This morning I am sitting here reflecting on the dinner we went to last night at the Autism Society of McLean County. It reminded me of how far our family has come since the diagnosis of Emmy and Michael. Can you believe that autism has been a part of our lives for 2 years now? During the slide show there was a picture of Emmy that came up from several years ago when she was still in a social skills group through Easter Seals. She had a pacifier in her mouth and this glazed look on her face. Thinking back to that time, I remember how lost I felt. How cheated and hurt I felt watching this little girl struggling through life. How I wondered if she would ever talk to me or make friends. Then Michael was diagnosed and I felt like life was crashing down all around me. It seemed like an impossibility that our family would ever be the same. And you know, it hasn't been-thank goodness!! Our lives have been forever changed in the best possible way. I have learned humility, grace, forgiveness, how to love uncontionally and be loved. I have learned not to stare at a child who is melting down in public-you just never know why. I have seen our own children learn to accept each other for who they are-and it is hard.
The highlight of our evening was watching Peris receive an award for outstanding sibling to an autistic child. I was so proud of her when she walked up to get her plaque. Peris' love and devotion to Michael and Emmy are awe inspiring. It is hard to be the oldest sister yet she makes it look effortless most of the time.
Life hands us some strange turns doesn't it? How we respond to those turns makes us who we are and who our children will be.
Thank goodness we don't have to do it on our own:)