Monday, March 05, 2012

Looking Back

March 4, 2011

My life changed forever today. This morning, my sweet son was a perfectly healthy baby, albeit a bit delayed and unnaturally easy and mild-mannered. Then I took him to his developmental pediatric evaluation...

This is the opening line to my journal a year ago yesterday. That's right, we just passed the first anniversary of discovering Hosea's global developmental delay. Of course, nothing changed about him that day. He was still the same same precious 8-month-old boy he had been that morning. And yet...he wasn't. We didn't know until that day that we were dealing with a severe disability.

Walking back to the van was so surreal. I pass people and think that it feels strange to realize that they are probably having a fairly normal day. It's also strange that they pass me and don't realize that I've just been dealt one of the hardest blows of my life. You just never know who you're passing or what they're going through.

I got in the van and started toward the exit. I then realized that the Westminster Shorter Catechism CD playing was on the question, "What are the decrees of God?" I listened with fresh ears to the answer, "The decrees of God are His eternal purpose according to the counsel of His will, whereby, for His own glory, He has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass." That's right. And when God set the creation into motion, he foreordained that very song to be playing at that very moment. Because He loves me like that.

I actually made it all the way home and into my husband's arms before I began to cry. And once the floodgates were open, there was no holding the waters back.

I wept. I screamed. I cried like...well, like I've never cried before. Eliana wanted desperately to comfort me...poor thing. But it felt so liberating to let out everything I'd bottled up for the previous two hours.

I eventually regained some sense of composure, and Chris, Eliana and I had a talk about everything.

Eliana calmly asked, "Why would God do this?" (This realization came to her after she said she would pray for God to make Hosea better. "And God promises to give us what we ask for if it's what He wants, too," she said. So, I believe she was struggling with wondering, Why would God not want to make Hosea better?)

We told her about Job--how he was richly blessed and how God allowed Job to be tested and how his life was a testimony. How I managed to share this with Eliana at that moment can only be explained by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. I remembered my internal mantra in the doctor's office upon hearing the news--"God counts me worthy. God counts me worthy." Lord, please make me worthy.

Today, a full year later, Hosea is 20 months old and we still don't have a more specific diagnosis. Perhaps someday we will. Perhaps not. What is clear, however, is that Hosea is a very special child. He can now crawl and babble. He can pretty much pull to stand on his own, but he won't unless someone is ready to catch him if he falls. He wears glasses and soon he'll be wearing ankle braces. But, more importantly, Hosea is a darling little boy with a charming personality and a contagious laugh. He is loved and wanted and so very dear to us just the way he is.

To say that my life changed a year ago seems like an understatement. The adjustment we had to go through was so major, so long, and just so...painful. I felt like I was walking around as if in a dream for several weeks. And yet, here I am today. My life is so different now, but it's my life--my new "normal"--and it's a good one. The adjusting continues, and, I assume, it always will. I guess that's why it's more than simply "life-changing". Hosea's needs will continue to change my life as he continues to grow and develop and new challenges arise. The trajectory, if you will, is not so predictable. I suppose it never is. It's just that, now I don't assume.

I know I will probably wake up tomorrow morning and for just a moment--during the delay between consciousness and reality--I won't remember this. For just one moment, it won't consume my thoughts, my very being.

But then chapter 1 of my new life will begin...