physical therapy

‘Gianna would love to talk to you.’ I instantly regretted my decision. ‘Do I really want her at my house?’ We set a date.’: Mothers form unlikely bond through special needs daughters, ‘Everyone is struggling. Some of us just hide it better’

“She thought we should meet. Would it be awkward? Texting a stranger? I knew what I needed to do first. Look her up on Facebook. I immediately found her page and was instantly intimidated by her photo. Her profile picture was of her on their wedding day. She was beautiful, thin, gorgeous. There were no photos of her daughter’s face. Everything was vague. Did she think she was Blue Ivy? What’s the deal with that? I am a chronic over-sharer. Surely we wouldn’t have anything in common. Oh how wrong I was.”

‘My family said, ‘I told you so.’ Why didn’t I notice it? I wanted to pretend it never happened.’: Mom first denies son’s autism diagnosis, now advocates for ‘acceptance, inclusion’

“We vacuum when he’s not home, use the blender in the garage and I can’t blow dry my hair unless he’s asleep. Once he sees the appliance, it’s an instant tantrum. Truth be told, I’m scared. Scared he’ll be bullied for being different. I’m so, so, terrified of that. ‘Is he going to live a ‘normal’ life? Will he get married, have kids?’ I still feel broken at times.”

‘Momma, I ‘dopted now!’ My son was bitten, strangled, and starved. He had 15 broken bones.’: Couple adopt Shaken Baby Syndrome survivor, ‘he was always ours, now we have the papers to say so’

“He was born just like any other baby. Until his biological mother or father had ‘shaken’ him. We were told he may never walk, talk, eat, see, or hear, and would have to be spoon fed for the rest of his life. People often ask why his skin is so dark. We get so many dirty looks. But we don’t care. We’re just so happy to give him a safe and loving home.”

‘I don’t see arms.’ The sonographer takes too long rubbing the wand over my belly. Everything goes silent.’: After ‘repeat miscarriages,’ mom births ‘miracle, rainbow baby’ with TAR Syndrome

“We told our family about Nicholas’ lack of arms. ‘Do you think you should keep him?’ That question BROKE my heart. Having to confront the fact others disagreed with me was as painful as my miscarriages. Was I sentencing him to a painful life? People who didn’t know would talk of all the things he’d accomplish. It all felt like lies.”

‘I was asked if I had any questions. All I could manage to mumble was, ‘Will I lose my hair?’ I was 16. I was in high school. I was a girl. I couldn’t be bald. I just couldn’t.’

“Three words. That’s all it took. Three simple words. Everything was happening too fast. I just sat there, staring at the wall, trying not cry. When homecoming came, I had this beautiful red dress. I put on heels, makeup. Then I looked in the mirror and crumbled to the ground. What was I thinking? I looked ridiculous. I looked sick.”

For our best love stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter: