Baby Vera's mom posted a really special poem on her blog and it is so nice that I wanted to share it as well.
I Am The Child
I am the child who cannot talk. You often pity me. I see it in your eyes. You wonder how much I am aware of...I see that as well. I am aware of much...whether you are happy or sad or fearful, patient or impatient, full of love and desire, or are just doing your duty by me.
I marvel at your frustration, knowing mine to be far greater for I cannot express myself nor my needs as you do. You cannot conceive my isolation, so complete it is at times.
I do not gift you with clever conversation, cute remarks to be laughed over and repeated, I do not give you answers to your everyday questions, responses over my well-being, sharing my needs, or comments about the world around me. I do not give you rewards as defined by the world's standards...great strides in developments that you can credit yourself; I do not give you understanding as you know it.
What I give you is so much more valuable...I give you instead opportunities.
Opportunities to discover the depth of your character, not mine; the depth of your love, your commitment, your patience, your abilities; the opportunity to explore your spirit more deeply than you imagined possible.I drive you further than you would ever go on your own, working harder, seeking answers to your many questions, creating questions with no answers.
I am the child who cannot talk. I am the child who cannot walk. The world sometimes seems to pass me by. You see the longing in my eyes to get out of this chair, to run and play like other children. There is much you take for granted. I want the toys on the shelf, I need to go to the bathroom, Oh I've dropped my spoon again. I am dependent on you in these ways.
My gift to you is to make you aware of your fortune - our healthy back and legs, your ability to do things for yourself. Sometimes people appear not to notice me, I always notice them. I feel not so much envy as desire, desire to stand upright, to put one foot in front of the other, to be independent.
I am the child who cannot walk. I am the child who is mentally impaired. I don't learn as easily, if you judge me by the world's measuring stick.
What I do know is the infinite joy in the simple things. I am not burdened as you are with the strife's and conflicts of a more complicated life. My gift to you is to grant you the freedom to enjoy things as a child, to teach you how much your arms around me mean, to give you love.
I am your teacher. If you allow me, I will teach you what is really important in life. I will give you and teach you unconditional love. I gift you with my innocent trust, my dependency upon you, I teach you of respect for others and their uniqueness. I teach you about how very precious this life is and about not taking things for granted. I teach you about forgetting your own needs and desires and dreams. I teach you about giving. Most of all I teach you hope and faith. I am the disabled child.
Having a child with special needs has been a phenomenal experience as well as a life-changing experience. Not only in our every-day experiences, but also in our spiritual lives.
I challenge you to the next time you come across someone with a special needs child, don't look the other way, smile and say hello. I can't tell you the number of times when people realize that Bri is different, they look the other way to avoid us. All it takes is a smile. Believe me, I already know we are very different.