Forrest Gump said that life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
But like is really like a puzzle- a giant, one thousand piece overwhelming puzzle and you only have half of the box top to help you finish the blame-fool thing.
You can look at the top and know, well, this puzzle is about a forest. I can see the leaves and the colors... but I surely don't know the whole picture. You begin pieceing the puzzle together and, as time goes on, you begin to see not only the leaves of the trees but, oh! A boat too!
My life is the puzzle and I only know part of the picture, of what it is supposed to be. I am not putting it together, God is, and He has the full box-top.
I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. I can see, now, why some events happened the way they did. I see how people, places and things connect. I can see how the flow is supposed to be. But that doesn't mean I like it.
Today Georgie has his 3 month speech evaulation and re-assessment of goals. In part, it was a really good meeting. He loooooves "Deedee" and is so, so happy to see her. He has made so so much progress in the past few months and now has alot to say- but we don't know what he's saying!
But we have concerns.
We spoke about his eye appointment and how his doctor recommended an MRI if we don't feel his vision is improving. Both DD and the coordinator thought that this was rather extreme and that none of their vision kids have had an MRI. The coordinator suggested an OT come out and that possibly George is having problems knowing where he is in space/time. This could also explain his flat out refusal to sit on the potty (does sitting above the depth bother him?) but he could also just be not ready.
We also discussed how he interacts with other people. A few weeks ago, he "talked" with a stranger at Wal Mart and it was such big news because he NEVER does that. He didn't like going to the nursery for the longest time and flat out ignored the coordinator when she was here. He didn't even play with DD much and, like I said, he loves her. I know DD has wanted to see him interact with other children for awhile and as we were talking- round and round and round- I realized what they were saying.
He's delayed across the board. He's, verbally, about at a 12-18 month level and delayed in his interactions with others. They want to look into having him tested for Autism Spectrum Disorders.
It was one of those moments that I will remember with detail for the rest of my life, just like how I remember the pattern of the tile on the bathroom floor when my water broke, the placement of the microwave I was staring at when my mother told me someone we loved was dying. It was a defining moment, when I clued into the language, terms and body language they were using. The same way I was taiught to speak to parents at IEP meetings- Your kid might have a bigger problem than we orginally thought.
I was standing near the cupboard, holding Cole and the sun was streaming through the window as the coordinator sat at my kitchen table. In that one moment on a cool, sunny, early spring day, life changed.
I spent the rest of the night crying.
I will admit that I didn't study ASD much in school, as I didn't study special education. We had to take some special ed classes and I know just enough to be dangerous... and terrified.
There is a study, which I have found and read, that says that boys with ASD are more likely to have fathers or grandfathers who are engineers. I believe it. Georgie often reminds me of Adam and his little quirks don't even registar because I've lived with them for nine years. I've learned how to work the engineer mind, as much as it scares me, so I know how to work my kids.
The thing is, I don't know what the future holds for any of my kids but having this... I feel like everything is different now.
I had horrible guilt when they first broached this with me. At 35 weeks, he didn't qualify for any NICU follow ups. I know in this day and age, 35 week babies are easy. Heck, I have a friend whose child was full term but on ECMO, Yes, yes his 9 days, in comparison, were easy.
But this child has been delayed in some way or another since birth. He's only now qualified for any kids of services. He was born before the end of 37 weeks and has a higher risk of ASD simply because he was a preemie. Yes, I know it has a strong genetic componant but... the next person that implies 35 weekers are "just fine" is going to get decked.
I have to trust that everything is going to turn out fine, that God's plan is better than the plan I want for my child. I have to trust that the cross He hand picked for us is good, one we can comfortably carry. And I know we are not alone. Since Tuesday, I have gotten more hugs and compassion than I have in a long time. We are being carried by the love and promises from our friends who have been there, done that and know more than we do. They will help us.
Georgie is still the same Georgie he was the minute before they began talking about ASD and the same Georgie he was always ment to be. We will always love him.
I wish I had the whole box top to tell me exactly how this was going to turn out. I wish I knew the whole picture. But I don't. I have to watch and wait as the puzzle is put together. And trust... that this is the best plan for Georgie.