12.19.2012

Special needs

Yes, my sweet perfect girl has special needs. Cerebral palsy. Those two words have completely changed me.

CP affects movement and muscle tone due to brain damage. There are different types of CP. Some patients only have one limb affected. Or one side. All four of Sawyer's are affected. Her legs are very stiff and her arms fluctuate being stiff and being floppy. Yes, it's painful. CP does not get worse over time. It's not progressive, but signs and symptoms become more obvious with age.

A few weeks ago, as I was sitting in the waiting room at the therapy center waiting on Sawyer while she was getting physical therapy, a little girl walked in the front doors with her walker. A whole group of kids did, actually. They ride the van after school to get therapy. But I only noticed her. She had a cute ponytail and glasses, and she smiled at me. I knew she had Cerebral Palsy instantly. She shoved her walker, literally, into the wall. She looked up at me and started walking towards me. It was about 15 steps. It was so hard for her. It took all she had without that walker. But I realized she wanted me to see her walk. And that made my heart jump. I felt a connection to this pretty little girl in her school uniform. She stared at me for 10 minutes before she asked me my name. We began to talk, and become fast friends. Turns out she's Laiken's age. She's super smart. She told me all about her family, and her older brothers, her dog, and then she said.."I have cerebral palsy.." I told her I knew and she smiled and said "I play soccer, I dance, I do whatever I want. CP doesn't stop me. I knew then that she was put there at that time for a reason. God knew I needed to see her. She told me there was an article about her in a local magazine, so I googled it when I got home that day. Turns out she's pretty special. She didn't take her first steps until she was 6 or 7. Every Monday, I get to wait with her and I look forward to seeing her sweet face and bouncy ponytail. She gives me hope. She showed me that CP doesn't stop her. It just makes her more determined. I don't feel as sad now as I did about SB. I know God has big plans for those little feet. She is so much more than her disability, just like my new friend with the big brown eyes. She is a sweet happy little girl who just so happens to have a disability.

I've learned so much in the past few months, and I wish that what I know now, that I knew years ago. A disability can be small or big, it can be noticeable or not noticeable. But it cannot define the person who has the disability. Just because someone is in a wheelchair and cannot move well, and cannot speak well or talks slow, does not mean they are any less smart than you or I. In fact, a lot of times, they are super smart and have to learn to communicate in other ways.

Sawyer can do whatever she wants. She can sing, dance, play softball like her sister, play soccer, or be a cheerleader. I know this as she is teaching me already about determination. She will not be defined by a disability.

I don't mind telling people she has CP now. It bothered me for awhile, but I don't care now. I love sharing with others, and I hope Sawyer opens a few eyes and hearts in our circle of life in our corner of the world. Don't be afraid to ask me questions if you want to know more about it, I don't mind. And please don't feel sorry for us. Pray for her, but know that she is perfect the way she is.




10 comments:

Tesha said...

This is such a beautiful heartfelt post. I know God has BIG plans for your sweet beautiful Sawyer!!! Thanks for sharing with us you are a wonderful mommy!

Hillary said...

Such a sweet post friend! You have brought some serious tears to my eyes! What a wonderful advocate you will be for not only your gorgeous daughter but all those affected! God certainly did pick the prefect mother for SB!

xoxox

LC said...

Beautiful post and SB is a beautiful girl! I love how God puts people in our life at the exact moment we need:) Merry Christmas friend!

Tiffany said...

Beautiful post, from one Mommy of a special needs baby to another. (My Jamesy is also going to be tested for CP, as his Occupation Therapist is suspicious we may be dealing with that upon everything else.)

Nancy said...

What a beautiful girl & a beautiful Mommy that will nurture her & love her every single day of her life. I love how much your precious girl has blessed your family!! Great things will happen for sweet Sawyer!! And she has wonderful siblings to share her milestones with!

Nicole said...

Thank you for sharing this sweet post. I know that God is using you and your precious little girl for big, big things!

amylkirsch said...

This gave me chills. Love it.

sarah @ life {sweet} life said...

What an amazing post! So beautiful! I know precious SB is going to do great things just like this sweet girl!

Kim said...

She is so special and she has a wonderful and supportive momma! Thank you for sharing. I hope you continue as you need to:) Sending lots of love on Christmas!

Suze said...

Miss Sawyer is beautiful just like her Moma!!!! She will do whatever she puts her mind to, beautifully said and put post girlie! thinking of you all and merry christmas!!!!

"We can cry with hope, we can grieve with hope, because we believe with hope.."