Stories of Friendship on the Special-Needs Parenting Journey

We have loved reading through the stories you sent about friends you have made as you’ve walked the special-needs parenting path. Thank you so much for sharing your hearts with us. Special-needs parents often feel isolated and lonely. We need to reach out to each other and offer support and compassion. Your stories show us that’s exactly what you’re doing!

We picked five stories at random to win two copies of Held: Learning to Live in God’s Grip. We have contacted the winners by email for shipping information. Here are their stories:

From Mitzi:

My friend Ashley and I attend the same church. We both have sons diagnosed with SPD and her son has recently been diagnosed with
Aspergers as well. This sounds like a great study for us to share together. We “get” each other were other church members have no idea what a day in our shoes is like. Thank you and God Bless!

From Stephanie:

My son, Caleb, was born in October 2012. Shortly after he was born, we were told that he had Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect that would require surgery. Several of my close friends had babies in the days and weeks surrounding Caleb’s birth. While we were all new moms trying to figure out life with our first child, I felt like I was so alone in figuring out therapy, doctors, etc and watching their babies developmentally pass mine.

Before we went to Dallas for Caleb’s surgery (at three months old), a friend told us about a family that she knew of through a mutual acquaintance. Their son was at the same hospital in Dallas for his own heart surgery. We were given the mom’s name and phone number. My husband and I decided that if we happened to meet the family, that would be fine. We weren’t going to call her and initiate anything though. I didn’t want to go out of my way to meet them. Yes, their baby had heart surgery, but they couldn’t relate to everything else that we had going on. We were going to Dallas to fix Caleb’s heart and then move forward. At some point, I needed to connect with parents of kids with Down syndrome… but I didn’t need to connect with parents of heart babies, too.

The day of Caleb’s surgery, my husband and I were in the ICU waiting room. A lady walked over to the thermostat near us and asked if we minded that she turn the temperature up. We said “no” and then asked about her child… just making small talk. She told us that her son had surgery a couple weeks before and was having a cath that day. Somehow it came up that she was from Edmond, OK (the same town where we life), and we realized that she was the mom we had been told about. As the conversation continued, we found out that her son was born only 10 days after Caleb, that his heart defect was similar to Caleb’s, and also that he has Down syndrome. Wow. This mom, who I thought couldn’t relate, was going through the exact same things as us! I felt like such a fool for thinking that I didn’t need to meet her. Our friendship quickly grew as our sons experienced several ups and downs in their heart surgery recoveries, and we’ve remained close even now that our boys are back home. God knew I needed Jamie’s friendship. I’m so thankful that He orchestrated our meeting, despite my opposition.

From Heather:

Good afternoon.  I just read about your give away for the study.  I am a mother if two kids with special needs.  I met my friend Mary through my older son’s school.  I cherish our friendship because she is one person that I can vent and talk to without worry of judgement.  She knows that each day is a new day and she understands.  I am so thankful for that.

From Sheri:

I met my friend, Alyson, at church. She has a son with Asperger’s who is several years older than my son who also has Asperger’s. She has been such a support & encouragement to me, as she is always a few steps ahead of me on this journey. Best of all are her prayers. She is so faithful to pray for me and my son. I would love to be able to share this book with her. I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time.

From Heidi:

I am a member of a support group for moms with Special Needs kids. My son was diagnosed with early-onset bipolar disorder @ age 7. He is now 21 and functioning well in a job tailor-made for him by God. Unfortunately, I know the pain of walking “alone” through the Valley of Special Needs Kids. The ONLY thing that got me through ten years of my son being on the wrong medications and doctors advising us to do things blatantly opposed to God’s teachings was and is the Grace of God.

Our support group is coordinated by a wonderful Christian friend. Michelle Cox, and through this group, I have become friends with several Christian moms. These young moms are crying out for a study that “gets it”, that meets us where we are as individuals (just like our God) and leads us through the rough times to Victory in Jesus. I would use this book to begin a Christian “chapter” of the Special Needs support group, and Michelle Cox would be a vital part of the group. And I could use the Scriptural insights as I mentor several of the young moms.

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Thank you to everyone who entered. We wish we could send copies to you all. We are thankful for how you encourage each other! Praying for each of you and asking God to continue to bless your families and your friendships. If you are still looking for friends and a place to feel at home, we recommend the Not Alone website for parents and grandparents of kids with special needs.

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