Living 17 years longer than the docters predicted. . .


Living Miracle

We celebrated Harp’s 19th birthday a while ago. It was a
beautiful spring day in South-Africa. Three of his friends that came, also have
some of their own developmental challenges in varying degrees. Two of our
Zimbabwean friends came, his ‘great uncle and aunt’ and 2 of our friends that
have been walking with me since before I knew him were there also.

Everyone had so much good and blessing in their wishes for
his next year. Cloud said that they have learned so much from him in the past 7
years. Every time he reached another milestone they have learned a spiritual
lesson.

Nikao his little brother (almost 5) had 2 ‘speeches’ and
told him that he likes playing with him and that he prays that Yeshua will
bless him with ‘liefde en blygeid’, that is love and joy put in very cute
Afrikaans.

Daniël our 50 year old friend that is lightly autistic told
him that Yeshua made him like he is for a reason and that He uses him just like
he is.

We were also thankful with everyone that knows him that he lived 17 years longer 

than what the doctors predicted when they saw the size of His kidneys at birth!!

It was a delightful visit and I realized again that Harp is
flourishing with people around him. Most of the time they are not really fazed
by his challenges and handicaps. They just enjoy being with him.

Caring for a special needs child strips one of all pretenses
and of upholding the false image that ‘all is fine always’.  It helps me to just be and surrender to my
heavenly Father every time things seem to get too much.

HS

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Harp’s African Travels – Part2


When we got to our hosts at about 18:00 the electricity was
down. It only came on at 1:30 am. That was our biggest challenge over the
weekend. Luckily our hosts had a generator as well. Harp battles with candle
light and feels insecure very quickly in
especially a strange environment because of his vision loss. Candle
light and poorly lit places to him is like total darkness.

It was dark at the venue as well because we only had one
lead light with candles in the classroom. The next evening he chose to stay at
our hosts instead of coming with us.

He enjoyed his own room there and could just do his own
thing without being bothered by his little brother and 2 sisters.

Throughout the weekend I realized that even though he has
people around him he is lonely because he misses his friends with handicaps
that he can relate to.

To get him to ‘Die oord’ seems impossible at this stage. He
really wants to go. Maybe we should just finish the application and leave the
rest in Yeshua’s hands. That would also leave him in a secure place where he is
a burden to no one when we go on challenging trips.

It was good having him with us, but I don’t know if he was
made for Rural Africa.

HS

Harp’s African travels


Harp’s African travels – Part 1

Living life together

 

At the end of the ninth month of 2011 we got the oppurtunity
to go to Masvingo In Zimbabwe to minister.

Before we went we asked Harp if he wanted to come with. He
could sleep on it. The next morning before we had to leave to apply for
temporary passports for the children he said yes.

He was very excited with us, because all of us have been
praying and dreaming about this.

He really enjoyed the
travelling part. Total distance we had to travel was about 800 km one way. The
last bit there was a challenge though. Nikao had diarhiee and the last 280km
after one crosses the border at Beitbridge took longer than the first 500 in
SA. When we had to change a tire Harp wanted to help. We let him carry stuff to
make space for the flat tire since our vehicle’s mechanism where the spare goes
makes it nearly impossible to put the flat back in the spare wheel’s space on
the road. Harp had to sit against  the flat tire for the last 230km. In his way he did help.

To be continued.

Reasoning with a 3-year old 19-year old !!!


Sounds crazy, doesn’t it. Those that deal with older
mentally handicapped children will understand. The natural desire in us for
normal growth is so strong that even though one knows with your mind this young adult-child’s reason is on the same level as most 2-5 year olds, one’s heart
talks to him as a 19 year old. Maybe its because he looks me right in the eye.
Maybe its because I’m trying to call him to a better place, but he is unable to
reach it. Then you add RAD (reactive attachment disorder /MMW missing mom
wound). At the time when his mom left them Harp was 4 years old.

