Sunday, January 30, 2011

There are new years, and there are NEW YEARS...

January is almost over. (Seriously – where did it go?) I cannot believe it. It’s been a whirlwind of a month for two main reasons: Luke started at a new school, and Jeremy resigned from PepsiCo to start working on his own. I am really, really proud of Jeremy for this choice. Since August, he had been travelling a lot, and his new role will give him more flexibility to help with Luke’s new school schedule.

Why, you may be wondering, is Luke going to a new school? Well, I guess it’s time for me to write the blog post that’s been coming for about three months.* Many of you know this, but some may not. In October, Luke was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, PDD-NOS. Though certainly his consistent ear fluid and resultant inconsistent hearing likely contributed to his delayed speech, months of appointments and evaluations led us to the conclusion that Luke’s failure to speak, inability to imitate, easy distractibility, infrequent eye contact, and minimal socialization with his peers weren’t just innocuous indications that he was a late bloomer; they were signs that Luke was born with autism. states that one out of 110 children and one out of 70 boys is born with autism. I assure you, we never thought we’d be one of the “ones”… but we are.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 is Here!

Jeremy and I rang in 2011 as unceremoniously as we have for the majority of our New Years Eves together - we're real homebodies, I guess. Luke was asleep, Hannah was curled up in Jeremy's lap, and the two of us sipped champagne. Not that we are really people to go live it up at the hippest gatherings, but I'm sure that a big part of our low-key NYE came from the fact that 2010 has been exhausting.

Many of you know that this past year has been trying for us in a number of ways. To discuss our journey with Luke's communication delays and ear issues would take a whole other blog, let alone a single post, but suffice it to say, we've spent much of 2010 anxious, even tormented, with worries about our child. We feel blessed that, as 2011 approaches, we finally feel like we're moving in the right direction. Luke has come a long way since his ear tube surgery in November, and we're feeling confident that between his clear ears and his starting at a new school on Monday*, he will make incredible strides in 2011. There is a lot to look forward to in the coming year, and we're so excited to see what the next 364 days bring!

That said, with 2010 in the rear view mirror now, I'm not exactly saying "Good riddance." Was 2010 difficult in ways I have never experienced? Absolutely. But as my Granny wisely put it on Christmas Day, "Nothing grows on a mountaintop." We've spent some time in some valleys this year, but God has used these trials to strengthen our marriage and our faith in His providence. Psalm 139 has been my go-to book through this. Verses 13-18 are particularly powerful:

For you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts,oh God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand...

God made Luke the way he is, and to think that He knows what is and is to be for me, for Jeremy, for Luke... it's astonishing! Further, God similarly crafted Jeremy and me so meticulously, and He chose us to be Luke's parents. So many times I've felt inadequate, wondering if I'm the mother Luke needs. But I've found great peace in these verses, knowing that God has a perfect plan for each of us, and that as much as I think about every facet of Luke's life, God's thoughts outnumber grains of sand! And he's significantly more powerful than we mere mortals to make incredible things happen.

The incredible little man that God knit together in my womb is currently a very grumpy bear, so it's time to put away the laptop and pay him some attention (and move him towards bed). I wish you all many blessings in 2011, and for those of you that have really joined us in our valleys this year, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your moral support and, most of all, prayers, have worked miracles! We're so thankful to have you in our lives!

(Speaking of prayer, let me hit y'all up one more time: please say a prayer for Luke, Jeremy and me, and my parents about this coming week! Luke's new school is a true godsend, but it will make for a huge change for the little guy, which will mean it will bring huge changes for us, too. We're excited that he's going to get more one-on-one attention to help him build his communication skills, but we know this will also be more trying for him. Please lift us!)