Life Lessons from a Special Needs Daughter


I am not the parent I thought I would be.

Not even close.

Before I had kids I just knew I’d be the kind of mom where everyday activities were filled with learning experiences about life and guiding young hearts towards the cross.

I imagined the fun, the laughter, the learning that our family would do together, and it made me smile just thinking about it.

I envisioned a daughter who would radiate the love of the Lord to others and be a calm, gentle spirit in a dark and sinful world.

Five years into our fertility journey, God gave us the gift of Joy, our daughter, through the beauty of adoption.

Life Lessons from a Special Needs Daughter Kaylene Yoder

From the moment she was placed in my arms, tiny and pink, I loved her and praised God for uniting us as a forever family.

It was one of the best days of my life, and I embraced my new mom role wholeheartedly by dolling her up in frilly clothes and the obligatory baby bows.

She was the apple of our eye, and our family felt complete in every way.

Parenting her was a breeze and I just knew I had this mom thing down pat.  Why did people say this was hard?

We were one of those families; our Facebook pictures always joyful since having our girl made us the perfect little family.

Yet things quickly changed.

Joy started lagging behind the development of her peers and I knew in my mother’s heart that something was wrong.

I was right.

I’d be honored if you finished reading these life lessons from my extra special girl over at .  I’m part of an AMAZING series, Parenting Girls, so be sure to stick around see the other posts by my talented blogger friends.

How have you been touched by a special needs child?  I’d love to hear your story and the lessons you’ve learned.



  1. It’s so nice to hear that despite extra needs, you love your child just as much! It’s tough for sure, but as a parent, we all take on whatever hardships come our way, out of love. It’s the reason why I personally have opted out of genetic testing while pregnant. I do not need to be scared of what challenges will come my way. Let your worries be for tomorrow and take life one day at a time. Bless you!


    1. Great idea! Plus, God is in control and will lead you through those situations you don’t think you can handle. He uses those times to grow and refine you, no matter how hard it may be.

  2. We have friends who adopted a special needs little girl after their children were grown. She had significant issues and was neglected as a baby. They loved on her and she has been a tremendous blessing to everyone who knows her. Thank you for writing about this, unfortunately many people still don’t understand how to best support families with special needs children.

    1. I agree, Sherri! We have many friends who are no longer in our lives, simply because they don’t understand that our family has different needs and a different schedule. It’s sad!

  3. Thank you for sharing about your experiences (I read the rest of the post), and may God bless you and your little Joy. Or should I say, your big Joy.

    1. It’s so true! It isn’t always easy, but God has a plan for their lives, too!

  4. I have a special needs child, a daughter. She was born with spina bifida and you can read her story over on my blog under A Daughter Teaches, A Mother Learns. She is 24 years old now and still lives with us and God’s plan was never my plan. Yet, He has been faithful in giving me everything we needed to raise her.

    1. Thank you so much, Michelle! It’s amazing how God supplies us what we need on those paths we wouldn’t have chosen, and to watch Him grow us on our circumstances.

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