Thursday, July 31, 2008

In Awe

NOTE: I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago, but it didn't post for some reason.

I am in awe of many things....

1. I am in awe of the fact that God has provided me with a no-brainer job opportunity. I say 'no-brainer' because I have tried working part-time with kids and it was not really 'part time'. Also, it is pretty much impossible to find a part time teaching job, especially when Daniel's school is so far away...I would either have to find a job that only required 2 hours of working or pay for extended day for Daniel, which would defeat the purpose of working. However, with Daniel's school, medical and therapy costs, I felt like I had to at least try to get some extra income somehow.

So one day, I was sitting in the office at Daniel's school and the idea popped in my head to see if they had any part time jobs for the fall...teacher turnover there is very low so I was just hoping they needed a receptionist or secratary (not to mention that I doubted I would even be qualified to teach there). I casually asked the director about it as she walked by. She asked me about my background and I was soon stunned when she offered me a teaching job. It is a job that I would jump at whether or not Daniel attended school there, and it fits perfectly in my schedule...God gave an answer to prayer that was greater than anything I could have imagined.

2. I am in awe of the comments I have received on the previous posts. I know that you are thinking...'ummm, amanda, you just got 2 comments and they weren't even on the most recent post'. I must say I was deeply regretting my tirade on Michael Savage when I got the fewest comments EVER. I almost deleted them. But then Ella's mom commented. A lot of you don't know Ella, but if you could read her blog (it's one of those where you have to be I feel very blessed to be able to read it) you would know that I strive to be like her. Every time I read her posts, I think of how I would love to just sit and talk with her for hours and learn how to be a better mom, wife, friend etc..... So to have Ella AND her MOM respond was worth a million comments....thank you!

3. I am in awe of my sweet and wonderful church family. The kids and I are making our multi-annual trip to alabama to see my family next week. Once upon a time I considered myself a pro when flying solo with kids. But autism throws a wrench in everyhing. I learned a valuable lesson the last time I flew by myself with the kids....ask for help. On our way out to Alabama, I actually had some older men catch Daniel and return him to me as we were boarding the plane...(he couldn't have gotten too far because it was either going past me or to the rear of the plane. But it was still embarrassing when people have to catch your child for you). I kept thinking 'I wish we had a sign that said this child has autism, and then we wouldn't have to tell every single person we encounter why this is so complicated'. Rude looks (and a few comments) followed us the whole day. Southwest no longer does preboard for families travelling with young children. On the way back I asked if I could have help with boarding the plane so I wouldn't have to rely on strangers to catch my child. When they asked me why I needed help, a suprising answer (to me anyway) came out of my mouth. "my son has a disability." She didn't ask what his disability was, but handed us the golden ticket instead...a preboard pass. I hadn't really set out to get that, but I didn't argue when she handed it to me. I felt like a fraud. Honestly, when the southwest guy boarding the plane asked me what our 'disability' was, I thought I was a goner. I told him that Daniel had autism and his reply was 'autism, huh?'. I was so busy thinking of a way to get out of airport jail that I almost missed him saying, "I have 3 kids with autism and I am going to law school at night to learn about disability law". It turns out that autism IS a disability and Daniel really DOES have it (i know, i know, it is NEVER going to sink in...). Needless to say, I got more than enough help and the trip back was much better.

SO, a week ago as I was dreading (I mean preparing for) this trip, I remembered some TShirts I saw online. They were kind of like the 'sign' I had longed for on our last trip. My favorite was one that said, "I have autism...please be nice to my mom." But most of them sort of defeated my purpose by saying things like, "I have autism...what's your excuse?" Or "Parenting advice not appreciated...unless you have a child with autism". I have to admit, I had a good chuckle over these, but I didn't think they would go too far in winning kindness from strangers. The nice ones wouldn't get here in time, so I emailed a large group of women in the church to see if anyone knew how to make one. I am not crafty, but I knew there MUST be a way to make one.

I am in awe because I was overwhelmed with advice and offers of help. I am in awe that I got a wonderful idea for a saying, "Jesus Loves Children with Autism Too"(from Lance and Karre Orton). I am in awe because my sweet friend JULIE PERRY (of insisted on making shirts for us. (For those of you in Houston, Julie is an AWESOME photographer and videographer...below is a candid picture she took of Daniel at VBS. I will gladly pass on her contact info after you see how wonderful she is and realize you must use her). As soon as I get the shirts on Daniel and take pictures, I will post them. Of course, I would have been more than happy with instructions on how to do it, or even just plain text. But Julie spent time designing multiple ideas and emailed me PROOFS for my approval (are you kidding me? i was like, umm, you are the artist, whatever you think, and by the way, how did I get so blessed to have a friend like you who helps me and even DESIGNS the Tshirt). Needless to say, I am in awe of Julie Perry and the rest of my sweet Christ the King family who all went out of their way to ask me if there was anything they could do to help.

4. I am in awe of my God and how He sent His Son to die for me and also gives me all of these good things of which I am in awe.

5. I am also in awe of the length of this post and the fact that I still have at least one more awe inspiring thing to write about. I am in awe of anyone who has read this far. So, I'll leave the last one for another post (since I can't keep my eyes open). Thank you, sweet friends. I'll leave you with this...

P.S. I sooo wish I could show you the other pictures Julie has taken of our kids...they are even better than this one, if you can imagine that. This one is hilarious because the kids were imitating the teacher who was very animated while telling the story...I saw it happen and knew Julie was somewhere in the room, and I thought, "oh, i'm sure it is a one in a million chance that Julie got a picture of that, but it would be great picture is she did". I had forgotten that Julie is just THAT good...she never misses a good shot.


Stephanie said...

That is a PRECIOUS picture of Daniel.

I loved reading this post.

Brian and Ella said...

oh, amanda! i want to move to houston so we can spend together (or i want you to move to alabama!!)! although we rarely see each other, i am so thankful for your friendship and have greatly learned so much from you and your amazing faith and trust in our God just from reading your blog!

i loved reading your post and hearing about all the ways the Lord has provided for you and your fam. i LOVE the picture of daniel! and i'm dying to see the t-shirts that were made for you all! are you still in alabama, and if so how long will you be there? we are in texas right now, which makes me sad knowing we probably missed a chance at seeing you!! i would still love to chat with you on the phone sometime!!