As a mom to multiple little ones who have medical needs and disabilities, I like to think that I never give up.
I have become a fighter—a mama bear—and I am willing to stand up to anyone and everyone who tries to put unfair limits on my children and their abilities, opportunities, and quality of life.
I do not accept no as an answer when it comes to my children and what they want, need, and are entitled to as human beings full of priceless worth.
However, in the midst of all this persevering and advocating, a difficult question I have come face-to-face with recently is this: What do I do when the answer really *is* no and I cannot change it no matter how much I, or my child, may ache to?
This kind of scenario is painful to even allow my mind to think about.
And yet, it is very much a part of reality at times for me, my children, and our family.
As much as I wish I could change absolutely anything for my children, there are certain situations or circumstance I simply cannot alter—at least not at the current time--no matter how hard I fight or how committed I am.
So what is left to do? My therapist (if you are a caregiver and do not see a therapist of counselor, I cannot recommend it enough) recently shared some perspective about acceptance with me.
He explained how acceptance is just that—simply accepting that which we cannot change.
The essential realization when it comes to acceptance is everything that acceptance is not and cannot be.
It is not approval of what is happening. It is not giving in. It is not agreement.
As a mom I must step into the unique and sacred role of modeling acceptance for my children while also leading them onward without giving up or giving in.
Together, we accept their diagnoses as best we can.
Together, we sometimes have to accept lack of options available for healthcare or therapies, even if just for a season of life.
Other times we must accept the inconvenience of adaptions that don’t quite measure up to the experience my child deserved.
At the same time, acceptance is never our habit or our norm.
Acceptance is not something we take on lightly or without full exploration of options.
But sometimes, acceptance cannot be avoided if we wish to keep moving forward.
My precious children must face some agonizing realities about their bodies, about their comfort, about society, about their futures…about many things.
But for each difficulty we cannot change and therefore must accept, there are hundreds of things we do have the privilege of refusing to accept and working for until the change comes.
It takes wisdom to discern when acceptance is the single remaining option and when it is not.
May we as caregivers be willing to never accept that which we or others can change and gracefully accept that which we cannot—perhaps coupled with the hope that someday, we can.