Have Faith

Cooper 24

I should be at church right now. There are a whole lotta reasons why I’m not.

Anyhow, I’m sitting here, drinking coffee, watching two of my boys play, and thinking about faith. It’s no secret that my son is thriving. We’ve figured out how to help him in all the ways that he needs help. We’ve found him the right supports. We navigated the system blindly.

He’s growing up. He’s happy. He’s exactly who he is supposed to be. Super Cooper.

We can breathe now. We can pause and enjoy.

I’m thinking about the faith I want other parents to have. Faith in themselves as parents to children with additional needs. Faith in the systems. Faith in other people. But most importantly, faith in their child. Their amazing, unique child.

So here goes…

Have faith you’ll figure out the unique mysteries that are your child. And how to get inside of their world.

Have faith you’ll find the right schools, therapies and support systems for your family.

Have faith you’ll build a strong, positive, fearless tribe around your child who will never stop raising them up and pushing them forward.

Have faith you’ll navigate the exhausting benefits system and get the help that your child needs.

Have faith that this will all get better. The hard parts. The behaviors. The self injuring. The medical stuff. The isolation. The parts that we don’t talk about. All of it.

Have faith that everyone in your life that matters…spouses, grandparents, relatives, friends and siblings will get on the acceptance train.

Have faith in progress and baby steps.

Have faith that regressions will turn into giant leaps forward.

Have faith that you’ll let go of any anger, sadness or negativity in this life.

Have faith it won’t be hard forever.

Have faith to let go of the life you expected and truly love the life you were given. Because I promise you…you are one lucky parent.

Have faith you’ll figure out how to get your child to sleep, sit, communicate and try.

Have faith that you’ll learn how to connect with your child. But also that you’ll find the joy every day.

Have faith that you’ll find your own voice.

Have faith that your child will grow into exactly who they are supposed to be.

Have faith it will get better.

But most importantly, have faith that you will figure out how to be the best parent you possibly can be for your child. Keep learning and growing with them.

Just think, one day you may find yourself bowling and eating pizza at a restaurant.

At your lowest point, have faith.

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

Kate Swenson

Kate Swenson lives in Minnesota with her husband Jamie, and four children, Cooper, Sawyer, Harbor and Wynnie. Kate launched Finding Cooper's Voice from her couch while her now 11-year-old son Cooper was being diagnosed with autism. Back then it was a place to write. Today it is a living, thriving community of people who want to not only advocate for autism, but also make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities and their families. Her first book, Forever Boy, will be released, April 5, 2022.

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