My whole life has felt destined. Even the parts that have been rough. As the proud mother of four perfect children, three of which have special needs, I have had many tear filled moments. We have had moments that are heartbreaking, for what trials their lives may bring them, and profound, through the many lessons that they teach me every day. I have always been very pleased with my kids, but we have chosen to follow a challenging and often difficult path. Two of our children, Breanna and Noah were born to us. Two of our children, Madilyn and Tyler, are adopted.
Breanna is a delight and a huge helper, and Noah has Pervasive Developmental Disorder-NOS which is in the Autistic Spectrum. My husband Sean and I had always talked about adopting a child that would have a hard time finding a good home. We prayed every night that if this was the path for us that God would bring us the children. It was that simple. Okay, it wasn’t that simple, but very worthwhile. When people ask me, “Which ones are yours?” The answer is very clear: They are all mine!
We chose to adopt our children through the bursting at the seams foster system, which tends to be way too short on loving homes. Madilyn was born three months premature, meth and alcohol affected, with a severe brain bleed, hydrocephalus with a shunt, among many other issues. Since this was a very faith lead decision for us, there really was no decision. We had already made a deal with God. She was as much mine and if she had come from my body.
Madilyn faced and continues to face obstacles with boundless energy. Adjusting to Madilyn, as anyone can imagine, was very trying for Noah, who has a hard time with his environment being disrupted. All in all though we did pretty well. But very unexpectedly we received a call about Tyler. He was almost eight months old and had already been in four homes and was Failure to Thrive as well as neglected and meth exposed. He would need a G-tube for feeding. We thought we would have him for one week, but as God had designed, he would stay forever.
When this was all coming to fruition I was worried about poor Noah, who at one point claimed to be “allergic and terrified of babies”. We talked as openly as we could about Tyler needing love and a family and how worried we were about him.
A couple of days later I found Noah in his bed in tears. I asked him what was wrong, expecting the answer to be something like, “I lost Mario’s hat in my Nintendo game” or “My Pokémon is missing”, since he tends to think primarily about computer stuff.
Noah’s depth permanently resonated in my soul. He said to me, with huge tears rolling down his sweet cheeks, “Mom, I thought that everyone knew the number one rule.” I was still pondering whether or not he was referring to something real or imagined. “What is the number one rule Noah?”
Noah tends to have a look on his face like it is his first moment on this planet and he looked straight into my eyes, which he rarely does, and said with conviction and clarity, “The number one rule is: Everyone deserves a home.” He went on to tell me how worried he was about Tyler, and that he thought that he should be in our family forever.
Sometimes Noah’s special needs are a great gift. He sees a lot clearer and with less shades of gray than most, and he will tell you very openly exactly what he believes in.
When I think of the miracles and blessings that I have been fortunate enough to experience, I have no doubts of God. I have felt the hand of God reach into my life and trust me with gifts like no others. I just look around and it is obvious. I have plenty of proof in the messes in my house.
* Stories From the Heart is an ongoing series of user contributed heart warming stories, that shine light on the Autism experience.