Monday, September 25, 2006
Traveling the Broken Road
2006 has been a year of firsts.
First year of kindergarten for my daughter
First year of an official diagnosis for my son, PDD-NOS
First year my niece is away at college
First year of my sister being married to Mr.Right
First year I don't have to wait in the school car pick up line.
First gray hair
First year I am closer to 50 than 40

Saturday my sister got married. She is 4 years younger than me. This was her second marriage. The first lasting 18 years and producing two great children. But this is the first time she has married the right guy for her. They are truly soul mates and I am so happy for her.
My daughter was the flower girl. It is the second time this summer she has been in a wedding so of course she thinks she is a professional flower girl by now. She did so good that I am considering renting her out for other weddings. As I sat in the church during the wedding ,I looked at my beautiful almost 19 year old niece and wondered if she would be the next bride in our family.Since she is planning on going to medical school that could be way in the future. Then I looked at my 5 year old daughter in her long ivory dress and flowers in her hair and thought how quickly time will fly and before I know it she will be the bride. Then I look over at my son, sitting in the pew, looking so grown up in his button down shirt and singing along( not quietly) every word of Rascal Flatts "Bless the Broken Road". And I wonder will he find love outside the warm embrace of his family. Will he marry and have a family one day. Do I dare have the same hopes and dreams for him that I have for my daughter?
I think that this is something that all parents of a special child ponder more than others.
Will he find a career he loves and can support himself?
Will he live on his own?
Will he find that someone who thinks he is special in all the normal "falling in love" ways?
If not, who will look after him when we are gone?
How do we make sure he is taken care financially for the rest of his life?
Will this responsibility fall to his sister? Should It? Would she have it any other way?
Should I be thinking about all this now, he is only 7 years old?
I am a mother, I contemplate and worry about all kinds of things that may or may not happen in the distant future.
It is what mothers do.
This year we went to the Sparks Clinic and endured 3 days of testing on our son. That is when we got the diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Delay-Non Origin Specific.
While it sounds like a very specific diagnosis, it is really quite vague in definition.
He did not have Asperger's, Not truly Autistic. He falls in the gray area. The gray area is large and is PDD.
His prognosis just as vague. He is doing great they told us, keep doing what we are doing.He has made tremendous progress since age 3 and he may continue to do so .Or he may peak or plateau at 8 or 12 or 16 or 20 or 30 0r 60.
See what I mean.
Glass half empty or half full.
I gave myself one day of the empty side. A one guest Pity Party. Ok , 3 guests. I called and cried to my mother and my sister. Wailing, gnashing of teeth, sobs.
Yes, the ugly cry.
They listened and reminded me how well Riley is really doing, how great a kid he is, how happy he is in his life and how much he is loved and how he will always have loving family around him.
Pity Party over and return of my naturally optimistic but realistic outlook.
The truth is he is a great kid and a happy one.
He is smart and can do most th ings his peers can.
We see new things he learns and new skills he masters on a daily,weekly and monthly basis.
He is easy going and very well behaved.
He has varied interests and true areas of strengths.
He is surrounded by a huge extended family and we are all very close. He has 11 first cousins that all live within a 20 mile radius and all but 3 are close in age to him.
I have always been totally and madly in love with him as has is father and have always felt blessed and proud to be his parents.
Sometimes I do wonder what would have happened to him if he had been left in that orphanage in Russia to grow up. The realities of children with issues in Russia is horrifying. What may have become of my beautiful happy child is too disturbing to imagine. No matter what path his life takes , it will be a million times better than the alternative.
He is a million times loved.
While I can try to guide and shape his future, life sometimes has it's own ideas.
And so will he, just as it should be.
So, the momness in me will always ponder my children's future and I will try my best to prepare them to be their best and teach them how to be happy. But the truth is most is out ofour control.
I have learned that my energy and attention is best used in enjoying the now.
To be grateful for each day with them. To relish their accomplishments and laughter today, the future will take care of itself.
The past is over and the future not here, it is in the present where I should be.
This was my horoscope yesterday as I was thinking about my son's future and how it may differ from his sister's:
And if a problem pops up or an obstacle gets in your path, you can use your wit and innovative thinking to work your way around it. You're wise enough to understand that there are many different paths to the same destination -- have the courage to take the path that no one else has the guts to explore.
Wow, how that can be applied to adoption and parenting.
I am a wiser person after experiencing adoption and becomng a parent.
I am a much better person than I would have ever been because of my son.
He has taught me the most importnant lessons I have ever learned about love, commitment and joy. My daughter has taught me lessons of her own.
Having gone through two adoptions by choice, we certainly took an uncommon path to our children. Adoption is also about courage and faith. While our adoptions happened in a fairly quick and timely manner, I know that many take much longer and require more faith and endurance to see to completion. Courage is also a requirement in deciding on international adoption and in the commitment to a child that at the beginning you know nothing about and have no clue on what your future together may hold.
As a parent of child with more obstacles to overcome than some, I understand the fear in wondering if your future child may have issues and the heartbreak in finding out that he or she does. But I also want you to know that after that comes the joy and pride, thankfulness and more love than you ever imagined. A little fear is healthy but too much fear can be incapacitating and robs you and your child to all the wonderful and magic in life.
In every life, in every child.
Even if your dreams have to be rearranged and the realities are different.
Different is OK, different is fun, different is richly rewarding.
Happily Ever After comes in many different forms.
Wouldn't it be boring if it didn't.
Life should never be boring. Or predictable.
The one constant should be love and laughter.
In our house , I think that it is.
I think the song that means so much to my sister and new brother in law also applies to both of my journeys to my children.For those of you still on the road to adoption or new to parenting I hope the words touch you also.
Bless The Broken Road
I set out on a narrow way many years ago.
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two. Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you
Every long lost dream led me to where you are Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
I think about the years I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you

I like to think that our road is no longer broken.
It is winding, curvy scenic route that we are meandering along.

Bless the Road that all of you are on.


Blogger adoptedthree said...

I just happened upon your blog from FRUA and am really enjoying it. MY oldest has PPD as well and really reminds me of what you are feeling with your son. It is an emotional rollercoaster ride with so many questions and not enough answers.

Good luck

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