This Thanksgiving I give thanks for the amazing PRIVILEGE I have in raising Philip. I get to be a witness to miracles each and every day. I feel immense joy in seeing my son being able to do what most kids his age do so simply- ordering at a restaurant, conversing with a brother or sister, telling people what he wants for Christmas. Over and over I am awestruck by my son as he displays how much he has learned from the world despite being in special education all his life, demonstrates compassion for others, and reveals the special relationship he has with God. All these things I once considered an impossible dream, but now they have all come true! I seriously have to remind myself I am not dreaming!
My in-laws are visiting for the week of Thanksgiving. They have been amazed at Philip’s progress. My father-in-law reminded me of the poem, Heaven's Very Special Child, I received when Philip was pretty newly diagnosed. It is framed on my mantle but I hadn’t read it in awhile. My father-in-law remarked about how God made the right choice in sending Philip to me. He knew I’d not give up on Philip and would have the patience and persistence to be the right mom for him. I also believe God sent me the right kid in Philip. He is the one teaching me everyday to see with eyes of faith when everything seems contrary. He is teaching me to set my hopes high and trust in God’s deliverance. He is teaching me how to truly love unconditionally.
Today (the day before Thanksgiving) was a fun day. We took my in-laws to see Niagara Falls on the first day of freshly fallen snow. It was beautiful! They later took the kids to get their Christmas presents. I used the letterboard to let Philip tell his grandparents what he wanted. He spelled, “I WANT A TOY THAT LET’S YOU EAT.” We were a bit confused at first. Knowing Philip likes food, we thought maybe he wanted a type of food. I asked Philip to be more specific. He spelled, “A TOY THAT LETS YOU EAT SLUSHIES.” I was so excited. He wanted a slushie maker! That made a lot of sense because one of his favorite things to do is to get a Slurpee with his Dad at 7-11. After dinner, Philip’s grandparents got him a kid’s Slurpee Maker. Philip was so excited he was practically bouncing off the walls and kept hugging his grandparents. Philip then got to pour the juice into the contraption, spin the handle, and eat his own slushie creation made from his favorite Capri Sun juice.
Happy Thanksgiving! Stay tuned later for Philip’s Thanksgiving letter……
HEAVEN'S VERY SPECIAL CHILD
A meeting was held quite far from Earth!
It's time again for another birth.
Said the Angels to the LORD above,
This Special Child will need much love.
His progress may be very slow,
Accomplishments he may not show.
And he'll require extra care
From the folks he meets down there.
He may not run or laugh or play,
His thoughts may seem quite far away,
In many ways he won't adapt,
And he'll be known as handicapped.
So let's be careful where he's sent,
We want his life to be content.
Please LORD, find the parents who
Will do a special job for you.
They will not realize right away
The leading role they're asked to play,
But with this child sent from above
Comes stronger faith and richer love.
And soon they'll know the privilege given
In caring for their gift from Heaven.
Their precious charge, so meek and mild,
Is HEAVEN'S VERY SPECIAL CHILD.
by Edna Massionilla
Philip enjoying his Slurpee Maker
Grandpa Dave and Grandma Peggy
A view of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls
A view of the American Falls from Canada