Friday, June 22, 2012

A Parent's Tale.

I have felt like I'm going to die this week. Low blood sugar, like 50s.  This morning I asked my mom "Why me? Why now? What did I do? I DON'T WANT TO LEARN THIS LESSON!!!"
Mom gave me a hug and said "Julia, get over it." My reaction was I'm going to hit you but I have no energy, so I'll do that later. She continues "you are not going to die, Heavenly Father has something in store for you. You know you are meant to learn something, get over it."
Staring at her obviously not liking this she continued, "when I was pregnant with you, we saw genetic-sis and was told that there was a high chance you would not be a normal child." I was never told this.
 I asked what did you say,
 her response to the doctor:

 "I don't care." 

I was immediately humbled and closed my mouth. I thought of all my clients and how those parents react when they are told that they're life is going to be full of heart ache, amazement, and wonder. When I know the parent well enough I can't help but ask. There are two stories I want to share:

1. When I was Paloma's nanny I met a women who adopted a son with Autism. It was Paloma's grandmother's friend. They could not conceive and decided to adopt. They went to a Russian institute they parents were walking around and playing with the children. They had been offered a child and where beyond thrilled. As they played with the children there was one boy the mom was immediately drawn too the director told her "he's stupid, not worth her time." She's a pediatrician, she immediately saw all the classic signs of Autism. Yet she was still drawn to him. The mom said, "I want him." This is not the child they had flown out to see. The director did not need the translator when she said that, the director laughed and said "lets go." The mom (whose about 5ft) walks up to the director (big Russian man) and says.

"I. Want. Daniel" 

The director murmured
some Russian and after much yelling (her words not mine) and bureaucratic schmoozing she was told she could take Daniel.   The next month, she brought Daniel home. She's a stay at home mom, and loves every moment of it.

2. A couple of weeks ago I was at Wegmans. Walking up the aisles and trying not to buy the whole store a boy came up and said "do you like candy?" He was probably 8-9. I responded "Why yes I do! Do you?" we started having a conversation about our favorite candies. His mom came running up clearly panicked and said "I'm so sorry ma'am he has Autism and will talk to any one!" I responded "That's fine, I've worked with many Autistic children, he should be a sales man!" ( he had managed to persuade me to buy some of his favorites.
The mom had this huge smile and asked if I knew of any programs/therapists/ etc since they were new to the area. I laughed and said "do you have a pen?' she ran to her purse and got a pen and her note pad. I told her what I knew and she seemed beyond thrilled. Not only had her child ran into someone who was not terrified of him or a pedophile, but they actually could help her.

We stood in the candy aisle of Wegmans for over an hour. At the end I just asked "what was your reaction when you're son was diagnosed?" After I said I had a look of shock "Did I really say that?"

She smiled at me, and said I was the first to ever ask.  She had little experience with Autism before her son, the occasional camper or person here and there but nothing major. "The doctor turned to me and said I'm sorry you're son has Autism. I stood up and told the doctor, I wanted my son's records and would never be coming back." I'm sure I look very confused, thinking it was denial that was driving this response.

"The doctor, said 'sorry.'" was what she said. "How dare he apologize! My son is a gift from God and I was beyond humbled that He would trust me with someone so precious, pure, and important to him." 

I smiled. "I wish all parents could react like that" was my response. I gave this women a hug, I've never seen her or her son again. But I know Heavenly Father is watching over them.

I pray we all have the strength in times that seem like the end of the world is staring us in the face we can react the way these three brave women have.