Thanksgiving Blessings Found in Parenting an 'Imperfect' Child
- Friday, November 16, 2007
At this time of Thanksgiving, where we voice our appreciation for people, situations, and things in our lives, join me as I share why I’m grateful for Morgan, our adopted son who was born normal, but developed PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder or high-functioning autism).
I have struggled with learning about his condition, handling his antics, understanding his problems and finding solutions. Running away from it – mentally and emotionally, if not physically – would have been so easy, but not profitable for anyone. I realized, if Morgan is to make progress, it’s up to me – to find the therapists, the diet, exercises, discipline, motivation and methods. Yes, I can find help, but I initiate, investigate and instigate.
My husband and I know we are blessed beyond measure, remembering God gives only good gifts (James 1:17), and that a child (any and every child) is a gift from the Lord, a blessing, a reward. (Psalms 127:3-5) God has brought much good into our lives because of Morgan and his situation.
No, we would never have chosen to go down the path of autism on our own, but God’s wisdom supersedes ours, and we are grateful for all we have learned. (Jeremiah 29:11) So, these are some of the reasons I am very thankful for our son and our journey.
1. Morgan has always had a ready smile. He is very affectionate and accepting of everyone.
2. Having always wanted to adopt, he opened up the world of adoption to me. God blessed us with the opportunity and privilege of raising children not born to us.
3. Since Morgan is just seven months younger than one of our biological sons, this allowed me the opportunity to experience “twins.”
4. Our adoption let me help a child in need, who had no other place to call “home.”
After Morgan’s autistic behavior began …
5. I gained the confidence to stand up to well-meaning, but uninformed doctors. I became his advocate.
6. Which pushed me to become informed, to educate myself on “how” this might have happened and …
7. Then educate the doctors, and find doctors and therapists who could help in the best approach for our situation.
8. Morgan’s misbehavior and antics brought to the surface some ugly attitudes in me and the children that we dealt with including lessons on: Learning to deal with a handicapped person, dealing with frustration, anger, and irresponsible behavior. Learning to act rather than react.
9. This learning process brought me to my knees, and when my grace was not sufficient – His was; when there was no peace, because of Morgan’s actions and activities – God brought peace overflowing to my heart; when I didn’t understand what to do, nor how to do it – He gave direction.
10. My husband and I have been drawn together as we sought answers and practical help. We have not allowed this to separate us, but have chosen for this to anchor us to the Lord and to each other.
11. This situation has pushed me beyond my natural, to depend on His supernatural: when Morgan’s sleepless nights, or night wanderings interrupted my sleep – “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength … shall run and not be weary, shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) He became my source of energy, strength.
12. I was pushed out of my “comfort zone” into new territories: doctors, research, answering questions like to medicate or not.
13. It reduced my pride in my children’s behavior – “My children will act in a most appropriate way: in attitude, word and deed!” Well, not so with Morgan, compared to “normal” children. His talking out loud, or fidgeting, or tears in church cultivated humility on my part. Then discipline, to teach him proper behavior which requires working with him daily to teach him to sit and listen.
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