An encounter with God: Motherhood and children with additional needs

Carla with her husband and son. Photo: Supplied.

In 2016 after almost five years of being married and trying to fall pregnant, many interventions failing, a surgery and two miscarriages, we eventually held a baby in our arms—our first-born son, who we called Moses.

The first 10 months with him were beautiful, gosh I loved him so much it hurt!

We were living onsite at a boarding school in far North Queensland at the time and my days were all with him, while my husband worked with the students.

I had no other mothers to journey with but I didn’t mind, nor desire it at the time. My husband and I enjoyed this sweet child, his gorgeous temperament and the new life he brought us.

It wasn’t until he was about three years old that I realised something was going on.

Moses is autistic, with global developmental delays, intellectual disability and ADHD and is not developing typically.

The day I found out I drove from the hospital in a daze.

With Moses in the car with me, I drove to Snapper Rocks to stare at the ocean for as long as Moses would let me sit still— and backed the car into a six-foot stone retaining wall, crunching the spare tire into the back door of the car.

Moses is now seven years old, currently he is at home with me full time. We spend our days going to his various therapies and activities, and on adventures out in the community and in nature.

Moses. Photo: Supplied.

St Maximilian Kolbe said the cross is “the school of love”.

It might sound clichéd but my hope is in the Lord.

In all this Jesus has been closer than ever and I have drawn inspiration from Mary his mother as well. I take her as my mother too.

She is powerful and the grace of her love and intercession is very real for me. It’s deeply stirring how she powerfully gave her humble “fiat”.

This Latin word meaning ‘Let it be done’ reminds me of the fierce surrender and impact one ‘yes’ can mean.

When she accepted the mission to be the mother of Jesus, who was to become the saviour of the world, she set the world ablaze. To call her ‘brave’ is an understatement.

Jesus is now accessible to every man, woman and child because of her cooperation with the Holy Spirit.

So I ask myself, how can I say ‘yes’ to Christ and let his plan for me play out the way that he knows best? Trusting that he does know best.

I love my son for who he is not what he can do, but man he can do some pretty amazing things! He surprises us daily.

He glorifies God by just existing, and I’m reminded through him that I am also called to glorify God.

The gift these children are to the world and our church is unquestionable.

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