asked how old her child was, and she gestured over to her…..she was twelve years old and she was WALKING towards us with a walker!!
I immediately teared up watching this beautiful girl walk closer to us with such grace.
She was smiling and she was crossing the large room with ease.
Her mom told us that she had crawled exactly like Ryleigh until she was ten years old.
I was studying her every move and I was in awe of this young lady.
As her mom introduced her to us, I patted her arm and told her how pleased I was to meet her.
Holding back a massive floodgate of tears, I listened to her mom share what doctors had told her.
That her child would NEVER walk.
She told us how she never gave up hope and how hard they had worked through the years.
Doctors have told us that if a child doesn’t walk by age four, chances are slim that it will happen.
My child is nearly five years old, so that statistic stings badly.
But on the day of an appointment I had been dreading for so long, I witnessed that myth being defied!!
And I was nearly overcome with emotion.
Seeing this girl that reminded me of an older version of my own child, I could just envision communicating with Ryleigh someday with signs.
Of course, it would be a dream come true to hear her speak, but being able to communicate effectively with signs would be also be so meaningful and victorious!
As sad as I was on the day of this appointment, and worried about what the Orthopedic Specialist would tell us, I am forever grateful that we sought out this particular children’s hospital.
I don’t know if this was divine intervention, but it certainly felt like a “meant to be” moment.
I wish I could see this lady again and give her a hug.
I wish I could tell her how meeting her and her child filled me with inspiration.
As parents of children with special needs, we must never give up hope.
We see the odds that are against our children, but we must see past them and never give up the fight.
Even when we know that chances are slim, and that these things may not be in the cards for our kids, we still must find and hold on to hope.
A miracle happened in the waiting room that day.
Hope found me.
Are you a working special needs parent?