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Archive for August, 2011

Jonathan

I would like you to meet my oldest child, Jonathan, who is five. He loves fire trucks, motorcycles, police cars, and anything else that contains wheels. He loves to discover how things work. This means that lots of things get broken at home because the best way to understand how something works, after all, is to take it apart piece by piece.

I have struggled with the decision to disclose the diagnoses of my children. On the one hand, I don’t want them to be defined only by a label. On the other hand, disclosure opens up discussion that can mutually benefit our family and other families dealing with the same issues. So in the spirit of honesty, with the hope of education and encouragement, I choose to spill our life out as candidly as possible on these pages.

Jonathan has partial fetal alcohol syndrome, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, mixed language delays, and non verbal learning disability. The most challenging aspect of all these conditions is his behavior and his inability to self-regulate. There are days when his meltdowns feel like more than I can physically or emotionally handle.

We have made the decision to pursue medication for Jonathan. Our hope is that it will enable him to interact with his environment with less anxiety. Our appointment is in two weeks and I am praying fervently for wisdom for his doctors and for something to give our son relief from the constant hyperactivity that plagues him.

He is an amazing child. Incredibly curious, sweet and eager to please. The dirtier and messier he can be, the happier he is. He tries so hard to make sense of the world around him. How and why are two of his favorite questions. He is a loving big brother to our other three. Joshua laughs at him and his chubby little face lights up when Jonathan comes close. Those two are going to have a great time together in years to come.

Loving Jonathan takes my heart places it has never gone before. He causes me see life from an entirely altered perspective.  He brings aspects to the word grace that I would never contemplate otherwise. I am very thankful he is ours.

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I meet Mondays with a mixture of relief and apprehension. Our household thrives on routine and structure and find the weekend’s looser agenda stressful. There is no way I can compensate for lack of preschool and therapy. So we make the best of the weekend. Monday comes and I am glad for the predictability that the next few days hold. Yet when I glance at my calendar and see all the appointments, anxiety unfurls its fingers and wraps them around my heart. Just trying to squeeze an appointment for myself in to see the eye doctor means I need to be in two places at once tomorrow.

So when my week tires me out before it has even begun, I ask for strength for this day. I pray for wisdom to plan ahead sufficiently to meet the needs. Then I rest my heart between the pages of His Word and allow His words to slowly melt the fears away.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever, Psalm 73:26.

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