Special Needs Helps

The Savior tells us that children like Caroline are born with disabilities "that the works of God should be made manifest" (John 9:3). 

What works of God are made manifest with people who have disabilities?  By nature, they're practically innumerable, rarely easily explained and yet often incredibly beautiful.

I'd like to attempt to share that beauty especially with those parents-to-be who may be wondering if they're ready for a child that society calls a burden, a drain, or a pity.

Throughout the blog you'll see a 'Made Manifest' tag to label posts that share how we see God's hand because of Caroline.  This tag is under 'What's going on here?' on the blog's left column grouping.

Below, you'll find my favorite quotes, talks, and stories about life with disabilities -- words of comfort, strength and hope.  Read them over.  Email me with your own.

The worth of ALL souls is great, and each soul has a purpose here on earth.

The Moving of the Water by Boyd K. Packer
"If our view is limited to mortal life, some things become unbearable because they seem so unfair and so permanent. There are doctrines which, if understood, will bring a perspective toward and a composure regarding problems which otherwise have no satisfactory explanation."

Special Lessons  by Ronald A. Rasband
"Though we will face trials, adversities, disabilities, heartaches, and all manner of afflictions, our caring, loving Savior will always be there for us." 

"Although you may at times have asked, why me? it is through the hardships of life that we grow toward godhood as our character is shaped in the crucible of affliction... As Elder Neal A. Maxwell commented, we cannot do all the sums or make it all add up because 'we do not have all the numbers.'" David S Baxter

"The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God,..."

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."

"Stellar spirits are often housed in imperfect bodies.  The gift of such a body can actually strengthen a family as parents and siblings willingly build their lives around that child born with special needs."  Russell M. Nelson

"Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend."

"But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

"The Lord does give us more than we can handle - by ourselves, that is. He does this so that we will have every opportunity and motivation to seek Him early, to put Him first. He atoned precisely so that we would not have to shoulder our burdens or the disappointments of mortality alone."  Sheri Dew

Not My Will by Wendy Johnston
"Because of these experiences, I have learned great lessons about faith and prayer. I have learned that I can always trust my Heavenly Father. I found that peace and healing come as I have allowed my will to be swallowed up in His. I learned that I needed healing just as much or even more than my children did. I am grateful for the scriptures and lessons learned through study and prayer. Truly, it is faith that heals."

“Partially losing my hearing has helped me develop patience for others, especially those with disabilities. It has helped me find faith to accept affliction. It has given me clarity to realize that instant, miraculous cures are not always the Lord’s will. In fact, sometimes just the opposite is true. …
While afflictions are never easy, all of them can give us experience and can be for our good.“ Bonnie D. Parkin

For the New Parents of a Special Needs Baby - A blog post that shares some comfort and thoughts I'd give to new parents of kids w/special needs and, at the end, shares a few of the blessings we've felt.

Helping Family Members with Special Needs - Part 1 - Episode 65
Helping Family Members with Special Needs (Mormon Channel radio series)


c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." 

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

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