An Angel Encounter

You ever have those days when you feel so not on top of your game? That was me this morning. After about day 4 of severe sleep interruption & the kiddos being much more than usual erradic with all things, packing up the house for Grammy & Papa's lake, a 6 hour drive with 4 little kids, and 2 more interrupted nights... short tempers all around--- I was done.

E had found a frog at the lake & decided the kids needed a new pet. He declared we needed to load up the tribe & make a run for a terrarium for our new amphibian, "Buddy". The kids had a LOOOOONNNGGG night & I was so spent. Bella was wildly in opposition of any request, Sbear only wanted to swim & was fiercely protesting, lastly SJ was ticked off when taking her to the car after the long ride a day before. 5 minutes of multiple ear-pearcing screams, while performing car-seat Twister in the 110% humidity at 95 degrees & I snapped. "Quiet!" I shouted. I startled SJ & she cried harder. Instant Mommy guilt rushed over me. I was just so tired & totally out of fuel. "I'm sorry, baby-- it's ok." then I melted into my front passenger seat.

After a quick discussion of *letting go* with E. & 5 minutes of Sesame Street DVD-- the gang was quiet. "Look, they're calm now." - E remarked. "Yeah, great-- now they are sucked into sensory overstimulation of a DVD", I retorted. A deep sigh, 20 minutes of silence, a prayer & asking for forgiveness to the Father & I finally relaxed in exhaustion. All the kids were exhausted, SJ was yawning & it was only 10AM.

We arrived at the market & unloaded the kids. E had the twins (Sbear & Roo) in a cart & I had Bella & SJ. We pushed them all inside. As I pushed past the entrance heading for my short list of supplies, a fella smiled widely at us & waved hello to the girls as they chattered in the cart. I smiled back & focused back to my list. E took the twins a different direction as we got to getting the necessities.

After about 15 minutes, I pushed Bella & baby towards the front of the store & walked slowly, looking for the other half of our tribe. I looked quickly through an endcap of sunglasses & a gentle voice came up from behind us. I turned to find the gentleman whom had smiled at us so distinctly when we entered. He said, "I walked the whole store looking for you, because I wanted you to have this," as he handed me a sheet of paper. "I had this in my car and wanted to be sure you knew," he added.

Having caught me a bit off guard, I glanced down at the paper he handed me, entitled "Heaven's Special Child". He was talking to the girls a little & glanced back to me. "You are blessed. You have been chosen." he voiced. "I know, I help out at the Special Olympics. My step-daughter was challenged & she passed away... God, bless her." As he smiled again that wide smile, he said, "Keep that. YOU are truly special & a gift to these children." I shook his hand, said thank you & with that he turned & left. Not an ordinary store trip by any means...

I've had people tell me in the past that it was God's will to give us our children with their challenges, because *we could handle it*. I never really internalized it as I did in this encounter, even though I always believed from Bella's birth, this was God's plan. The man's words "YOU were chosen. You are special..." echoed through my mind. I waited for E & the other kids & thought to myself, "God, you just sent me an angel. Thank you for your forgiveness & encouragement."

The poem reads:


A meeting was held quite far from Earth: "It's time again for another birth," said the angels to the Lord above, "This special child will need much love."

Her progress may seem very slow, accomplishments she may not show, and she'll require extra care from the folks she meets way down there.

She may not run, or laugh, or play, her thoughts may seem quite far away. In many ways she won't adapt and she'll be known as handicapped.

So let's be careful where she's sent, we want her life to be content. Please, Lord, find the parents who will do a special job for you.

They will not realize right away, the leading role they're asked to play. But with this child sent from above comes stronger faith and richer love.

And soon they'll know the priviledge given in caring for this gift from Heaven. Their precious charge, so meek and mild, is Heaven's very special child.

Another first in socialization

The past weekend we were able to go to our first EVER meetup with other families affected by Autism. I cannot believe we've been on this journey now for 3+ years and this is a big first. Acknowledging this fact makes me fully wrap my mind around the isolation we live within. We were blessed to have the kids psuedo-adopted older sisters (their favorite playmates), team K, come along. We would never been able to do this without the one to one kid ratio. In all honesty, I was still a bit nervous. There were some 80+ people planned to be there (a lot of activity), all of them strangers to the kids, & a completely unknown environment. From the children's standpoint-- this is asking A LOT of them.

Thought this was very interesting when trying to understand *how it feels* inside an Autistic body... check out the following links:

Anyhow, the meetup BBQ was Amazing. It felt like simply like meeting the oldest & best of friends. Everyone GOT IT & was so understanding, genuine, warm & just plain good company. It was special to meet these amazing parents I've come to know from the online support network - Autism Is Medical. Though I hate that all of us have loved ones fighting the fight of Autism, it was also inspiring & encouraging knowing so many are championing for their kids at all costs & making gains for their kids.

The kids were, well-- KIDS! So interesting, beautiful, vibrant & unique. Seeing so many young ones together affected by Autism made me kind of stop to take in the sheer numbers they represent, as well as a generation that should be teaching our future generations. I hope we are all wise and patient enough to listen to their teachings.

Another first, another blessing.