I then brought up that I was a Special Olympics volunteer when I was a senior in high school back in 1994. She remembered that and I began telling her what I could remember about the little boy I was assigned to. His name was Jimmy and his disability was pretty severe. I believe he had cerebral palsy but I can’t remember that for sure. Mentally, he was about six months old, was in a wheelchair, didn’t talk or interact any at all. I remembered that the child my friend was assigned to had his Mom and Grandma there cheering him on but Jimmy didn’t have anyone there but me, a stranger.
It struck me as ironic. Little did I know then as I pushed Jimmy in his wheelchair at the Special Olympics that fifteen years later I would be at the special Olympics again pushing someone in a wheelchair but that someone would be my son. And actually it’s not ironic – it was/is God’s doing.
For so long I have always believed that God gives special needs children to special families. He hand picks the families that he thinks can handle these children. (I say families because it really does take a family to raise a special needs child.) Once we knew the cause of Noah’s cerebral palsy, I had a hard time believing that. I no longer felt like we were special or chosen. I was angry for a little while and had to work through that.
But later that day as I reflected on mine and my Mom’s conversation and my own thoughts, it became apparent to me that regardless of how Noah’s cerebral palsy happened, God chose the family that would be lucky and special enough to have that wonderful little boy.
(above photo taken at this year's Special Olympics)