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Not-so-Ordinary Miracles

June 16, 2011
By Maria Spencer

When you hear the word "miracle" what are some of the first things that come to your mind? I think the answer to this question will depend on many things - your life experiences, your faith, etc.

Prior to my daughter blessing us with her presence, I think I had many definitions of the word miracle, and all of them had to do with some almost angelic, unheard-of event that certainly never happened to anyone I knew, or that would ever happen to me.

Well, since my Olivia came into our world, I can honestly say I have witnessed countless numbers of everyday miracles. No, an angel never appeared out of the sky, and the press was not notified; but I assure you, they were miracles.

As a person with hemipelegic cerebral palsy, Olivia has muscle tone issues on the left side of her body. These muscles are very tight, and she receives physical and occupational therapies on a regular basis. For a period of time, we questioned if she would ever be able to balance herself enough to walk.

Well, not only does she walk - she runs most of the time! And last month, I witnessed one of these amazing miracles. The child that was not supposed to be able to tolerate the sensation of standing or any kind of movement was spinning herself (all by herself) around on a swing to enjoy the feeling of spinning around and around. It may have not looked like a miracle to the neighbors standing around, but to my husband and I, who have learned not to take any single body movement for granted, it truly was a miracle.

These miracles can come in many, many forms. When a baby is born at one pound, five ounces at 27 weeks gestation that is now four years old with no major health issues, it is truly miraculous.

"Miracle" is the only word that can explain how an emotionally traumatized boy that spent many years in "sensory overload" can now sit in a typical classroom with his peers. And when a two-year-old boy that has been diagnosed with autism can give his Mommy a kiss for the first time, all on his own, the emotions surrounding that miracle are almost indescribable as parent.

There are many cliche's that are said about miracles. 'They're all around us if we know where to look" is one that comes to mind.

I believe that if we become more sensitive to those around us, and get to know our friends and our neighbors - really get to know them and their families - these miracles are all around us.

Spend time in any children's hospital or in a special needs classroom and these "unheard-of" events are occurring every day; some every hour.

For those special parents reading this, I know you have already thought of a number of examples of your child's progress that definitely can be categorized as miracles. I challenge you now to focus on all of these amazing accomplishments that may not mean anything to the common bystander, but are life-altering events for parents.

These everyday, "not-so-ordinary" miracles are the things that keep us going. They help us get from challenge to challenge with our kids, so we can get up another day and have the energy to be their cheerleaders -regardless of when the next one may happen.

I spend most of my days with Olivia looking forward to the next miracle, so the celebrations can begin again. If we learn to focus on the things our kids do well, we all will be abundantly surrounded by these miracles each and every day. What could be better than that?



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