Bennett Acker suffered an in utero stroke. In that moment, before he was even born, the trajectory of his life changed forever.
Now, for the Acker family, the “small” things are the “big” things…
Anna, Bennett’s mom, recently gave us a snapshot of their life as a family and how they’ve learned to cherish each moment, encourage one another, and celebrate life’s little victories. With her permission, here’s a glimpse of their story in Anna’s words…
“Many times (more often than not), there is a constant worry that your child won’t ever do things that would otherwise be considered ‘normal.’
For me, it is hard to be sure what Bennett will be capable of, so every new thing he does is exciting. Small things that would typically be overlooked – like sitting up unassisted, pushing buttons, holding his own cup, getting out of bed, and giving hugs and kisses – have brought me so much joy.
When you are a special needs parent, the small things ARE the big things!
I want to tell [other moms] it’s all going to be okay. (I can remember wanting to scream every time I heard this.) I want to tell [other moms] it will get easier.
But the truth is, it’s hard…
Going to doctors, specialists, and numerous therapy sessions every week, all while working and trying to make sure your house doesn’t look like someone turned it upside down and shook it is hard. Hearing more bad news after you thought you were finally on the other side of things is hard. Watching your child struggle and fighting every urge to help them so they can learn is hard. Watching kids the same age as your child run around and play and speak is one of the hardest things imaginable. Not giving up… is hard.
But the first time you see your little one accomplish that goal you have been working on for months, there is no greater joy! All of your hard work and tears suddenly have meaning.
Cherish these moments. Hold on to these victories. These are the true rewards of being a mother to a child with special needs.”
Bennett and Anna are bright lights in our clinic. We all celebrate when Bennett arrives and gather around to give him smiles and snuggles. We celebrate his “small” victories right along with his family!
Anna epitomizes the meaning of resilience, grace and strength. Her candor and bravery is a welcome reminder that it’s okay to not be “okay.” Everyday will not be easy, but we continue to persevere, to hold on to hope, to never give up. And we achieve this together!
At MTS Kids, one of our Core Values is to Trust The Best Is Yet To Come. We aim to do this, not just in our own lives, but arm-in-arm with our families, walking alongside of them as they live out their stories. Their story is OUR story! When asked how we could serve her better, Anna simply responded, “Our SLP, Sara, is always praising his accomplishments and giving us tips on how to work with him at home. She has taken the time to understand how he learns and what he responds to.”
Thank you, Anna, Bennett, and the Acker family for sharing your story, for welcoming us into your lives, and for living life in such a way that you always aim to Trust The Best Is Yet To Come. You are making a difference!
July is Parent Appreciation Month!
To share YOUR story or to find out more about MTS Kids, click here.