I was very surprised one of my post generated so many views. It was titled “100 Days of Grace.” It was a very emotional post about our family crisis with autism.
I could just resume the same post. I can’t believe it has been three years since transitioning our non-verbal 13-year-old son to a residential school three hours away. That means he is now 16!
Some days I feel like time has frozen. The clock keeps ticking, and I haven’t fully accepted that this is the new normal. God’s grace shows up on days that I struggle to accept this is God’s plan for today. Then God gently reminds me that today is not necessarily forever.
Not too long ago, I was telling my counselor that people may think I am on a break (after 11 years of 24/7 intense parenting). However, the reality is a residential placement is emotionally exhausting. And yes I have had to process all of this with a counselor. I have learned God’s grace many times sitting in the counselor’s office.
In many ways, the lessons I learned from God before our family was created through adoption have come full circle. I knew one day my children would leave the nest, and life would carry on. I just didn’t imagine the way or the order this would take place. Here’s the order…
God’s grace showed up when… Tristan left home at age 13. Then a few short months later, our foster son A.T. left our home. That left our oldest son, Jacob, 15 became an only child. Our home life changed rapidly. It was quiet–almost too quiet… at times.
During this season of life, I felt my days in special education were numbered. I LOVED what I did as an assistant but it was time for a change. I had lived and breathed special education for years. I thought what could be the most opposite! So… I took some classes and earned a coding credential to enter the medical field. I absolutely love what I do! I have plans to continue my education in this field. I actually have TIME to work on this goal and complete a degree.
Continually God’s grace shows up when we finish a weekend home visit with Tristan, and he is never sad to go back to his group home. I still get teary-eyed. I know it would be much harder if he were upset.
While Jacob never says he misses Tristan, it shows up in little ways. One day when Tristan was home, Jacob grabbed Tristan’s tablet. A few seconds later, we hear a song about “Tristan” and it was spelled like our son’s. Big brother took the time to find a way to connect with his little brother. Tristan loves the attention he gets from Jacob. I see the gift of compassion being cultivated in my older son.
God’s grace shows up every day, we just have to be ready to see it. Some days it might be easier to recognize than others, depending on what season of life we are in.