Monday, January 10, 2011


Insha'Allah is Arabic for "If God wills it." In the Qu'ran it says, "And never say of anything, 'I shall do such and such thing tomorrow. Except (with the saying): 'If God wills!'"

Kristy's at he OB/GYN this morning. Last month, she went to the ER with complications from kidney stones. While she was there, they did a pregnancy test that came back positive. It was a big surprise for us. Kristy and I both wanted more kids, but did not feel that we would be able to manage financially. Our apartment is pretty cramped with just two kids.

The elephant in the room, of course, is Autism. We've accepted that Joseph is autistic. It's even somewhat of a comfort, since it explains a lot of the difficulty we have with him. It's a controversial subject, whether autism is a bad thing, or just a different thing. As parents of children with autism, I think that believing that autism is not a bad thing is the only way we can be happy and stay sane. Autism has forced me to be a better father, a better person, it has brought some amazing people into my life, it's given me a new way to define myself and made me a part of a community of amazing parents that I value immensely. I've written a lot about the good that autism has done for me and my family, here, herehere, and here. While I could not possibly love my son any more than I already do, the truth of the matter is I would rather my son was not autistic.

Right now, every child that is born has a 1 in 110 chance of being autistic. Boys, a 1 in 70 chance. The docs at Children's Hospital told me that the sibling of a child with autism's chances of also being autistic are 1 in 12.

A while ago, I mentioned Christopher, the child we lost to a miscarriage before Joseph. What I've wanted most in my life is predictability, stability, security and certainty. I want to know what my kids will be doing next year, or even next month. I want to not worry about where next month's rent money will come from or what we'll do if our car breaks (which is has, right now we're sans automobile). I'd even settle for being able to be reasonably confident about these things. Unfortunately, this is a luxury that I don't get to have.

As vital as the support of our friends and family has been and continues to be, I think that my faith right now is the only thing keeping me sane. I'm learning to be thankful for the blessings that we have, despite the challenges. I'm thankful for the people that have come into our lives in the last 6 months. I'm thankful that we have a place to live, that I have so much family nearby, that my children are so sweet. I'm thankful for the very nice TV we got for free on Craigslist last month because I told the guy Joseph is autistic and it turned out his son is autistic too. I'm thankful that we live in Franklin County and our Board of Developmental Disabilities covers more than any other BDD in the state, and we have so many autism schools and research centers to choose from. I'm thankful that the Goodwill across the street regularly sells clothes up to size 4 at 10 for $2.99 and Joseph is still in size 4. I'm thankful that Maria is doing better in school and that Joseph is talking so much more, even if they both have a long way to go.

I know that God has a plan that we cannot comprehend. I know that whatever happens, it's part of his plan, whether we ever can understand it or not. These blessing that we have, most of them are not attributable to anything that we've done right. An atheist might say they're entirely coincidental. But without them, I can't imagine how we would get by or even have made it this far. I must believe that if God chooses to send us another child, whether they're a boy or a girl, whether they're autistic, ADHD or neurotypical, they are a part of God's plan and he will always provide for us, whether it's with work, government assistance or friends and family. I need to allow myself to feel certainty and security in that.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think that there is anything wrong with that attitude! I have 3 sons and only my middle son is autistic. It would be easy for me, for us as parents of autistic children, to blame or lash out. I am agnostic, but even I have to believe in balance. Things work themselves out!
    I tell Lex that it's up to him to do something great not in spite of his autism, but because of his autism.
    Good Luck and best wishes!