Life is about Turning Points; moments that present a decision which changes your life forever.
One of mine began with the sound of a phone ringing. You see, my wife and I had tried to have children but were unable to do so. So we decided to open our home and adopt. That was the sound that began a new chapter in our lives over 12 years ago.
Funny how a little thing can become a much greater one without fanfare, without much ado, and yet the smile of a baby can change you in an instant. Before you know it, you’re a parent, a Dad, and you realize that you have no idea what you’re in for, and someone forgot to mention that kids don’t come with a manual, the hours are non-negotiable, and vacation only happens in the wee hours in the bathroom before the kid wakes up.
Then you’re told your child may have a “disability”, or a significant “challenge”, or whatever wording they use at the moment to say that you’ve been upgraded to the deluxe adventure free of charge. Ho boy.
But really, that is what you’ve signed up for, knowingly or not, you are now a Parent, and being a Parent means you are now Indiana Jones and your child is going to show you the secret temple in the jungle. How you get there is more important than what is waiting for you at the end of the trail. So let me begin with our adventure with Eddie when he began his preschool life.
You see, Eddie didn’t talk. At the age of three you’d expect to be inundated with questions about the sky, food demands, and why Auntie June smells like catnip. For Eddie it was more of an “Uhn” sound and lots of pointing. What this meant to us is confusion, using a Rosetta Stone to decipher the language and a frustrated 3 year old.
Now before I continue, I’d like to say while I’m the one who can tell a story, my beloved wife is the true adventurer in the family. She’s the one who speaks to the experts, the educators, and manages the overall logistics of our trek. She’s all that and really smart to boot. So when I say “We”, it is more her, and then I ensuring her plans come to fruition. Still a team, but she’s doing more of the overall work, so let’s be real about who does what.
We decided that our son needed help, so she did the calling and we had the meetings and then Eddie enrolled in a preschool program designed to assist children with learning skills that are currently out of reach. To say the program was effective would be an understatement. Within 3 weeks our son was talking! Words began to flow out of his mouth and we began to notice his visible frustration steadily being replaced with questions, wonder, and understanding.
It was an excellent beginning to our journey to say the least.
He spent two years in that program, learning the basics about social interaction, positive expression, all the while showing the sensitive nature that would later win the hearts of anyone who took the time to know and understand him.
But I digress for a moment, you see, like any good story you need to add more characters to challenge our protagonist and Eddie’s adventure was no different. You see, a few months into his first year of preschool our journey arrive at another new crossroads that once again began with the ringing of a phone. Once again life gave us a new turning point in the form of a baby brother for Eddie.
And with that our journey was altered forever.
Next chapter, I’ll tell you the story of how Ricky change our house and the new challenges he brought to us all.
Until then, take care of yourselves and be well.