Today is "World Autism Awareness Day"....
I really have had this on my heart all day today and I finally decided to put it all down here on my blog.
I stopped and thought about it last night in the wee hours when I was trying to fall asleep and it seriously boggles my mind that we've had this "thing" called Autism in our lives for....let's see....Linz is 19 years old and she was diagnosed at 2....so I guess it's been 17 years. Wow! That's mind boggling to me. I remember hearing the word for the first time and I thought, "Autism? What the hell is that? We don't know anyone else with autistic children.....How did this happen to us?" I won't lie. Along with all of those thoughts I kept asking, "Why" and "What did I do?" It had to be me, right? I mean I am the one who carried them within my body for nine months. Nine months of dreaming....nine months of feeling flutters, hiccups, kicks and more. I did what I was told and I followed all the "rules". So then why? And when I was pregnant with Zach I was elated to find out that we were going to have a boy. A son. After two girls I couldn't wait to give Mike a son. Surely God wouldn't give us two children with special needs. But He did.
|Breakfast at Ohana's at Disney World...with Stitch|
Now, 17 years later, I realize that "why" doesn't matter. It just is. We've come so far from where we started and I know now that we are supremely blessed beyond measure. I wouldn't trade any of our kids for anything or anyone different. I can't imagine a world without any of them in it. Now I realize that I am their mother and I am quite biased but I know that they have touched so many lives and have been a blessing to many. How could I ever question "WHY" when I witness that?
I will still have days when I'm sad.....days of frustration....and I'll still wonder what might have been. I've come to realize that it's only natural to do that. But the days of joy and happiness far surpass the darker ones Their laughter heals my heart. Their smiles soak up my tears. I realize that we are truly blessed in this walk that was chosen for us. What an honor it is to be the mom to two unbelievably special and unique children and the sister that they are so blessed to have.
So the real reason for writing this entry was because I wanted to celebrate you on this World Autism Awareness Day. You who have stood by us. You who have loved us. You who have accepted our children just as they are and loved them without hesitation.
Thank you, first and foremost, to my amazing husband... Michael, you are my soul mate and my one true love. You are the rock that holds me up....my sounding board...my soft place to fall....the one who believes in me when I don't...the one who listens to me rant....the one who dries my tears....laughs with me and NEVER gives up on me. YOU are the true example of what a Dad should be. Thank you for being with me on this journey. I could never imagine making this journey with anyone but you. I love you.
Thank you to the most incredible big sister God could have ever created for Linz and Zach. Thank you, Bealy, for your patience, your love and your understanding. You are truly a precious gift to us and we love you so, so much. We know that it hasn't been an easy road for you but you have handled it all with grace and love and we are so proud of you.
Thank you to my parents, the most amazing grandparents of all time. Thank you for pouring out your love on our three beautiful children and loving them each individually for who they are and for right where they are. For praying faithfully everyday for us...For believing in us....For always being there for us.
You are our inspiration and we love you.
Thank you to our family members...too many to count....who have loved us and supported us through our journey thus far. Thank you for asking questions and being willing to listen. Thank you for helping us, laughing with us, crying with us and for praying for us. We treasure you all.
Thank you to all the wonderful teachers, bus drivers, aides, therapists and school staff who have taught them, guided them and been blessed by them. We can never repay you for all your hard work and encouragement.
And finally, thanks to all of you, our friends. I know I started this blog to keep track of things just for me. I wanted a place to journal...a place to post silly events and quotes that I knew I'd forget....creative projects that kept me sane when I felt I was losing myself....and maybe even a place to rant. I really thought my mom would be the ONLY reader!
But....thank you to those of you who have read and commented and been so loving and supportive. Thank you for not judging us (or me)...or if you have...thanks for not telling me. :-) but simply being there praying for us all along. We love you more than words can ever express and we are blessed by you.
So today, World Autism Awareness Day, celebrate with us. Pray for each and every 1 in every 110 children who have this mysterious diagnosis and their families that some day very soon we will find a cure.
Thank you and God bless you,