All these give you a combination of someone who doesn’t understand the difference in time between one hour and one minute and one day,
one month or one week. He has this mega memory that has to process it through an XT processor. This means he will only hear half the story, make the other half up himself in his context and believe the outcome. Which can be hilarious sometimes. 🙂

Harp and I argued about traffic and the time he needs to be
at work. The first thing he usually starts with is ‘but Daddy. . .’ and then he
continues to talk down on me as if I am the child in the picture and He the
adult. That is where MMW features very strong, because he still does not trust
my word because his heart got hurt by his biological mom that he was
supposed to trust. I’ve been with him 2 years longer now than his biological
mom, and am still facing this frustration on a daily basis.

In my mind I am trying to figure out why we are still battling
with the same thing after 6 years. Maybe it’s because I was too soft with him
and did not punish him from the first warning and follow through with the
punishment every time. Maybe because I lose it almost every time when he gets
like that, while I know in my heart he is actually angry with Elizabeth for
abandoning him. With the last argument I threw a sponge and dishcloth at him.
When he gets like this I just want to wake him up so He can see I am not the
enemy. That reaction wil certainly not accomplish that.

The strange thing about these scenes is that it takes place
every time after Harp and I had some meaningful one on one time. My natural
reaction is to then avoid one on one time with him for a while.

Is there anyone out there that deals with this kind of
situation that came up with a way to deal with a mentally handicapped child wit
a serious MMW? If there is please let me know, because I am not seeing results
from my way of dealing with it.

Shalom.

HS

Meeting Harp


The first time I saw Harp I was quite surprised. I met
Barnabas at a home fellowship 3 months earlier. We never really spoke in depth
and I did not know he had a son. Harp was living in the school dormitory at the
time.

It took me almost another three months to work up the
courage to ask Barnabas the BIG question. ‘What is wrong with Harp?’ or ‘Why is
he like that?’ Why is it that we would rather stare and wonder than to ask the
parents the BIG question.

Being Harp’s mom now I realize it is better if people ask
rather than to wonder and stare (even when they think you are not looking) and
let the question hang in the air. How the question comes out does not really
matter. As long as people would acknowledge that Harp is there and ask rather
than to ignore the matter or him altogether.

The journey with a special needs child


Harp, Nikao, Sheaylah, Sabeah

The purpose of this blog is to raise a support group for families firstly in South Africa with one or more special needs children. Harmonie Shofar and some of the other names for our family are secret names. Those that walk very closely with us will know who we are, because the names refer to our function in the bigger body.There are several reasons for this. The main one is to protect the identity of Harp’s biological mom and grand parents since I am going to be very open and transparent about our struggles in all areas. May our openness help the other families out there.
The blog and facebook page is mainly about Harp. Harmonie Shofar is my hidden name and I decided to call the website the same. The name connects with the purpose of the blog and facebook page which is to create harmony in homes with family members with special needs and to give them guidelines to do the same by being transparent about our struggles. Another goal is also to give parents with special needs children hope and a support base to come to for advice and encouragement when things get tough. Sometimes we just need someone to talk to that also has a special needs child just to know that we are not alone. If we have questions that we don’t know the answers of we can search for the answers together.
Harp is one of 4 children. We (Barnabas & Harmony) got married in 2005. Harp was 13 at the time. He was part of our covenant. Therefore I will refer to myself as his covenant-mom and not stepmom. Barnabas and I have 3 more children. The oldest is a 5 year old boy called Nikao. The second is a 4 year old girl called Sheaylah and the third also a girl called Sabeah that is turning 3 this year (2011). All 4 is strong-willed in their own way.
The youngest three are all normal and very intelligent. One of our biggest challenges is helping Harp deal with them and to teach them how to treat him with respect.
My prayer is that you will be able to find hope and encouragement again and know that you are not alone.

There is Hope


The purpose of this blog is to raise a support group for
families firstly in South Africa with one or more special needs children.
Harmonie Shofar and some of the other names for our family are secret names.
Those that walk very closely with us wil know who we are, because the names
refer to our function in the bigger body.

There are several reasons for this.
The main one is to protect the identity of Harp’s biological mom and grand
parents since I am going to be very open and transparent about our struggles in
all areas.

May our openness help the other families out there to find hope and realize that they are not alone.