My best friend had always wanted a little brother. She’s adopted, never having truly met her biological parents since she was born, she told her adoptive parents, “Please give me a little brother”, and the search began to find the perfect son to add to the family. Months had gone by, but none of them had really stuck out to them, until they met Jager. He was the 3rd child out of 4 boys. His mother was a recovering alcoholic/drug addict, and his dad was no where to be found. But he was a blessing to the family, so they kept him. A dear sweet child, tender and loving, but hard to handle. Yet, somehow, that didn’t stop them from taking this little boy home, giving him a warm bed to sleep in, an older sister to protect him, and a set of parents to love him like he was their own.
Somewhere down the road, things started to change. The constant screaming, like the cry of a tortured victim, the random attacks or hitting people when they got too close, the destruction of a beautiful home. And then silence. Pure silence, like the calm before the storm. It was a phase, just a phase. The “terrible two’s” were over. But that wasn’t it, was it? It was far from over. In fact, it was just the beginning.
I’ve known this little boy since he was 2. He’s my best friends little brother, Jager. He suffers from a tragic case of autism. He was a blessing to the family, and trust me, he still is, but the family is also falling apart. Recently over the past 3 years or so, there has been a dramatic decrease in his hearing, he can no longer hear without the assistance of hearing aids. The development of new “tics”, have transformed from one thing to another since I’ve known him. And just when we thought his speech clearity was at its best, good luck went back to bad. I’ve seen this family go through hell and back for this child, from the medical bills, to the insane behavior, they’ve done everything they possibly can.. And the one thing I admire most about them, they will never give up on him. He was adopted into the family fairly soon after he arrived. But it took them awhile before a diagnosis was actually discovered.
I’m tired of looking into the eyes of my best friend, and noticing the pain behind them. The hate for what he’s done to her family, the regret for asking for a little brother, but knowing he can’t help it, and there’s nothing else they can do. I’m heartbroken for her. I love her with all my heart. Clorissa is the best thing that could’ve happened to me. We’ve known each other since we were 3 years old, and she’s my life line. I wouldn’t survive without her. But this autism, it’s killing her on the inside. She’s told me several times, “I wish he was gone, so everything could go back to normal, we’d be able to breathe again”. But through thick and thin, this family she belongs to, has held tight. I’ve had to sit and watch, knowing there’s nothing I can do, but lend my time to them when they need it.
It’s a terrible illness, and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. You get tired of it, I know. But somewhere in the back of our minds, we dream of a cure. Something that will fix every little thing, and we too, can breathe again, but for right now, that isn’t the case. Being only 16, I can’t imagine what the actual parents go through. Just getting the chance to interact with Jager, has been difficult for me sometimes. However, I never stop looking and noticing the good, even out of all the inconveniences.
I guess maybe I think too much. I’ve oftened wonder why God would do this to such a wonderful family, to such an amazing child, but I don’t have an answer. I think, and I prayer. And I try to remember tomorrow can be better than yesterday, but it doesn’t always help. I’m scared to have kids because of him. I couldn’t handle knowing that my child suffered like this. I know it may not necessarily be my fault, but the guilt would kill me. It would be in my conscience forever. I’m awed for those parents who do find strength to carry on, and my heart goes out to every family who has ever had to go through that pain.
But to keep on going, how do you do it? I’ll never be able to comprehend it. You go through so much, and to me, it almost seems like nothing. But I guess the little miracles make it worth it. Regardless of what we’ve done, or what we’ve been through, things like that, make it worth it.
Would you adopt a child who’s Autistic?