It seems like a lifetime ago that we sat in our pediatrician’s office as he told us our baby’s vision was not normal. I really do not remember it too well because at the time I was not that worried about it. I knew nothing about babies, so what did it matter that our two month old daughter was not tracking or focusing? She would grow out of it (and she has). He referred us to a pediatric ophthalmologist in Atlanta, and a few weeks later we had our appointment. The first year of Abigail’s life was like this. The doctor would tell us something wrong with Abigail and then refer us to yet another doctor. Every doctor we went to was confused or puzzled by her condition. Abigail does not fit any textbook they have seen so far, so we have done a lot of testing to try to find answers.
I used to worry and dread about Abigail’s future a lot. In the beginning we were worried her brain was not functioning or developing right. We were worried she would not grow physically, or that she would be blind and disabled. A lot of these fears have been proven wrong. We have learned we have a very healthy baby with a very functioning brain and other vital organs. She is tiny for being 22 months, but she is still growing every day! And her vision is no longer a worry; it has come a long, long ways!!
In the last couple of months since becoming a full stay at home mom I have had a heart change towards Abigail’s disabilities. They are no longer hindrances and burdens. I no longer worry about them in the way I used to. Yes, do I wish my daughter would sit on her own? Every day! We could do so much more with her if she could just sit on the floor and play. Do I wish she could communicate with us better? Yes, to know what she needed or wanted to be so much easier. Do I still worry about her ever being able to walk or play with children her age? Of course, but if you could see the improvement that Abigail has made in the past few months you would share my joy that there is still hope.
That is what has changed the most in the last few months. I have hope! I have hope that my child can learn to do new things every day if she wanted to. She changes and gets stronger everyday, why could she not be rolling over and eventually sitting in the next year? I have hope that her future looks good no matter what it holds because we have such a huge support system behind us. I have hope that just maybe I can do this special needs parenting thing and be the voice in the world my daughter needs. I have hope that Abigail will continue to grow and strengthen and amaze us all with her uniqueness that God has made her with.
At times, I have struggled with finding this hope. I have cried over Abigail’s disabilities as I watch others little babies crawling, walking, and talking. But these last few months I have come to realize that if I do not think positively about Abigail’s situation, and give her the encouragement she needs then who will? I have prayed and wrestled about my feelings, and God has graciously given me grace as always when I do not deserve it. He has shown me that being my daughter’s biggest cheerleader is my calling for now. Jordan has encouraged me to keep my head up and not to give up on my hopes and dreams for Abigail. I am thankful for this small but significant heart change. It is so easy to lose our hope and our faith when obstacles surround us on every side. But God gives us the strength to keep fighting when we do not think we can. He is beside us to lead us and to help us see that there are bigger things to fight for. My daughter is one of those things, so my faith rests in God as He sees to Abigail’s daily development. May my hope always rest in Him, and not how I feel or what the world tells me.