"When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Joey, cannot learn things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?"
Acceptance in today's society is what many people strive for. Whether it be in social situations, your workplace, your school or even within your own family, acceptance usually makes us feel better in one way or another. Most people want to be considered "normal" or "typical" and get uncomfortable when they fear society may look at them in a different way. In our world, acceptance has taken on a whole new meaning. Since our son, Joey, was born in 2004 with a rare genetic condition called Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, we have had to gain acceptance into many new and different social circles. The circles we have been introduced into are circles that the majority of people will go a lifetime without having to know anything about. The hardest thing I have ever had to learn to accept is the fact that I have a child with a disability. Do any of us plan for this? No. We want to be just like everybody else. A normal baby, normal doctor's visits, normal feedings, normal schedule, normal looks from people when we are out in public with our children. Do I think it is fair that my son has to work so damn hard every single day of his life? No. But I do feel that it has made all of us stronger and better people to have been accepted into Joey's world. It is the most important and highest status I will ever gain and I am so proud to wear this badge of acceptance.
So where is the natural, normal order of things for my son? Is it in the doctor's visits, the specialist appointments, the tests, the procedures, the schools, the therapies? Or is it in the joy, the love, the laughter, the sweet moments and all the precious, unbelievable gifts Joey gives and receives every day? Our natural order is wrapped up in all of these things. Joey may not learn and grow as other children do but that's okay. He does things in his own way and in his own time with his own flair. And that order is just fine with me.
What would your answer be?