A Glimpse at a Different Family

(Guest Contributor Alisha Marie Peters – Alisha blogs at The Moments That Change Everything)

Being a parent of a special needs child, I know that people often wonder about us. I know that we are often looked at with pity, and this saddens me the most, because we are in on “the secret”…. having these special little souls we’ve been lucky enough to raise has given us an inside scoop on the meaning of  what life is really all about.

Sure it’s hard sometimes, because there are certain things that definitely set us apart from “typical” families….

We spend our money on very different things- therapy, medications, medical equipment, adaptations to our homes and vehicles, special food (formula), countless medical bills!

Taking a trip anywhere is very different…. especially vacations. And I could never dream to take a vacation somewhere with my husband and leave my girl with someone. Couldn’t expect anyone to do the stuff we do…. administering her dozen or so medications everyday, including one by injection. Making her special formula and prepping it for her g-tube because she can’t eat much by mouth and is severely allergic to a lot of foods. And heaven forbid if that tube comes out of her stomach (and unfortunately it does… a lot!), her dad and I are the only ones who have ever replaced it. And then there’s the worry that something would go wrong- when she gets sick… it’s different…. a lot of the time she needs a hospital stay… But we do take vacations…. we just take our girl and half our home with us!

We see our kids get left out a lot…. but that’s why we try harder to make up for that.

But we have learned to appreciate things a lot more. Sure all parents are excited when their kids hit certain milestones, but for us, when a lot of us have been told that there’s a chance our kids might not do these things… then it’s like moving mountains to us.

We also appreciate every moment of every day, because a lot of us don’t know how much time we’ll have with these precious kids. Every day truly is a miracle.

My daughter makes life easier with her attitude. She is honestly the happiest child I have ever known, and being in the education field, that is really saying something! It is remarkable to me that despite the fact that she goes through way more than most would in a lifetime, she still has the best attitude imaginable! Makes it that much easier for me to have a good attitude too.

So, yes we are different from most families….

But, as you can see we’ve come to the conclusion that different is not so bad!

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About Alisha

I am a full-time Title One preschool teacher at a school for children with special needs. I do love my job, but my true passion is being a mother to one most amazing little girl. I feel that is my true purpose in life, and I would like to educate anyone and everyone I can about her. My daughter Emarie was born on the early morning hours of Christmas Eve 2007, and changed my life for good. For better. She was diagnosed 2 weeks after her birth with the rare chromosome abnormality of 18q deletion syndrome. It is so rare, that not even any of her doctors here in our state of Utah know much about it, or have ever seen it. I knew from the moment that her personality started to show around 2 or 3 months, which is always happy, that she could be someone to change the world. I'm doing everything in my power to help her along the way. She is so amazingly resilient that it just blows me away! She will have undergone 12 surgeries before she even reaches three years of age. Her dad and I love her endlessly and are doing everything in our power to give her the best life possible!

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