There are so many special needs children (and adults) out there. Every time we have a doctor’s visit or make a trip to the emergency room, we see children and families who have it way harder than we do. It makes you look at your life and think “it’s not so bad, it could be worse.” But Ryan’s story is so unique to our family that it needed to be told, if only to let other families know that they are not alone, and others are living their life. Our family, luckily, has never had to deal with a lot of “things” – an occasional trip to the emergency room, broken bones, a bike wreck – but Ryan’s birth changed that. We have had to slow down, accept that unexpected things happen to good people, and acknowledge that we are not in charge: God has a plan, and there is a reason that we have Ryan in our life.

“God has a plan, and there is a reason that we have Ryan in our life.”

This book was written about my special needs grandson. When he was born, we were expecting a normal, though exciting, birth. There were no indications on his initial ultrasound that there were any medical issues which would need to be addressed once he was delivered. Everything happened so fast and needed to be dealt with so immediately that we were all totally overwhelmed (especially Mom and Dad). When he was in the NICU (neonatal intensive care) unit at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, I remember telling my daughter that “everything will be OK. In a couple of years, you will not know anything was ever wrong with him.” Boy, was I wrong. Things went downhill for a long while, and we do not take any day for granted. Each day is a struggle and a blessing for us, and even more so for Ryan. I felt that there was a message in his life, and it needs to be shared.
– Beth, Ryan’s nana

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