Yesterday while Angel was in therapy, I visited with another grandma who was there with her granddaughter.  She also has a grown daughter who is on the spectrum.  While we were talking I said that one of the hardest things is when people say, “she looks so normal”. The other lady started tearing up and as we shared with each other she told me that that was one of the hardest things for her too.

Many people may not understand how this can be difficult to hear.  Let me just share for a moment, my feelings on this. We knew that Angel had been affected by meth.  But the autism diagnosis was a surprise.  Angel looks “normal”.  You can’t tell that her mind is affected, that her nervous system is altered, that her learning is delayed, that her speech is impaired and delayed-NOT by just looking at her.

And the problem is that in seeing this little Child of God as “normal”, it is hard then for you to see the constant struggles and challenges that we endure each and every minute of the day. It is why we are still tired after a ‘good night’s sleep’.  It is why we cannot do the things we used to do.  It is why our priorities have changed.  It is why sometimes we don’t seem to be focused on things around us.  It is why we seem pre-occupied.  You see, we don’t mean to pull away from those around us.  We don’t mean to make anyone feel ignored or unwanted. We still care about all of those people and things that we always have.  But many people assume because she looks ‘normal’ that there is something else that is making us turn ‘inside ourselves’ and live this life of continuous  challenges. 

We had no idea when we  brought Angel home with us almost 4 years ago, that we would be where we are right now.  It was not our plan. I had no plans of raising another child at my age. We were content to be parents and grandparents.  Enjoying our time with each  and everyone. God, however, had a bigger and better plan!  Now I know some of you don’t believe that.  And there is nothing I can do to change your minds. But when you KNOW, I mean really know, that God is taking you down a road, well, you FOLLOW.

This has probably been the hardest thing we have ever done.  We get up each day knowing just how important ritual and routine is.  We have to take certain roads to go to school, to the store, to the doctors.  Routine!   That isn’t something that we were used to before.  We were more spontaneous because of our time in life.  It isn’t easy.  There are times that I would just love to get in the car and go somewhere-just BECAUSE!  But we don’t get to do that.  And that is one thing that people don’t understand.

There has been a cost for what we are doing. I’m not speaking just about finances; although that has been true.  I’m talking about the cost of not being able to share in family activities and just being together.  That is one that has really cut through my heart; because we have hurt those that we love, unintentionally, but hurt just the same. If my heart could bleed, this would be the one thing that would empty my heart of it’s very life.  That has been the hardest thing for me and for Jim.  There has been the cost of isolation and feeling that no one truly understands how you feel and what you need.  That is another hard one.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT complaining.  God’s plan for us was bigger and better than what we anticipated.  There is NO way that we could do anything but what we are doing. Adopting Angel is where we have been led.  She doesn’t replace anyone, she isn’t any more important than anyone else.  But she is NOT ‘normal’ or neurotypical.  She has many special needs.  AND if God had not placed us where we were, we have been told that she would be institutionalized. Now we know WHY she is with us.

God has blessed us with an unbelievable family!   He has blessed with an unbelievable family at our Church!  He has blessed us with unbelievable friends!  It is a difficult road we are on; but life is like that. We are just glad that we listened to our hearts and to the Lord. 

I pray that this will explain some things to people who just “don’t get it”.  It is challenging but it is also very rewarding to know that you are doing just exactly what you are meant to do.

 

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February 12, 2014 · 2:34 pm

Has Your Life Changed

With social media, like Facebook, we get a better picture of who people truly are. We get more insight into their priorities and their desires.  People tend to post just about anything on Facebook.  Anonymity makes people brave, brazen and out and out stupid sometimes. I’ve not been anonymous in my posts, but alas, I have been brazen and stupid at times, so I can speak from experience.

What I truly want to address though is what I’ve seen from people who label themselves as Christians.  I’m NOT the one labeling THEM; THEY say they are Christians.  Many will disagree with what I say and that’s okay.  But it’s my blog, so here I go.

