Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The journey

A little over five years ago, when Katie was first officially diagnosed with autism, I felt as if my world was falling apart. I gradually progressed into a stage of grieving - grieving the loss of a "normal" childhood for her, knowing that she will most likely never graduate from college, never get married, never have children of her own.

I then moved into a stage of action. I almost went off the deep end trying to get Katie every service, every therapy, every potential help that was out there for her. Once her services were well on their way to being established, reality started to set in. The reality of who Katie is and all the things she was capable of....pushing out the screens from the windows and "escaping" the house, climbing things, eating things that aren't meant to be eaten, the list goes on and on. Reality is a long stage - as least it was for me. I think reality was age 3-5 for me. The reality that spoken word will never be Katie's primary or preferred method of communication. The reality that she might never be completely toilet trained (although she totally proved me wrong on that one and is doing a fabulous job!) The reality that God chose Katie for us to raise. He gave her to us. He entrusted us with this precious life. A unique life, unlike many, but one that has since become the norm for us. I have often told people that I am thankful that God chose me to be Katie's parent. Not because I'm a great parent, because that is not what we are called to be, but rather because I love Katie, and I try to teach her that Jesus loves her, and I am grateful that she is in our home where she is treated with love, respect and equality to the fullest that we are able to give her. It took a long time for me to be able to say those things. It was definitely after I had passed through the "reality" was more like what I call the "routine" stage.

Although nothing in our life is really routine (except for Katie's schedule) I believe that I (and we as a family) are now in the routine stage with Katie. This is where, even though things are never easy - and if you are my friend on facebook, you will already know that things lately have been anything but easy. Katie has been extremely emotional, tantruming all the time, appearing to be completely out of sync, which leaves me standing there, looking at her, and wondering - "how can I help you? Why can't you tell me what is wrong? -- I feel horrible for her that in many ways she is "trapped" - unable to tell anyone what she is feeling, if she is hurt, if she needs help. That is the routine stage - learning to know how she communicates - and being able to meet her needs even though she can't verbal tell you what she needs. I write all this really only for my own reflection - to look back and say - look how far we have much progress we have made, how much progress Katie has made.

It has been a very tough week so far - probably the roughest we have had in quite some time - and maybe that is what is causing me to be reflective - to say out loud that I wouldn't want my life to be any other way - that having Katie in my life makes me a better mother, a better wife, a better friend - and most of all has taught me a lot about God's love and acceptance - and how His hand truly does guide all things. Thank you Lord for our precious Katie. Help me to remember what a blessing she is, especially during the trying and difficult times.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Found It...

Here is the picture of Mary from the Autism Walk.....just so we have proof that she was there too!

Walk About, Talk About Autism

We had a wonderful day Saturday at the annual "Walk About, Talk About Autism" walk for our local chapter of the Autism Society of America. It was a bit chilly out....49 degrees to be exact, but Bill and the girls walked a little over 3 miles. (I walked a little bit less than that :)
Mary was with us, too, but for some reason I must not have uploaded the really cute picture I have of her with her autism tattoo on her face...I'll have to figure out where it is on my phone and add it later this week....but it was a great time for the 4 of us...and Katie did exceptionally well.

There was a clown with balloons, crafts, games, prizes, lunch and of course the walk itself. It is a really nice opportunity to see and meet people from our local autism community. Many people who have been a part of Katie's education were there as well as several families we know who also have children with autism.

I think Katie was pretty tired by the time this picture was taken. We were there for about 4 hours....and with all of that walking, she definitely was a trooper!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Day of Pondering

I usually use this blog only to reflect on our family and the things that take place on a daily basis -- our journey through autism, school happenings, vacations, etc., but mind is full of thoughts - and I find this the best outlet to express what is bottled up in my mind.

If you know me personally, outside of the blog world, you know that God has taken me on many journeys during my walk with Him. Journeys of both joy and pain. Happiness and Sorrow. When going through many of these journeys, especially difficult ones, it is often hard to see the big picture, to understand the whys and hows. I am the first to admit that I have gone through some very dark times in my walk with God. He has, and will, always remain faithful, even though the circumstances of this life would cause me to doubt and question Him and His ways. "Why would you do this God?" or "How could you allow this to happen?" With time, many of these questions are answered. God gently reveals His plan and purpose to us, in His time, in His way. For me this is usually after a period of great sorrow, and then great growth and healing.

Today, I was exposed to great sorrow. Although this sorrow was not in my own life, it has impacted me greatly as I have tried to process this sorrow throughout the day. It has taken me back to a time when I personally experienced great sorrow, and I again found myself traveling down the road of questioning. "Why, God, why would you allow this to happen?" Maybe it is the human nature in me - the desire for everything to make sense. The difficulty of allowing my finite mind to understand the complexities of an infinite God, whose wisdom, mercy and grace are far beyond what I will ever truly be able to comprehend this side of heaven - or perhaps it is lies in my inability to find anyway to comfort those who are experiencing the sorrow. For Christ alone is our comfort - and until the questioning, and often even doubting are complete - that can be a difficult concept to grasp.

What I do know is this,"God is our refuge and strength, an everpresent help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Just a few of the things I missed blogging about...


Okay everyone (all 2 of you)....don't die of shock, I'm back. I know, I've become so dependent on Facebook to keep up with everyone that I haven't done much (well, any) blogging in months. A lot has happened since September. School started for Mary and Katie has continued on at her new school. We took a 10 day trip to Disney which was amazing, we endured another Michigan winter, Katie had a broken arm, and needed 5 staples in her head (2 different occasions)....yep, a lot has happened. I promise to be more faithful to my blogging...and maybe I'll even throw in some retro (well, from January) pictures to get everyone caught up........