There is a story God is telling in South Africa through the life of our dear Keller, and we are so deeply grateful.
This past week we went for a follow-up assessment with our pediatric neurologist who first diagnosed Keller with autism almost two years ago. I felt incredibly sensitive and fragile leading up to this meeting. It filled my thoughts all weekend and on the day I found myself crying in an instant. You could have knocked me down with a feather.
There was so much I KNEW about Keller. I knew that he was an absolute gift. I knew that he had come so far. I knew that he makes my heart swell with love and pride. I knew that he is so much more than a diagnosis. I knew that God was telling a story in his life and no one could stop it. I KNEW all these things but my heart felt like it didn't know these things at all. My heart felt like it was walking into a possible landmine war zone and I had no idea what would explode and how bad the pain would be.
The last time we went to an appointment with this doctor we only went because we had 'concerns.' I had done some research thinking I was being clever and proactive and had self-diagnosed him with 'sensory issues' and was certain that would be confirmed. When she said the words "Your son has AUTISM" you could have blown up the building and I would have hurt less. It was nothing short of TRAUMA to hear those words and our lives were forever changed.
My mom recently reminded me of the first video call we had with my parents after the diagnosis. It was so painful all we could do was share the facts and cry. Casey was so overwhelmed he couldn't even get out words. It was pure hell.
Now two years later there was SO MUCH MORE that I know. So much I know about autism. So much I know about doctors. So much I know about KELLER. So much I know. But again my heart and head weren't connecting.
We prepared Keller that we were going to see a 'special doctor' with fun toys and he was super pumped for the whole thing which definitely helped. We nervously waiting in the waiting room until the doctor was ready and then marched in to receive our fate.
Quickly it became clear that our doctor was very excited to see us, very eager to hear our progress and generously encouraging with every single step we had made. We went through the steps of the past two years and the many MANY interventions we had undergone with Keller. When she saw us we had just gotten a diagnosis and then what we did with it was completely up to us. Well, putting that diagnosis in our hands was like a firecracker and it set us alight to set up Keller for success and growth.
We listed the many steps, the many therapists, the many communities we had built, the huge milestones that Keller had flown through. It was even staggering for us to say it, but it seemed that our doctor was beyond amazed at it all. She warmly and excitedly responded to every single step we had taken and remarked on Keller's strength and incredible growth. She was in awe. I was in awe of HER AWE.
This woman who two years ago gave our lives a title that sent us into a tragic decent was now watching with pride and awe at US and how far our little champion had come despite his challenges.
My heart still can't even take the depth and profundity of it all.
By the end of the appointment she let us know that we do not need to come and see her again but rather next go to an educational psychologist in order to further evaluate Keller and his educational needs. He is not taken off the spectrum but now it's being predicted that because of his gifting and energy he will have a great future and we ned to make sure we create educational environments for him to succeed and flourish in.
Now we aren't worried about Keller surviving but we have to figure out how to help him THRIVE.
Yes, we are in the MIDDLE OF A MIRACLE.
We are not there yet but we are well on our way. We are not totally healed but not totally broken. We may not be finished but we are well into the race and see our victory ahead.
We are in the middle of a miracle and leaning in to all God has.
I can't help but think of the words of the apostle Paul in scripture:
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
- Philippians 3:12-14
We are on a beautiful journey and we do press on for the miracles God has ahead for us. Thank you to everyone who has walked each step with us for being a part o this miracle.