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We Need Each Other

September 4, 2012
By Maria Spencer ,

Where are you on your special parenting journey? Have you just recently received your map and are trying to find your direction or have you been traveling this road for awhile and don't need your GPS as often? Wherever you find yourself today, I want you to know that you are not alone. Even though through many twists and turns we all feel like we are the only parents in the world who have to go down this road, we aren't.

And we need each other.

My prayer for all of us this month is that we will embrace the place we are on our journey, and foster relationships with other parents along the way. It is so important that we surround ourselves with people that "get it" so we can encourage each other.

If you recently found out that your child is differently-abled in some way, this may be difficult to grasp right now. You are in the midst of survival mode, and you can't see past the first few miles in front of you. Every decision seems scary, and you want to do the right thing for your child. But what you may not see right now is that there are people around you - parents and maybe even professionals - who may end up being your tour guides one day. I know it may be difficult to ask for help at first, but you may be surprised at how willing others are to offer a listening ear or advice. Reaching out to others on this road lightens your step and makes it easier to bear.

Many of us have been traveling this road for quite some time and have prepared a way for all those coming up behind us. We are willing to share our stories, including all the ups and downs, so you can have hope to get through these days. Even though we have been doing this longer, we all have been in the trenches of the beginning steps and have welcomed the words of more seasoned travelers. I have been walking (sometimes crawling) down this path for 10 years now, and I am amazed that I still find others to encourage me to keep going. I know I say it often, but even though our children may face different obstacles, our feelings are all the same. Our hearts have all been given this amazing opportunity to grow and love in a way we never thought was possible. We can feel for one another in a unique way. We "get" each other because we all have been given this awesome task of being a special parent - and we share a special bond that sometimes cannot be described until it is experienced.

If you are reading these words and have just began your journey you may be thinking, "Where would I find a person that understands me?" or "How do I know that person when I see them?" The professionals that have entered your life - physicians, therapists, etc. - will probably be your first set of road signs. They may come in the form of your local early intervention (Help Me Grow) program that will lead you in the right direction. Many parents also find support via the Internet. There are many online support groups and information that may be specific to your child's diagnosis or needs.

Whatever mile you find yourself on today, remember: you are not alone. Someone has walked your same path and has survived. Let people into your world to encourage you and uplift you when you need it. We're all in this together and we need each other.



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