Beauty in Broken Dreams

I knew something was wrong the moment he was born.

His cry was weak. He had a strange spot on the back of his head, and birth markings ran down his spine like a symmetrical inkblot. As the hours wore on, I became increasingly concerned.

Over the next several days we began to learn about several medical abnormalities affecting our son’s brain, spine, heart, and kidneys. The syndrome that we suspected meant that Nathan would be severely developmentally delayed.

No one, when you’re a little girl, dreams of growing up and having a child in a wheelchair or unable to communicate. This was not my plan for the “perfectly normal” family I was envisioning.

The first two years of Nathan’s life were incredibly disorienting. Beauty in Broken Dreams shares what it’s like to have a medically complex child and the many lessons we learned in the beginning. It’s full of practical advice and encouragement for parents who receive a special needs diagnosis in the early years.

This is the story of how God can take broken dreams and turn them into something beautiful and redemptive.

The Kindle version is available for only $5.99 on Amazon.

This book is told from the perspective of having a medically complex child at birth, but it will speak to the struggles many special needs parents face—where to find community support and resources, how to deal with doctors, what type of therapy is best for your child, and how to grieve the life you were expecting while opening yourself up to new dreams. Slowly you’ll begin see how God takes broken dreams and turns them into something beautiful and redemptive.

Special call outs include:

  • Hospital Packing List

  • Therapy Questionnaire

  • How to Prioritize

  • Tips for the NICU

  • and more!

Kathy McClelland is the author of Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent. Her second son was born with a rare (1 in 50,000 births) chromosomal disorder which catapulted her into the world of special needs parenting. She blogs at about finding beauty and hope in the midst of broken dreams. She is also a regular contributor to and has published on,, and She lives with her husband and sons in Austin, Texas.