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On August 20, 1971, our third son was born. Instead of the Doctor's usual happy words, "It's a boy", his words to us were, "We have some problems."

Our son, Timothy, was born without arms, a partial cleft palate, and later developed scoliosis (curvature of the spine). At a time like this, your first reaction is, "Why?". You feel like these things always happen to someone else.

We have learned never to take anything for granted. Having a handicapped child is a 24 hour a day job, and I have learned to take one day at a time. There are the endless trips to the doctor, finding a special dentist, hours spent driving to special schools, getting braces fitted, etc.

Children with special problems are extra special blessings! It seems like they are given a double portion of love to give to someone else. Tim is such a blessing to us. He is now 12 years old. Every small thing that he would learn to do for himself was a cause for a celebration. He gives so much love. At least 5 times a day, he will say, "Mom, I love you."

He had to go to a Cerebral Palsy Center for three years and is now in a public school with an aide. He is a very good reader and spends many hours reading. God has given him the talent to sing. He sings in church and also at home.

When problems come into our lives, it brings us closer to God. It teaches us patience that we never knew we had. It also makes us aware of others and their problems. It teaches us to have compassion for others. We learn to rely on God for everything. You go through things that you think you couldn't make it through. Phil, 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ , who strengtheneth me." I say that verse over and over every day! I know that without God, I can't make it, But with his help I CAN!

I went through a period of time that I just wanted to keep my son at home with my arms around him to protect him from the cruel words and stares of the people that you come in contact with. I soon realized that this attitude wasn't the right one and was not the best for my child. I have to ask God to help me every day. I want to do what God wants me to do.

Since he chose me to care for my precious, special son, I will try, with his help, to be the best mother I can be.

written by Mary in 1983
as an introduction to My Special Son