My son Adrian was born 02/11/08 and he was perfect in the womb with nothing wrong and fully developed. During the birthing process the doctor pulled him out by his head separating his nerves and leaving him paralyzed. At first I didn't really understand how this 'birth injury' would handicap our whole family. He was diagnosed with ERBS palsy. Of course I began to research and found the best medical care I could and 7 surgeries later in 3 years he has gained some mobility...and still has a long way to go.
I was so angry with God, family, and most of all at myself because I believed that I was being punished or that I just didn't do something right and had failed while giving birth to my child. So as a consequence I didn't discipline him for fear of him disliking me for his disability when he got older. I was, in essence, ruining him before he would even have a chance by always saying “no son you can't do that, no son you will NEVER be able to do that.” I did not believe that he was going to be capable of so many things.
In going through Pathways I realized so much more about the things that my son CAN do and that he WILL be able to do anything...it might not be easy and it might be a challenge but I was meant to be his mommy!! When I gave birth to my second son I didn't know how I would cope with his developmental growth vs my son Adrian. When I graduated Pathways I had an “aha” moment that I wrote to Lisa Deys, mother of Kayden Joy – the little girl the Special Needs fund is named after:
I have to share something with you …. Last night I was playing with my boys… and the baby crawled for the first time at 6 months old!! I was sitting there in shock because Adrian never did that. I started to compare the milestones that are happening that Adrian never had.....then my thought process changed.
I began to go back through the timeline of Adrian's life and realize he accomplished things that I didn't know he would ever be able to because of his disability...but HE HAS. Then I truly in my heart knew that anything he wants to do HE can do. I had the most positive outlook in seeing my son for the first time through what seemed to be unjaded eyes. I cried like a little kid on Christmas!
As I watched baby Ricky crawl all over the floor, Adrian sat and cheered him on saying "tum over baby dicky you can do it" and he was clapping.... I sat and breathed in that moment and would have never been able to make a memory as pure and innocent as this without experiencing what Pathways has brought to me. I would have never have been in Pathways if I was not given the opportunity to experience it and YOU YOU YOU gave me that chance.
You loved me enough to know that I could break free and know that God chose me to be his mama..!! I had to share this with you...this is how it feels to be FREE!!
Pathway is the only thing I can say gave me this new perspective on life and the life of my son!! Would I have ever been able to truly believe in my son and his disability without Pathways? Probably not. Why? Because I didn't believe in ME!!! Now it’s not even a belief or faith- it’s an “I KNOW I am GOOD ENOUGH,” and nothing or NOONE can take that from me!