If you’d like the background on our autism story, please click the link here.

Seriously, I can’t believe that it’s been 5 years!  A-Day.  In our world, that is the day when Christian was first diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.  And what a rollercoaster ride it’s been!

We have certainly had our challenges, but yet I feel so blessed through this ride.

I have been floundering quite a bit lately.  It is hard to not get caught up in anxiety, depression, and worry when trying to deal with any challenge faced by your family.  And I have faltered.  Particularly, because I have been trying to handle everything myself.  (Just as I did 5 years ago when I took Christian in for that developmental testing.  By myself.)  I can handle it.  I am strong.  Nothing can knock me down…

But I always do get knocked down.  Consumed by loneliness.  Frustration.  Guilt.  Anger.  Fear.  Inadequacy. 

Through all of these negatives, though, I can see that glow of hope that God is shining on our family.  I can hear the words of John 16:33 — “…In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  &  Jeremiah 29:11 — “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” 

Our beautiful boy has come such a long way in 5 years!  He has been pushed and pulled out of his world, yet has rarely complained.  He is so happy, so funny, and SO FULL of LIFE!  And he is persistent and so incredibly smart.  I know that he will go far in this life.  I have that confidence in him.  I just know it.  He has something special to give to this world.

My pudding-covered Christian 🙂 (January 2006)

And, thank you for the love that you have shared with our family through these past 5 years.  Your prayers.  Your time.  Your encouragement.  Through these things you do for us, we see the love of God reflected in you.  Words don’t seem like enough to express how deeply we appreciate everything you’ve done. 

This coming year will be HUGE for Christian.  He will get his service dog, Pixar, in September.  This will unlock the community to him in a way that he has never been able to experience before.  And, I pray, that his will unlock the world of friendship for him, too.  We are working hard this year on writing grants to get Christian an iPad to use as a communication tool at home, at school, and during therapy.  I believe that this will be a key component in unlocking his world of communication.  Christian is SO tech-saavy.  I can imagine him using it to tell us his needs, wants, feelings, desires, hurts, etc.  I am excited by the endless possibilities that it seems to hold.

Actually, I look forward to another year of this rollercoaster ride.  Hopefully there will be more ups, than downs, and maybe not as many loop-de-loops.  (I get motion sick easily. 😉 )  I pray to not panic on the ride like I have in the past, but instead to fully trust that God will get us safely to the other side (wherever that might be).