As I posted about yesterday, sometimes receiving a special needs child into a family can be full of difficulties as well as full of love and joy.  Since I was only two when Alyssa was born and about four when she began having seizures, I don’t know what it was like to ‘find out’ that my sister had special needs.

I asked my mom for her thoughts, but they were pretty much the same as mine. Since we kids all grew up with Alyssa and her special needs, we don’t really know what it is like to have to take it in for the first time.

What I do know is that my parents made sure that loving and accepting Alyssa was as natural as breathing.  The overwhelming message that was communicated again and again was that God had specially crafted our family to include each of us; especially Alyssa.  Everyone is given their challenges in life… we were blessed that ours also came with so much joy.  Not to say we didn’t all have our moments of frustration; but those frustrations were part of life as it was, not wishing for a life that could have been.

Again, I know not everyone has had such an experience.  And I know there are so many who are just starting their journey with a special needs child and their siblings.  So for those of you who have walked the road before…

What was it like for your family to welcome a special child?  What was the best thing you did?  Do you wish you’d have done anything differently?