First of all, claiming to be a Christian and placing myself on Jesus Christ’s “side” is very important to me.  It is NOT to be done lightly in my opinion.  Becoming a Christian requires a transformation from within.  Those are not my words but come from the Word of God. In Romans 12 the Lord tells us to NOT be conformed or the same as the world but we are to be transformed by the renewal of our minds.

Transformation is another word for metamorphosis, transfiguration or conversion. It is the act of change; becoming something or someone new. I’m sure you are aware that the butterfly starts out as a caterpillar. It goes through a period of change and bursts forth out of its cocoon as a grand butterfly-a “different” creature. This is how we, as Christians “should” be. When we become Christians, the Spirit of God moves in. God lives within us. And with God residing in us, it should surely change the old behaviors. We should be changing. The old person should die-our habits, our attitudes, our mindsets, our motives and reasons. They should be transforming. It may not happen overnight; but it SHOULD happen.
I know many Christians who are no different today than they were 3 years ago. I KNOW they aren’t perfected. So what is happening besides not changing?
Dare I say that perhaps they need deeper roots? To change into what we were meant to become in Christ, we must talk to the Lord, we must read and study His Word. IF we are doing that, then we WILL change. We need other Christians to spend time with.
If you are a Christian, your life, your language should indeed show the world that you belong to God. If your language consists of vulgarity and dropping the “f” bomb every other sentence, then may I suggest you need to search the Word. I can speak on this because I used to use the “f” word all the time. I could embarrass grown men with my mouth. I thought the “f” word was an adjective that was to be used every time I used a noun. When God got ahold of me, He changed my whole life! I’m not perfect but I am changed. My speech is no longer full of words that could make a sailor blush! When I even hear someone use the “f” word, it is so frustrating to me. Especially when it comes out of the mouth of fellow Christians. We need to be sure that God is in control of our lives, including our mouths and our language. If we are no different than someone who doesn’t know God, is it possible that WE don’t truly KNOW Him either ?
I guess I just want people to know that change is a requirement in the Christian life. Stunted growth is not good. No growth is even worse. We should all take moments to

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October 17, 2013 · 3:29 pm

Faith

I’ve been thinking about faith a lot lately.  I’ve come to the conclusion that we all have an element of faith.  Some of us have faith in some things and others have faith in other things.

For example, most of us have a degree of faith that when we flip a light switch, the lights will come on.  We also have faith that when we turn the water faucet on, the water will come out; or that when we turn the ignition key on the car, the car will, indeed, start.  Sometimes those things don’t happen but for the most part they do.  If you are like me, you don’t understand the process of those things happening, but you still have faith that they will work. 

I cannot explain my faith in Jesus. It’s as simple as it’s in the Bible, I’m convinced of it in my spirit and my soul and so it is… I cannot explain why the Son of God came to this earth to save a wretched sinner like myself. I cannot explain why He would give up the glory and splendor of heaven to come to this earth to be rejected by those He came to save. I cannot explain why He chose to die on the cross-a most heinous and painful way to die. I cannot explain why He loves me as I am. I cannot explain why He forgives me over and over again when I fail Him.

But this I know. It is TRUE! I know that I know that I know that I know…..it is true. Jesus loves me. He loves you. Things may not always go the way I would like them to go. I go through struggles. I go through tests and trials. But He is always there. I believe….

It is called FAITH! I don’t need to understand it all, anymore than I need to understand turning the light switch on brings light. The only difference is, sometimes there are problems with a light switch or a bulb or whatever, and the light doesn’t come on. With Jesus, that never happens. He is the ever present Light of the world!

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She is not invisible!

