I’ve been avoiding the keyboard. My fingers were getting twitchy. So, I thought I’d take a brief moment and catch you up on our new normal.

Our new normal includes pumpkin spiced everything. It includes a 10 mile race…literal race that I haven’t prepared for. That’s a lie. The only thing I’ve done to prepare is purchase a new pair of shoes to replace the ones with the giant hole in the side. Our new normal includes lots of mixed emotions from all six of us about our mainland adventures. Our new normal is attending a church with well, a different format than we are used to but we are all pretty excited about it. Our new normal is lots of things. It’s also an autism diagnosis. 

Four years ago, one of our four greatest blessings came about like this.

He was tiny. He was incredibly stinky. He was scared. He could barely walk. I remember writing that as we peeled away the layers of clothes Jack felt hollow like a baby bird. The biggest deal…he couldn’t communicate. He didn’t say anything in any language. If you are new, you can read a little bit about his adoption day here

I just looked through some of the posts I wrote in China. I’m slightly horrified now about what a state of denial I was in there. I mentioned that he said “Mama” and “Baba.” If he did, it was only repeating it. I would be months before he understood the concept of names. 

Through this blog we’ve talked about Jack’s struggle to communicate, his frustrations with not being able to express himself. We’ve had lots of things checked in an effort to help him. Through it all, he’s kept us laughing.

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He has changed so much in the last four years. On Monday I took him to a new specialist. She is a pediatric developmental specialist. Jack was put through a series of evaluations but at the end of the appointment with all the questions, I felt like I was the one being evaluated. 

At the end of the appointment I was told Jack really doesn’t seem to be on the autism spectrum. We needed to start looking at other things like his IQ and learning disabilities. I left a little relieved and very worried. Very scary things were mentioned. I knew we were just starting. 

The next morning, the doctor called me at home. She said that as she wrote the report, looked at her notes and went over some of Jack’s behavior she was rethinking her first diagnosis. So, just before the bus stop for about 45 minutes we went over the parameters again. Jack has high functioning autism. She believes that the cause of his autism was lack of stimulation, poor nutrition and basically his institutionalization. 

In all honesty, it’s a bit of relief to have a name but it’s like the gate of the road has just been opened. We all have lots of evaluations to trudge through. We have a list of therapies to try. I have a meeting at his school in the morning to decide how we can best use this information to get some of their testing started, and see what we can do to help him at school. 

I have a very dear friend who’s son was diagnosed a long time ago. This year, he’s off at an excellent university all by himself. She told me that she heard about an autism cure. She asked her son if he would want it. He said he wouldn’t because he wouldn’t be the same person without autism. I apparently need to fly right off to his college to love on him…even though he would absolutely hate me for it. 

So I’ve been engulfed in research. I’ve been chatting with old friends that have walked this road before me. I’ve prayed. We’re ready. We would still appreciate your prayers, especially tomorrow as we try to get a new IEP. It’s going to be a marathon. It’s time to train.