My beloved child,
I have heard you question my gift of a special needs child.
I love you deeply, and I know you intimately, better than you know yourself. My love for you is infinite; however, desire is to make you holier and more loving, to bring you closer to me. This can only be done by purifying you. As I did with the children of Israel, I accomplish purification through fire. Fire purifies gold by burning off the impurities. Having your desires for a healthy baby ‘ignored’ by me is my way of helping you let go and trust me to re-shape your idea of happiness. Happiness in the world’s eyes is prosperity and health, peace and smooth sailing. As you have read in my Word, my ways are not your ways.
If you read the lives of my closest friends, the saints, you will see how often I told them “no” to their perfectly reasonable desires for their lives. They suffered disease, poverty, persecutions, and this left them feeling abandoned by me. Yet I loved them very much. So much that I wanted to kiss them from the Cross, allowing them to share my suffering, saving souls. Mother Teresa knew this, and she once said, “Tell Jesus He can stop kissing me so much!”
You have been called by me to a unique and noble vocation; to raise a special needs child requires that you put your entire trust in me, inn order to overcome your fear of having a child whom the world deems incomplete. To go against the current of popular opinion in which a disabled baby is the worst thing that can happen to a family, in fact, did you know that 90% of mothers who received news like your child’s diagnosis aborted their children? You have already proven that you are one of the elite 10% who said “yes” to life. I am so proud of you!
Now I want you to learn a higher level of trust, by going against your natural reaction to infirmity, and your maternal fears for your child’s future. You will struggle with this, for example, when you see your daughter’s development lagging behind her typical classmates in first grade, or when you worry about what she will do as an adult. Learning to trust me is a lifelong process, and it usually hurts.
Soon you will notice that you have an increased capacity to love; as you learn to love me for who I Am, not for what I do for you. Even if you do it while gritting your teeth. When you can act in loving ways even you don’t feel like it; caring for your child when you are upset or feel like you have no time for yourself or your other children, you are growing in love. That is the goal of your walk with me.
This gift can seem very strange indeed, but you must remember that this increased capacity for love will surpass your expectations. Perhaps you did not think you could cope with a special needs child. However, as each challenge appears, you will find that I will not abandon you in this very special mission. I want you to accept this child as a gift from my Hand. Mary accepted the gift of my Son trusting the future to me.
Are you worried about your child’s future? I hold it in my hands too. This is a fear you overcome, little by little, as you see every stage of development happen, like watching a slow motion film of a rose unfolding. And each accomplishment will mean so much more to you. Someday soon, I promise you will look back on these dark days as Mary did, you will ponder the mystery of your special child in your heart with deep gratitude.
You will have peace again. More than you have ever experienced before. Peace that can never be shattered by circumstances. Peace deep in your soul, peace in knowing I love you and ultimately work all things for good for those who love me. Peace that I hold a wonderful future for you and your child in my hands and it is eternal union with me.
However, I cannot complete this work in you without frequent communication with you, and your receiving my grace through the sacraments. You also need support from family and friends. Pray as a couple. Have your children pray for their new brother or sister. This is a good time to start attending a prayer group. I will send you new friends who love me and who understand your unique new vocation.
Wisdom and peace are the fruits of carrying the cross; raising a child like yours is your way of carrying the cross. Try to offer it up for those mothers who are considering aborting a child like yours. It will make the suffering more meaningful. And remember to enjoy the unique gifts your special child offers to your family. Her capacity for laughter, his ready smile, and frequent bear hugs.
Remember that I give the very best to those who leave the choice to me. My blessings on the feast of the Nativity of my Son.
I love you,
Copyright 2009 Leticia Velasquez