She is three years old. She is so very active.  Yet most of the time she seems so unaware of her surroundings.  For example, when she goes to church she loves, loves, loves the music. She may not even seem to see all of the people who gather there. She doesn’t often have eye contact with many people.  She seems to live in her own little world; and this is often true.  She is autistic; she is a meth baby; and she is mentally challenged. However, she is NOT invisible and should not be ignored.  It breaks my heart when we are out somewhere and people speak to us but never utter a word to her.  They may question us about her but they never say a word to her.  How sad of an existence do you think that must be?  If you could not speak, would you want to be ignored?  Do you think she has no feelings?  Let me assure you, nothing could be further from the truth.  She is a happy, funny, loving child who deserves respect and to be acknowledged!  She has things in her little mind that come out, when we least expect it;  things or words that we have tried to teach her, that just “pop” out sometimes.  Please do not make the mistake of thinking that  it doesn’t matter if you don’t acknowledge her.  It matters very much.

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Just me and my thoughts

I’m not an extremely intelligent person.  I’m not dumb by any means but just not super smart.  I don’t have all the answers to situations that arise in my life.  I know God does, but I don’t.  I don’t look at myself as any better than anyone else.  I don’t see just the bad in people-I know that there is good or the potential for good in everyone. I don’t agree with everything everyone else may say; but then, nobody agrees with everything I say.  I see some things as black and white. I see some things as good and bad.  I see some things as wrong or right.  I base my opinions on what I find in the Bible.  Many times, I see them as just for MY situation. However, I do believe that the Bible is the true roadmap for how we should live our lives and it is the blueprint to follow.  That being said, I miss the mark every single day of my life.  I get angry at people, I lack patience, I find it extremely hard to forgive someone who has repeatedly hurt me.  In other words, I am human.  But I am certain of this much, my sins are covered by the blood of Jesus:The Blood of Jesus that was shed on Good Friday all those many years ago. 

My sins cost the Son of God EVERYTHING!  Yet He sees me as worth it.   In this older, not so wise body, He still sees me as worth it. I will make mistakes, I will fail everyday.And the next day I will get up and with the help of God, I will try again.  I may never make other people happy; but that is not my job.  My job is to live my life so that others can see Jesus in me.  My goal is to stand before Him someday and hear Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!

I hope that each of you will take the time at this Easter season to think of the Sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for you. He made that Sacrifice for each of us.  You may not believe in Him but He believes in you.  And He doesn’t want ANYONE to perish.  Praying that each of you may come to know Him the way I do.  No one else can satisfy like Jesus!

 

 

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March 19, 2013 · 3:35 pm

Adoption ?

Well, we have been raising our granddaughter, Angel, since she was just 2 months old.  She is a meth baby, autistic and mentally challenged.  We love her as though she were our own.  She has many challenges but she is a joy beyond belief!!

Her mother has decided to relinquish parental rights and it is has been our desire to adopt her and make her our daughter, legally. Since she has many challenges and issues, we have been advised to do a subsidized adoption.

This morning we found out that in order to do that, we have to have her made a child in need of assistance (china).  That means that DHS would gain guardianship and she would be placed in the foster care program.  Would she be removed from our home?  It’s possible but can’t get a definite yes or no from them.

We trust in the Lord.  He placed this precious baby with us for a reason.  We do not doubt that.  We are being tested to trust in Him.  He is in CONTROL.  This is a difficult position to be in.  But this we know, we are her parents in our hearts.  And we know she is in the best place for her.  We have decided that if it means keeping her with us, we will continue to be her grandparents and guardians.  Nothing will come between us. 

It’s all about hearts not legalities in the long run.  And in our hearts, she is our girl.

 

 

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What’s a Person to Do?

Sometimes in this life, it is difficult to know if you are doing the “right” thing or not.  Many people have their opinions on what you should or shouldn’t do.  In fact, there are probably just as many opinions as there are people. 

People offer their suggestions based on their own experiences often times.  While there may not be anything wrong, per se, in their reasoning; it may not be the thing for you to do in your circumstance. 

I am finding that I need to seek God NOT people in all of these situations. What really matters is not really what people think anyway. It’s what a person feels GOD wants them to do. So as we come face to face with situations in our life that is what we must consider. What does He want us to do??

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