There was a good bit of time, when Maeve was younger, when I still hoped and prayed that she would “catch up” and be a “normal” baby. Maybe her difficulty nursing and eating was due only to her tongue tie! Maybe the way she didn’t look at me or hold onto my finger with her chubby fist was a personality quirk! Maybe I should trust the “every child is different- she’ll be fine!” comments! But as the months marched by and Maeve grew, so did the gaps between her and the averages. We added more therapies, began testing processes, and hesitantly began to swallow and eventually stomach the idea of Maeve being placed in the category of special needs.
It wasn’t easy saying “no” to so many “can she ______ yet?” inquiries from doctors and evaluators. It just seemed like Maeve couldn’t stack up, no matter to whom she was compared. Still pre-diagnosis and in a world of unknowns, I came across an article on the Risen Motherhood site called “I AM WHO I AM” In it, Rachel Wilson writes beautifully from the trenches of special needs parenthood about how, in a society which bases our value and worth on our abilities and accomplishments, we must remember that, “we have value not because of what we do, but because of who we are, and whose we are.” Being made in the image of God, imago dei, means we have immeasurable value and worth. Period. (She and her husband wrote a beautiful book together- which of course I bought immediately)
So even if Maeve doesn’t ever hit the milestones or live up to the expectations, she’s no less prized, important, precious, or treasured. She’s imago dei, made in the image of her Creator, belonging to Him, and SO ARE YOU!