Having been the mother of two special needs children for nineteen years, I can attest to so many blessings that come out of having a differently abled child and all the lessons you learn and the way your life can be impacted positively. Unfortunately, having a child with challenges also creates a deep sense of isolation that is pervasive in all areas of life.
What the world sees of your life through interaction and social media is but a very small snippet of what the day to day is like. We are conditioned to learn to put on a smile and say we are fine even while we grieve the life we envisioned and the dreams we won’t see come to fruition. Many parents of special needs children are exhausted beyond the fatigue of normal parenthood. We are often confronted with the glaring accomplishments of other’s children on social media. We are left out of conversations because our experiences are so very different. We are often unable to attend social functions due to our children’s care and the lack of others who can keep our children or are willing to.
This isolation and need for fellowship is why our Caregiver Program is of the utmost importance at Living Hope Equine Therapy. At Living Hope, we believe the most important values we can share are love and kindness. That love includes the whole family. We believe in cheering on every rider in our program. We celebrate every accomplishment, big or small, in the barn, the show arena and life as a whole. We offer a sense of belonging where honesty and saying this life is hard is allowed and encouraged.
Living Hope gives us a place where we can let down our guard, be ourselves and drop the often-heavy load of constantly having to advocate for our child and their needs. We support one another through rough days, medical challenges, and the day-to-day struggles of parenting a child with challenges. We celebrate all of our victories, even those that the world may not acknowledge. We want every person who walks into our midst to know they are loved exactly as they are. We believe wholeheartedly that we are stronger together and better because we choose to live life together and love each other well.
The Caregiver Support program believes in the importance of fellowship and is open to parents, family members, friends, volunteers, community advocates and anyone else who could benefit from the support provided from this program. You can learn more on our Caregiver Support page on the website.