You are the Mom of Titus {None But Jesus}

Jun 3rd

In many ways, I’ve been waiting for today since the day we took custody.  But in the every day kind of way, it totally snuck up on me.  My week had the best kind of interruptions and the worst kind.  The BEST was that- in my constant state of “go mode”- Colby saw my need for real, deep rest, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual, and sent me to a hotel on Tuesday night to  It was such a wonderful time to just have silence, read, reflect on God’s goodness and how much I love my life- no matter how hard this season is!  The WORST was that both the big kids got sick this week and have been home with flushed cheeks and fevers alllllll week long!  In the midst of the chaos, I’d almost forgotten that Titus had his appointment today with a Pediatric Neurologist as a next step to getting to the bottom of his developmental issues.  Ask any special needs or adoptive parents about their journey, and it will no doubt include a little stash of awful things that mostly well-meaning people have said to them.  Some of mine have included: “How much did he cost?” “At least he’ll be potty trained when you get him home.” “I hope I never know what it’s like to have a child like yours.” Even the would-be encouraging, “Oh, he’s fiiiiiine.  He just needs time to catch up.” stung because it made me feel like I was crazy or devalued the hard of each of my days struggling with TiddeeBear.  But the kicker? “So, what are you going to do if you find out he has Autism? Are you going to….keep him?!”  I’m sure you can imagine how loaded this appointment was with meaning and weight.

So, I sat him on the check in counter and was slightly embarrassed/strangely proud as he loudly belted out a Korenglish Gibberish version of “Whip/Nae Nae” (making the receptionist giggle) and I handed over our insurance card and the co-pay.  There was no wait at all for the room or the doctor, no time to get nervous.  He sat down and asked me what my concerns were.  I gave my schpeel about the information we’d received from Korea just before we took custody through the inconclusive assessment the school system made…and everything in between and after.  He did a neuro exam on him checking out reflexes, obvious hearing and vision abilities, and just observed his behavior.  After explaining to me how Autism (or Autism Spectrum Disorder- ASD- as it is commonly referred to now) was diagnosed, he said with kind, soft words, “I do believe that Titus is somewhere on the Autism Spectrum.”  And began to discuss that lab work or MRI imaging of the brain could be done, but it was mostly to help a family determine a genetic component for future children, which didn’t really apply to our situation, and that it would not be necessary to be seen in his office on a regular basis.  He said that he would send a letter to our pediatrician explaining everything.  And so I asked, “So, this is a formal Autism diagnosis?” “Yes.”

And that was that.

We gathered our things, and I called Colby as I walked out into the parking lot, and packed my little Gingerbread Boy in his carseat and just sat in the front seat.  I texted my mom, sisters and a few close friends:

“And just like that…I’m officially the mom of an autistic child.”

My sister’s immediate response to me?  “You are the mom of Titus.”
Yeah, that one got me choked up.  He’s still the same boy, of course, but the weight of the “official-ness” of it brings on a lot of feelings.  Feelings of relief that I’m not crazy and I really did see things that were concerning right from the start.  Feelings of relief that it was so simple and straightforward- I know some families have to wait for years and some still never get a diagnosis for their child’s disability.  Feeling relief that a formal diagnosis likely means more doors of opportunity for resources opening for our boy.  But with all that relief, feelings of sadness and finality washed over me, too.

On the way to the appointment, I’d been listening to my music on “random” -which is usually great fun- and heard a song I hadn’t heard, maybe in years.  Turns out it wasn’t so random for today after all:

None But Jesus

In the quiet, in the stillness
I know that You are God
In the secret of Your presence
I know there I am restored
When You call I wont refuse
Each new day again Ill choose
There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring Him praise
In the chaos, in confusion
I know Youre sovereign still
In the moment of my weakness
You give me grace to do Your will
So when You call I wont delay
This my song through all my days
There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring Him praise
All my delight is in You, Lord
All of my hope, all of my strength
All my delight is in You, Lord, forevermore

And to those that have asked all those hard, and sometimes horrible questions?  This is my answer to every day.  Every struggle.  Every victory.  When He calls me daily to parent my kids, I won’t refuse.  Each day, again, I will choose to fight for them, but even more so, for the Glory of God.  All of my hope, all of my strength, all my delight is in you, Lord.

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