Count Your Blessings, Name Them One by One . . .
Join me as I share why I’m grateful for Morgan, our adopted son who was born normal, but developed PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder or high-functioning autism). I have struggled with learning about his condition, handling his antics, understanding his problems and finding solutions. Running away from it – mentally and emotionally, if not physically – would have been so easy, but not profitable for anyone. I realized, if Morgan is to make progress, it’s up to me – to find the therapists, the diet, exercises, discipline, motivation, methods. Yes, I can find help, but I initiate, investigate and instigate.
My husband and I know we are blessed beyond measure, remembering God gives only good gifts (James 1:17), and that children (any and every child) is a gift from the Lord, a blessing, a reward. (Psalms 127:3-5) God has brought much good into our lives because of Morgan and his situation. No, we would never have chosen it on our own, but God’s wisdom supercedes ours, and we are grateful for all we have learned. (Jeremiah 29:11) So, these are some of the reasons I am very thankful for our son and our journey.
After Morgan’s autistic behavior began ….
- Morgan has always had a ready smile. He is very affectionate and accepting of everyone.
- Having always wanted to adopt, he opened up the world of adoption to me – that God would bless us with the opportunity and privilege of raising children not born to us.
- Since Morgan is just seven months younger than one of our biological sons, this allowed me the opportunity to experience “twins.”
- Our adoption let me help a child in need, who had no other place to call “home.”
- I gained the confidence to stand up to well-meaning, but uninformed doctors. I became his advocate…
- Which pushed me to become informed, to learn, educate myself on “how” this might have happened and …
- Then to educate the doctors and find doctors and therapists who could help in the best approach for our situation.
- Morgan’s misbehavior and antics brought up some ugly attitudes in me and the children that we dealt with: learning to deal with a handicapped person, dealing with frustration, anger, irresponsible behavior. Acting, rather than reacting.
- Which all brought me to my knees, when my grace was not sufficient – His was; when there was no peace, because of Morgan’s actions and activities – God brought peace overflowing to my heart; when I didn’t understand what to do, nor how to do it – He gave direction.
- My husband and I have been drawn together as we sought answers and practical help. We have not allowed this to separate us, but have chosen for it to anchor us to the Lord and to each other.
- This situation has pushed me beyond my natural, to depend on His supernatural: when Morgan’s sleepless nights, or night wanderings interrupted my sleep – “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength… shall run and not be weary, shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) He became my source of energy, strength.
- I was pushed out of my “comfort zone” into new territories: doctors, research, to medicate or not, putting an order to the things we would deal with ….
- It reduced my pride in my children’s behavior – “My children will act the best: in attitude, word and deed!” Well, not so with Morgan, compared to “normal” children. His talking out loud, or fidgeting, or tears in church ….. humility on my part. Then discipline, to teach him proper behavior … daily working with him to learn to sit and listen.
- Creativity: making him a busy bag with quiet toys to help him sit through church; finding computer programs to help him read; teaching our other children how to run through his program with him and help him learn.
- Finding ways to bring Morgan back to us, not leaving him in his own world, but reaching in and drawing him back into our reality.
- God has worked in me a long-term vision of seeing Morgan whole, normal, providing for his own family. And has given me the tenacity to do the necessary work each and every day to achieve the dream.
- It has opened up the world of autism, handicapped or “different” people to our children. They have more compassion, insight, wisdom and patience.
- This has given me a greater compassion for those who hurt; but has also given me a greater desire to find ways to resolve hurting situations in my life – explanations, answers, remedies, practical help. Not enlisting sympathy, but soliciting solutions.
- Being in this situation has opened up a wealth of ministry to reach hurting moms and dads with children on the autistic spectrum.
- Not leaving Morgan where he is, but pushing him (and myself), for him to become his greatest: reading, learning, dressing himself, zipping pants, putting on shoes, putting his clothes up, doing challenging chores geared to his level and a bit above.
- Realizing that God does indeed mean this for good, and not for evil. (Jeremiah 29:11) That we live in a fallen world, and bad things happen to good people. But, God will be the Victor, still. This sickness is to bring glory to the Lord, and has done so, already, in so very many ways.
- I have learned to stand on God’s promises when things look bleak. To remind God of His Word, His promises to us, and that He is faithful.
- Taking my thoughts captive has been one of the hardest lessons for me to learn. To not look at the past, the “what if’s,” the “Why did this happen to Morgan and us?” No longer questioning God’s wisdom or His plan, but thinking about today, and the future God has planned.
- And last, but certainly the most wonderful: yesterday, in church, we witnessed Morgan’s acceptance of Jesus Christ into His life. Pure and sweet, he raised his hand and asked Jesus to come in. Another eternal soul in heaven.
Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Psalms 127:3-5
Some Promises for Morgan
Their children also shall be as formerly. Jeremiah 30:20a
And all your sons will be taught of the Lord; The well-being of your sons will be great. Isaiah 54:13
Commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him; let Him rescue him, because He delights in him. Psalm 22:8
Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me. Matthew 25:40
Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; Mark 9:37
Their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear the Lord Deuteronomy 31:13
Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.... He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands upon them. Mark 10: 14, 16
Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. Luke 9:42
The things impossible with men are possible with God. Luke 18:27
This article was printed in the 2007 winter edition of “The Alliant” magazine by Illinois Christian Home Educators.