“Relationships are priceless, and relationships are built on stories shared…CS Lewis said “Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another “What? You too? I thought that no one but myself…”
You don’t get to that moment of “You too?” without being vulnerable and sharing a bit of yourself with someone else. That’s how we get to know each other – we tell each other our struggles and victories. We talk about our pasts and how those pasts have shaped us and changed us into who we are today. We talk about the experiences in our lives that affect us, and we talk about the ways other people through out our lives have changed us too. We speak. These shared stories and this retelling of ourselves are the things that build relationships. A relationship deepens when the stories get longer and more intricate, and a relationship deepens when the number of stories shared between people grows. The more we are open, honest and true with each other, the more wholehearted and meaningful our friendships and relationships are.” (Speak, 132)
Now what? What’s next? For me? For you? For our son? After a month of opening the window of our life to this story I am almost at a loss for words on this last day…almost.
There is so much left to say. I want to tell you about my sons amazing mind and how when we received his first report card yesterday he had above average marks in everything. I want you to know that he worked really hard at his most recent therapy session where they spent an hour exploring the word frustration. I want you to see that as the kids get ready for Halloween today our son seems like a normal kid and he can not wait to share the evening with his siblings.
I am going to keep telling this story. I am telling this story for you and for me. It is much easier to be brave together than it is for me to be brave alone.
I’ve received notes from teachers, grandparents, pastors and strangers. Of all the encouragement and questions and stories there is one group of people my heart has been deeply opened to.
Parents. Parents, especially moms, who have difficult children. These words are for you…
Adoptive mom who has taken on a Difficult Mind not by biology but by choice, Be Brave. You are doing an amazing thing. Not only have you taken in an orphan and loved them and wanted them with a deep love, you have chosen a burden most of us run away from. Your gift and sacrifice is beautiful. Don’t give up. Don’t be discouraged. Be Brave. Continue to love until it hurts and lean in to those who love you when you need it.
Silent mom who has been struggling quietly for years, Be Brave. Do not be ashamed of the disability that your son or daughter carries with them. Remember that your child is fearfully and wonderfully created. Think not on the sadness but ponder the joy that this child has brought to your life. You are not alone in your struggle, I am honored to walk this journey with you.
Nervous mom who is on the brink of knowing more, Be Brave. If you are just starting this journey of truly understanding the Difficult Mind in your life let me encourage you, it is okay to cry, to struggle, to be angry. As you engage this new journey embrace it, live out the unique and unknown. In embracing this difficult moment you will find you are braver than you ever thought possible.
Seasoned mom who has walked this road for awhile, Be Brave. You are the living definition of courage. Every day that you choose to get out of bed and face your life is one more day of amazing love that we all get to experience. Your journey matters. Your struggles are real. Your knowledge and experience is invaluable. Thank you for doing what you do and doing it well.
I am with you, each of you. I want to have coffee with you, cry with you, hug you. I want to watch your child so you can have respite. I want to walk with you and celebrate with you.
Let these words encourage you, there is someone like me not to far from where you are. How do you find them? Be who you are. Share your story. Show your true colors. Your story matters, your life and the life of your child impacts the world.
Be Brave. You are not alone.