The book I bought, The Life We Never Expected: Hopeful Reflections on the Challenges of Parenting Children with Special Needs by Andrew and Rachel Wilson, at the beginning of the book uses the idea of having a special needs child is a bit like getting an orange at the end of a fancy dinner. Imagine you’re at a fancy dinner and everyone receives one of those wonderful, segmented chocolate oranges you see at Christmas (if you’ve never had one, look for them and enjoy them this Christmas). Instead of that delicious flavorful chocolate, you receive a plain ordinary orange: difficult to peel, seeds to spit out, and juice dripping off your chin. It’s not that oranges aren’t good. In fact, they are tasty and they’re probably better for you in the long run, but they’re not what you expected, and it’s disappointing. I thought this was a very apt analogy.
We we’re reminded recently, that a special need child is mourned for just like a child who dies. Just as we grieved the loss of our child who died in the womb last year, we mourn for what could be for Christina a well. This is natural. We weep before the Lord over the effects of sin and the curse in the world. We don’t know what life will be like for us and for Christina, but it won’t be easy. Now, we also look at this frowning providence and consider that God is completely good and completely sovereign and that He makes no mistakes. So Christina is supposed to have Apert Syndrome. It means God wants us to love her and care for her, and learn some great truths of relying on His grace and mercy for our day-to-day strength. When things go well, it’s easy to coast. When daily you are pressed in difficulty and trouble, you are much more focused on relying on the grace of Christ for every moment. In the end, the orange is better for us than the chocolate, just like Christina with Apert Syndrome, is better for us than Christina without.
It’s tough to come to these conclusions, but it is what God’s Word reveals to us. He doesn’t tell us why, but He does tell us to trust Him. So, while I do not know what life will be like with little Christina, I do know that God is good and God is kind and God is in control. He gave me an orange because He knew I needed an orange. And boy, is that orange wonderful. :)