I have debated about what to say about this. I have swung back and forth between keeping family stuff of this sort firmly in the family, and reaching out through these words and this media for much needed support and advice while maybe perhaps touching someone else who may be going through the same thing.
The thing is that there are different kinds of hurts, different kinds of special needs. There's the kind like Hazel's, the kind that you wear outside of yourself. The kind that everyone sees, and knows, and acknowledges. It has tubes and wires, it has numbers and patterns, a name and predictability. It's small and sweet, undeniable, and understandable by most people at least on some level. Everyone says: Look at the baby! She's so cute! How far she's come! What a blessing!
And then there's the kind that is burrowed deep inside. The kind that hurts, but not like tubes running into tummies or leads and wires making diaper changing hard, but the kind that hurts your heart. The kind that is painful, hurtful in and of itself. The kind that effects behavior, offends, and can make fun times not so fun. The kind that has no reason, no explanation, and usually, no cure.
And so, while Hazel grows and thrives and gets round and chubby on her feeding tube, and while we talk with doctors about when she may get to be off her oxygen and when the tube may come out (probably not for a year or more), we are at the same time beginning the slow and often times painful journey to find out how to help one of our other children with the issues that they are struggling through.
And for the sake of keeping it real, I am going to share parts of this journey here. Because this child's struggles are no more nor less than Hazel's, they are just different.
I guess you could say that we've always known that this child would have a hard time of it. Things were rough from the very very beginning, but I guess I never thought that we would be heading down the path that we now seem to be barreling down. The counselor has finally said, 'I can't help enough. You need to go to the next level.'
And so, it is with a heavy yet hopeful heart, we head out tomorrow to start the process of full evaluation. Heavy because I don't want to be heading down this road. Heavy because it's finally gotten so bad that there's no peace in the house. But hopeful because perhaps this is the first step toward improvement.
And this, my friends, is why I have not written for so long. How can I heartfully write when what is weighing on my heart is so heavy? How do you put into words that which you can barely let into your mind without pain? How do you say it out loud, when saying out loud is to really and truly admit it...admit that you can't do it anymore, that you can't handle what's happening on your own, that the image that you have in your mind must be reshaped, and that alone, you feel like you are drowning?
But because we love each of our children and we want what is the best for all of them, no matter what the cost to us, I am packing up my pride tomorrow and heading into what is for us the deep unknown, and asking