Friday, February 13, 2009

Answered Prayers

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."
Jeremiah 29:11
It has been a little more than 6 months since we first met with the Developmental Pediatrician at Dennis Developmental Center (DDC). After two hours with Adam, her face was grim...."I'm very concerned.....I could be a piece of furniture in this room and he wouldn’t know the difference…..I'm not going to call it Autism today, but I'm pretty sure.....he meets all the criteria.....he will be high functioning, but needs to be in a developmental preschool.....PT, OT, Speech Therapy......immediately." Then she patted me on the leg with a sympathetic look-- "You're a good Mommy," she said.

Adam had just turned two, and Jeff and I had become very concerned about him. His language skills were not developing, and he had even lost some words. He played mostly by himself, did not interact with his siblings, made little to no eye contact, and would not respond to his name. He was sensitive to loud, noisy environments, and had also developed some worrisome behaviors like circling, finger posturing, and staring spells. Despite our concerns, we were not prepared to hear those words.

I'm a "fixer" by nature, so I immediately kicked into high gear. My first plan of action--we must pray. I sent a long list of specific prayer requests to my closest "prayer warrior" friends and family, and the praying began...and God immediately began to answer. Jeff and I decided to try a very low dose of the medication that the physician had suggested and almost immediately saw a significant improvement in Adam's awareness. Within a few short weeks, Adam & Evan both had placement at The Frances Allen School--Adam in a “day-habilitation” spot, and Evan in a “daycare” spot. By the middle of September they had completed their evaluations and Adam began a regimen of Speech, Occupational, and Developmental Therapy.

Now, 6 months later, Adam is a different child. He has made such amazing progress in his language and social skills that I can't even express it in words. We returned to DDC this week to meet with their autism specialists, and were not surprised that the news this time was quite different. After 3 hours of testing and evaluation, the team sat down and confirmed--Adam no longer meets the criteria for Autism; in fact, they would not even place him on the autism spectrum at all at this point! How amazing is that??!! The physician called him "a bit of a head scratcher"--I call him a product of prayer!

Adam still has a ways to go. He is still delayed in some areas, and continues to have some of those behaviors that are concerning. They are sending us to one last specialist--a geneticist--to rule out a few other possibilities, and will continue to follow him every 4-6 months. In the meantime, they just told us to keep up what we were doing because it seems to be working! So we will continue our OT, Speech, Developmental Therapy.....but most importantly, we'll keep praying for God's amazing grace to cover us and to mold Adam into the little man that He has created him to be.

I can't tell you how thankful I am for our precious friends and family who have prayed us through the last 6 months. I'm in constant awe of God's provision for our family. We serve a truly awesome creator. I'm reminded every day as I watch all four of my children grow that He has a plan for each them—it may not be the plan we envisioned, but it is a perfect plan!

Monday, February 2, 2009

39 and Holding!

Today was a great day thanks to all the wonderful Birthday wishes from sweet friends and family! Jeff was the first to wish me Happy Birthday, followed by sloppy birthday kisses from four sweet kids. Evan was a little disappointed that it wasn't HIS birthday, but was happy to hear that his birthday was coming up in June. "OK", he said, "You get my birthday for me in June?" When I mentioned that I was 39 and said, "This is my LAST birthday", Ethan got real serious and asked, "Are you gonna die?" (Wrong thing to say to a six year-old!)

My entire staff crammed into my office at 9 a.m. to sing Happy Birthday to me! (They are the best!) Tonight, we had dinner at The Olive Garden, and then went to my Mom & Dad's for cake. Ethan and Emma picked out the cutest rubber duckie PJs for me (I can't wait to wear them!), and Jeff got me a digital picture frame. A perfect way to celebrate my LAST birthday!