“Every child is gifted. They just unwrap their packages at different times.”~Unknown
When Adrian came into our lives not only did I receive the title of “Mother of 2″ but I also received the title, of “autism advocate”. Prior to Adrian’s diagnosis in April of 2006 I knew practically nothing about autism. Now, Adrian is 7 years old. On the day he was born back in March of 2004 he came out an 8 pound 6 ounce healthy baby boy. We breathed a sigh of relief, healthy, perfect, grand dreams of his future. Looking back I can see how naive that is. I was 21 years old when I had him and had a “it can never happen to us” kind of attitude when it came to sickness, disorder, or disability. Very little can make you gain more compassion and understanding faster then a special needs diagnosis being placed on your child.
“One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time.” ~ John Wanamaker
As he grew into a toddler and we watched him develop we had no clue any of his behaviors were atypical . We joked that he was the strong and silent type and the hand flappinig he did? “Well isn’t that cute…he’s so excited.” At that time, little did we know, that is a big red flag. And “Oh look, he’s going to be engineer, look at him examine the hinges on that cupboard!”, another waving red flag of autism.
By the time Adrian was 18 months old we knew that autism was our new reality. It hit me and before I knew it I was diving head first into the autism world, soaking up information and mourning what could have been. Most of my days were filled with appointments for Adrian, getting him the early intervention that he needed. In the quiet moments I would cry out, “Why? Why our family? I don’t understand, it’s not fair!” We recently passed the 5 year mark of Adrian’s diagnosis and the whole family has really come to terms with autism means for Adrian and for our family. We still go through difficult times but the hard times seem to get further apart and the good times are more often.
I am thankful for autism’s early warning signs. We were able to start Adrian with early intervention before he turned two years old. Early intervention can really make all the difference.
We were and still are full of hope for his future.
“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein
Adrian is now talking in full sentences most of the time. Adrian is beginning to read and write. Adrian is starting to behave more appropriately in social situations. We celebrate these accomplishments. Every word he says, every word he reads, every social outing can be a celebration for our family. Adrian’s victories are his to own and we are very proud of him. It hasn’t come easily, I will never forget when he was about three years old for some reason I resolved to teach him to say the word “water”. It was absolutely painstaking. I would work on it every day for months and months and I remember thinking one day that he was just never going to say it and then lo’ and behold he did say it. Sometimes working with him I didn’t see the progress , it seemed like I was just treading water, although, slowly but surely we were paddling our way forward.
“Not everything that steps out of line, and thus ‘abnormal,’ must necessarily be ‘inferior.” ~Hans Asperger
One day someone told me “I’m sorry about your son.” I was really taken aback, confused, sorry about my son? Why? My son is everything I want. I couldn’t imagine another son or a different kind of Adrian. Adrian is who he is, and there is nothing to be sorry about in that.
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” ~Washington Irving
I can say without a doubt, I am so glad that Adrian is mine. I am proud to be his mother. The joy, love, and happiness that he has brought our family is too great for words. I will love him, I will accept him, I will stand by him. He is my son. He is my friend.
I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day with their loved ones. If you’d like to enter my Mother’s Day Giveaway please do so by this coming Saturday. I will choose a winner on Sunday.