They Didn’t Know

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?

 

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0 thoughts on “They Didn’t Know

  • June 16, 2009 at 12:38 am
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    In a heartbeat, any child, whether or not they have autism or medical needs or behavior disorders or even if they have all of the above.  But any adoptions we do will have to wait until i’ve finished my music ed bachelor degree.  still one more year to go.

    Reply
  • June 11, 2009 at 1:08 pm
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    If it is any consolation – it gets easier with time.  Our world was turned upside down when it became apparent that our son was different – autistic and born that way.  He is 6 years old now and even tho we are still a little jumpy when we take him out – it has only been for a little while that we have been able to do this.  He is our 3rd child of 4 and he is a blessing.  It is also something doesn’t get announced to the world until it is somehow apparent that this child is different.  She shouldn’t feel bad about asking for a brother, or the fact that she got this one.  She needs to look at it from the perspective of what can she learn from him.  Our oldest daughter now says that she wouldn’t have her brother any other way.  She is one of the few people that can manage him in public, she is his idol and he loves her immensely and she is one of his biggest advocates.  If it was any other disability or difference as I prefer to call it – the impact may be the same.  Is it a fair question to ask someone if they would adopt a child with autism – they wouldn’t know that child is autistic if they get the child as an infant, if someone chooses a child and they happen to be autistic – it is because the fates have matched them to the right people.  For us the first 4 years were the hardest…the last 2 have been significantly better…and you do it until…wish your friend the best of wishes…the adventure is well worth the wait:)

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  • June 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm
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    @mom1945@xanga – Cracking up.  You need a handy babysitter, eh?  =D  Hang in there.  I look back on my poor mother and wonder why in the world someone didn’t notice she needed lots and lots of hugs.

    Reply
  • June 10, 2009 at 12:00 pm
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    @keystspf@xanga
    and
    @bluejacky@xanga

    How I wished you two wonderful people lived close to me. My Asperger girls are so badly in need of people who loves Autistic people and who are caring and understanding!!! They are wonderful girls but can be so very challanging at times.

    Reply
  • June 10, 2009 at 7:12 am
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    The same things can be said for cystic fibrosis, fetal alcohol disorders, and everything in between.  You get screaming kids with lots of things wrong with them, it is a horrible burden on everyone, it can financially break you, and you feel ripped off because God gave you a ‘bad’ kid…

    (Here comes my blunt aspie attitude.)  Get over it.  Life on this earth sux, and people who feel sorrier for themselves than the child who is suffering are imbeciles.  This is why so many people are pro-abortion, pro-infanticide (other cultures), pro-gene sculpting, pro-genocide.  We talk about being compassionate, but when it comes to it, we’re so spoiled with the easy life that when reality slaps us we take it personally.  People have been suffering for millenia all over the globe.  I was slapped and spanked and beaten and jerked around and stuffed in a corner and yelled at as a child, and ODDLY, being on the autism spectrum myself, I seem to have more patience for oddball and challenged children than anyone else I know.  I would NEVER throw a child away for my own feelings of frustration.  I’ve been through raising a full time step from the age of 2 with severe fetal alcohol problems, and believe me, that was pretty hard, not just for all her personal challenges but also having to deal with her still inebriated mother, and if our society boils down to assessing how miserable we are because a child causes us difficulty, God help us.  People used to care for aging parents until they died at home, too, cleaning them up all day long because they couldn’t stand and go to the bathroom themselves.

    We live in a throwaway society in the worst of ways.  Ask yourself if you know ~anyone~ who won’t feel the same way about *you* if you got into a nasty car accident and became completely dependent and lost part of your faculties.  I know a woman who once said her daughter should have died on the highway.  Fine.  So be it.  Stop rescuing people from car wrecks.

    I’m sorry, I’ve dealt with people saying stuff like this about ME all my life, and it sux, it hurts, and no one cares if it makes me angry.  I wind up having to be the one who apologizes.

    Yes, it’s hard.  I had a really hard time raising a challenged child, too.  My sister watched her child die a very long slow death over 20 years with CF.  Find your local support groups, pull a safety network together, work out plans to rotate taking care of the kid so everyone can get the rest they need, work with everyone you can about getting assistance in every way possible.  I think you’ll find it’s not as horrible once you get all that worked out.  Being exhausted takes a pretty big toll.  And if you CAN’T raise the kid with a better attitude, for God’s sake, let someone else do it.  There’s no shame in admitting you’re in over your head.  Raising a child you hate or can’t stand just because you think you have to grind through it is NOT doing the kid a favor.

    Reply
  • June 9, 2009 at 11:14 pm
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    Maybe someday… right now I have my hands full taking care of my niece and nephews….

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  • June 9, 2009 at 10:48 pm
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    I have a step brother who is autistic; therefore, I wouldn’t adopt an autistic child. It’s a stress having him over here because you have to be so careful. Autistic children ARE still children, but it’s more power to those who want to adopt them. With my step brother, he is epileptic and very socially awkward. I know his is basically a mild case. I have been around other autistic children, and I’m great with them, but I don’t know how I could be a mother to one.

    Reply
  • June 9, 2009 at 8:47 pm
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    This may sound odd, but I think I’d have an easier time adopting an autistic child than a “NT” child. I seem to draw them like little magnets. When I was a teenager and worked in the nursery at church… one of my MANY escape routes… there were three boys, at different times, who had very autistic traits and they would not leave me alone. It would shock their parents because normally they would shy away from other people, but I would often find myself sitting on the floor with this little kid in my lap. Kenny, Asher, and Josh (not my Josh) all three gave every other one of the nursery workers absolute hell when they were there… but I could calm them down. Then again, with the exception of Kenny, who seemed a bit further behind, they were on the higher functioning side of the spectrum. Kenny’s mom was astounded by how quickly he gravitated to me. I only saw him a few times, but those few times, he spent the entire time sitting on my lap.

    I used to work at a gas station and one of my regular customers had a rather severly autistic daughter. He was often amazed that she would respond to me, smiling back and once even waving hello. She was older, in her late teens and probably would never actually function on her own. She wouldn’t make eye contact, but she would smile at me.

    A baby would be easier than an older child. There is a lot that can be done in the very early stages of development that, regardless of the possibility of autism, is beneficial. In my son’s case, it probably helped keep his from being as severe as it could be. An older child would have to unlearn a lot… and that’s hard, but not impossible.

    Reply

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