The more I work with special needs kids the more I truly know I'm blessed beyond verbal words can express. Not because I have capabilities they don't, nor because I get to have an "impact" on their life, whatever that means. But because by working with them and being around them, I get to see miracles EVERY DAY and I have learned so much about life that others never will.
Our last day of school with the kids was yesterday so therefore we get a ton of thank you's from parents and kiddos and co-workers. I'm always told I have a "gift" of working with kids and then I'm told I have a "gift" of working with special needs kids. I don't know if I believe all that, because to me it's just natural. But the more I hear it, and the more I watch others, the more I'm staring to realize that it really is a gift. It's a gift from God that just happens to be routed through me. It's one of the sack full of gifts God gave me when He made me. Everyone has their own set of gifts, and this is part of my set.
Anywho, we got a ton of thank you notes and we have been reminiscing about how far each of our kiddos have come. And really when we look at it, we have always been able to see the daily miracles but looking back we can see the overall miracles that have happened along the way.
One of our parents wrote a thank you note to Kendall, our main teacher, in which one line made me cry. In the note she said that her beautiful boy was a gift, and Kendall had helped to open him up. And it's the truth!! He has come leaps and bounds this year, in this past two months alone the leaps and bounds have been enormous. He's a different person than he was at the beginning of the year. And I hear that he's a totally different little boy than he was last year. And all of it is nothing short of a miracle. A miracle that has been obtained by a village, all of whom God's gifts have taken a part of. All of us were placed in his life at certain points for certain reasons to help teach him things at certain times along these past two years.....and the miracle is SO obvious when every one looks back at it...no matter where in that timeline we all stepped in.
After talking to the mom of my little Ethie today while we were out on an excursion to the museum, it became obvious that Ethan's progress in this last year is remarkable but especially when compared to a mere two years ago....half of his life. This little boy whom is my sunshine is an absolute miracle after hearing more about when he was an infant. And what a remarkable feeling it is to be able to sit next to this kiddo and hold the hand of this precious little miracle of God and get to see firsthand the power of it all!
But more importantly, these kids have blessed my life by teaching me certain things....things they had no idea they were teaching me.
1. Being able to be around such fragile little children has really shown me the blessing that is life, and the power that is our God. Our God is a powerful God. He can make things happen that we would label as "impossible" or "impractical" or with words like "never" or "highly unlikely" or "difficult". Nothing is beyond my God, and everything is possible through Him. These miracles are proof of my God and a demonstration of His love. These children are the most amazing people I have ever met.
2. I have learned just HOW beautiful and precious life really is. I had a fairly good grasp on this before I started working with them as I can see the blessing and beauty in the smallest things around me. But this just put it on a whole new spectrum of perspective. There is SO much beauty to life, and there is SO much beauty and wonderment to be had in "imperfections". These kids are little humans that get looked at as though they are aliens by others who are not used to being around anyone that is "different". But they are SO beautiful and amazing. And unfortunately most people won't be able to see past the rough and different exterior to see the beauty that lies within because most people never get past a superficial level of getting to know other people in general. People and life are so precious. And those thoughts alone are what make me SO happy on a daily basis. I wish others could feel this absolutely love for life and all that is in it.....because heaven knows, most people will never get to feel this.
3. Once again I have learned the power of a smile. It is one of the most powerful things out there, along with love. It is the simplest thing to show another person, it speaks wonders, and it's such a small act....that is all too often overlooked, left forgotten, and underestimated. I can't even tell you how many smiles I have given were fake but they cheered others up, but how many were real and how much MORE they affected others. Not to mention that no matter WHAT was going on in my life this past year, anytime I saw Patrick or Ethie and saw their beaming smiles.....absolutely NOTHING else mattered. All worries were gone for that little while that I was with them....all because they smiled so sincerely at me. I really wish more people smiled, or could understand this concept. There is just NOT enough smiling in this world. But my kiddos are some of the happiest people there are....and they face trials NONE of us could even begin to imagine ever going through.
I am SO blessed for getting the chance to work with my kiddos, my special needs kiddos. And I really wish that everyone got the opportunity to partake in something as wonderous and miraculous as I've gotten to take part in this past year. I wish all people in my life could learn the simple yet profound lessons I've learned this year from my kiddos and the people I've worked with in conjunction with, and I wish more people could feel and know they are as blessed as I know I am. Blessed for simply being alive!
If you read this, please take a few minutes to count the blessings in your life....because God has blessed you immensely! And then take enjoyment in knowing that your life is beautiful and wonderful and so incredibly blessed.