Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My faith in humanity...

has been restored.

Friday, May 6th we ate at Subway and then took the kids to Home Depot to gather supplies for that weekend's worth of work on our master bathroom.  When checking out at Home Depot I realized my wallet was gone.  At first I didn't panic; it must have fallen out in the car, I thought.   But it didn't.

Over the course of that weekend I called Subway 3 times, visited twice more and visited Home Depot twice to check and see if someone had found my wallet.  They didn't.

We canceled the cards that were in my wallet immediately Friday night and on Monday I started the arduous process of replacing my IDs, insurance cards and the like.  My driver's license had a different address on it so I contacted the residents of that address to let them know they might be receiving a package with my wallet in it.  I wanted to believe people are good and the contents of my wallet weren't being used for deviant purposes, but he longer we moved away from May 6th, the more I thought I'd never see the wallet again and my faith in humanity dwindled.

Until yesterday.  We ran some errands and returned home to find a post-it note on the front door; it read "I have your wallet" and it included his name and phone number.  Could it be?!

I called him and learned the story of my wallet's last three weeks.  His son had found my wallet and brought it home for his dad to find me.  He mailed it to my old address and it was then returned to him so he resorted to the internet to see if I lived locally.  All that information we have floating around the internet actually served some good!  

He lives only a couple of blocks from us and handed me my completely intact wallet yesterday, 24 days after I mistakenly left it on a table at Subway.  I held my hand out to shake his but truthfully, I wanted to hug him.  He restored my faith in humanity.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I have a secret

Well, not so much a secret in the sense that I don't want anyone to know, but a secret that only those within my circle know.  I've not found the way to blog about it without sounding negative or inviting a pity party over for the evening so I've just avoided it.  But, in avoiding it I feel like I'm hiding it, like I'm ashamed but that isn't the case either.  So, I've just avoided it.  

I am the mom to a child on the Autism spectrum... and it's hard.  
There are few days that pass by that I don't think "this is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, God, please don't let me screw this up."  We didn't get an Asperger's/Autism diagnosis until Jacob was nearly 11 years old.  For years we chugged along with speech therapy, doctor's appointments, medication and living in a semi-constant state of frustration on both his part and ours.  One blessed teacher raised the concern that she thought something else was the root of our issues and another full evaluation ensued.  She was right.  Once we researched Asperger's, we realized we were reading our child on paper.

So, from then on we had the "why" to many of our frustrations; things that were once cloudy suddenly became crystal clear.  The lack of physical contact, the tactile issues, the loud noises that bothered him, all of it; it all made sense now.  But, having the "why" didn't give a clear answer on the new question of "now how do I deal with it?"  I felt bad, and still do, about getting so upset with him over things in the past that I now realize were most likely beyond his control.  Now I try to remember those behaviors, but there are still days, many of them in fact, that I have a hard time remembering the why of our situation and pass straight through to "I can't deal with this today."  The why gives no magic fix, no miracle jar of patience, no magic pill can fix it; it is just simply a reason why some things happen.

But, along with the issues of Asperger's that are hard to manage at times comes the silver lining that makes Jacob, Jacob.  
He is brilliant.   
We've always suspected Jacob was a bright child but this year it was confirmed to us when colleges started pursuing him to take resident courses over the summer.  Living in the dorm and taking college classes for a month as a 13 year old; that certainly wasn't something I remember being offered in my youth!  This past week we took Jacob to a statewide recognition ceremony for the Duke TIP program.  He was nominated for the program due to scores on his annual standardized tests and then took the ACT in December.  This was the regular ACT and he scored the same as an average senior in high school.  Duke TIP invited all the 7th graders from the state who scored high enough to a recognition ceremony and Jacob was very excited to attend.  In the auditorium I felt at home; a peace that comes from watching my son feel like he belongs with the peers around him.  I saw him acting comfortable and even striking up a conversation with a boy behind him; something he has been working towards for two years.  Jacob is usually a child of few words and that day he was chatty and told me several times that he was excited to be there.   
It was my slice of Italy when I usually try to accept the fact that we arrived in Holland many years ago.

Did you know that Bill Gates, Alfred Hitchcock, Isaac Newton, Jim Henson, Thomas Jefferson, Michaelangelo, Mozart, and even Albert Einstein were all diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome?  
This gives me hope.Hope that Jacob will not be limited by the challenges of Asperger's in his lifetime.  And as we chug along deciphering teenage behaviors from Asperger's behaviors we cling to that hope that his intelligence will carry him above Asperger's and he will accomplish all he sets out to in life.God gave us this child, our oldest boy, for a reason.  It wasn't an accident, it wasn't a mistake, and though sometimes I want to get bitter and mad at the doctor who messed up the end of my pregnancy and find someone to blame, I can't.  Jacob being born to two young 20 somethings was a very deliberate act of God.  We have him, and he us, for a reason.

Monday, May 2, 2011

i LOVE gay people

*gasp*  Did she just say that, or title a blog post with that?

I did.

You want to know why?  Because, despite the two verses in the Bible that some people believe refer to homsexuality there are countless others that tell us to love all people.  It doesn't say love heterosexual people, it doesn't say love people of our own race, it doesn't say love those people who think like us, it says love all people.

It says "love your neighbor as yourself"  Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 19:19. Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9, Galations 5:14, James 2:8

It says "God is love"  1 John 4:8

It has a a passage of verses just about love, "4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."  1 Corinthians 4-7

It boggles my mind that all the verses about loving each other get thrown out the window when the topic of homosexuality comes up.  "Oh, that's wrong; God says so."  Really, because I think God says judging people is wrong too.

So yes, I truly do love gay people.  I'm not threatened by them, I'm not scared of them, I'm not scared to have them around my children, and I'm not ashamed to be friends or family with them.  In fact, just saying them makes me feel bad; like they are something different than myself.  In fact, they are not.  They  are human beings who deserve happiness, love and acceptance just like any and all of us.

What would happen if *gasp* one of my children told me later in life that they are gay?  I can tell you- absolutely nothing would happen any different than before they told me.  The would still be the same child I kissed good night, walked the floor with and stood up for when bullied.  My ultimate goal as a mother is to raise my children to love the Lord and all people, regardless of race, sexual preference, special needs, etc.  The best and only way to do this is to lead by example.

So, here I am publicly telling my children and the world that I love all people and will raise them to do the same.  The circle of hate needs to end.