"Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It is not rude. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrong doing. It does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres." --1 Corinthians 13
When I was a little girl I would go to church with my friends. I would stand amazed by these men who seemed so dedicated to their families, so in love with the Lord, and as a little girl, even though I wasn't raised going to church, I knew it was what my heart desired. A man that loved the Lord, his family, and dedication. Although, I must admit I never knew what that looked like. I was raised in a lot of chaos, conditioned love, and learning that trust in men didn't exist. It almost felt like what my mom often refers to as a "fantasy land." See, I'm the oldest of 6 girls, 4 different dads, only 1 of which stuck around, men like that didn't exist in my world.
Not until July of 98, when I met Chase. 2 short months later, I became pregnant with our first child, I was 18, he was 19. Not exactly the path we envisioned for our lives. I was a senior in high school, he was college bound aspiring to be a writer. 3 months later we were married. That was almost 12 years ago. Talk about a dedicated man. A man that has taught me that no matter how hard I push, it will never be hard enough to keep him away, that true love doesn't have conditions, and that having my trust matters.
I remember the day the word autism crept into our life. I remember we were at speech. Noah wasn't talking as much as he should be, but Dawsyn didn't either, so I wasn't that worried about it. I remember the SLP coming out after she evaluated Noah and giving me a list of things I needed to ask our pediatrician about and I remember asking if she was concerned about Autism.
Back up 3 months previously, I had heard a commercial on TV about children not responding to their names had a higher chance of Autism. Noah NEVER responded to his name. I asked our ped about it and she assured me it involved more social behaviors and as far as I was concern, Noah was social. He had 2 older brothers he interacted with daily, or so I thought.
The SLP said, "I'm not a Dr. I can't diagnose that," I remember saying again, but are you leaning towards Autism, and again, she tried to say that she wasn't a Dr. "I heard you the first time," I remember thinking. "Can you just please tell me if that is what your leaning toward?" And I remember her response piercing my heart like I imagine a knife feels to the back. I remember packing the other kids in the car, frantically trying to call Chase, and tears streaming down my face.
For a longtime, all I could remember reading about Autism was that 80% of marriage fail when you have a child with Autism. That statistic struck me hard. Hadn't I been apart of enough statistics? I did not want to be up against another one.
I remember crying for that statistic, for the broken marriages because of this diagnosis. Crying for Noah, crying for the journey we had ahead, crying most out of fear. Fear of what all this meant for our lives.
It's been 2 years since the diagnosis. And in those 2 years I have fallen deeper in love with my husband then I ever knew was possible. He is an amazing man, that has given up so much to reach Noah in ways Noah needs to be reached. He has researched, blogged, twittered, and loved like I have never seen any man love.
Love just like God commands in the bible with patience, kindness, always protecting, trusting, hoping and knowing we will persevere.