Birthday Boy

We did not get to celebrate his first birthday. Paperwork was not ‘quite’ done and ready; but we had met him. We had held him and kissed him and had thanked God for him. I thought about him on that first birthday. I wondered what the foster home was doing to celebrate his big day. I thought about what we would do to celebrate his birthday in years to come. I thought and I prayed. Prayed that he would be able to be ours, prayed that he was having a good day, and prayed that somewhere deep within his little heart God would give him the realization that he was loved.

That was eight years ago, today. He turned one and just one week later he came to live at our house. When I think back to that day it seems so long ago. So many journeys we have taken with this little guy! There have been multiple surgeries. There have been countless doctor’s visits and numerous diagnosis’; but God has answered the prayer I prayed eight years ago. Zak is ours; and I truly do think that he knows in the bottom of his heart that he is loved. I believe that somehow that day God whispered in his ear that he had a Mommy and Daddy that loved him very much; and that soon, very soon he would have a family to call his own.

How thankful I am that love is an action word and not merely existent because of feeling. Sometimes when you have a special needs child the emotions and feelings can very like the hills of a roller coaster. The journey is long when your child has special needs and often the path is not well lit and seem unnavigable. I am so glad that God knows the way. I am also so thankful that He always provides a way.

This year Zak has celebrated his birthday at school. A new school. A school that is helping us more than I thought was even possible. Sometimes God provides the answers in the most unique of places! He has undergone hours and hours of detailed testing and evaluations. It has been determined that some previous diagnosis are not what we are dealing with. I think I am safe to say that they have ruled out that we are dealing with autism – a diagnosis we were not sure we completely agreed with. So much of the criteria did not fit our little guy. Some of the latest tests have revealed that we are dealing with FAS. This has saddened me quite a bit – for in some ways this can be harder to deal with then the autism; but it has been encouraging for me to hear by countless teachers the ‘success’ stories that they have seen with children who have FAS.


So we celebrate another year of Zak’s life. We start it with yet another label; but with the understanding that all labels are not bad. If a label is used to give you a starting point in knowing what you are dealing with and will help you understand the path that lies ahead – then it is a tool worth having. However, if a label is used to limit and hold back, it is a restraint that handicaps worse than the actual handicap itself! So, I am celebrating Zak’s birthday this year with a thankful heart. Thankful for professionals that know more than I. Thankful that God has given us a provision for the time being in having Zak in school. Thankful for his dear Mrs “G” who makes it possible for him to be in school because she is is shadow and is with him every minute of the day. Thankful that God has given us another year to love our Zak. How thankful I am that God is stretching us, and allowing us to see that our limited view is often not the way He sees things. I am thankful that it is from God that I get my strength. He gives as much strength as I need and knows my limitations.

Happy Birthday, Zak. I am so thankful that you are mine. I know that God has a special plan for you. I am so glad that we get to have a front row seat in watching God work in and through you life.

1 comment:

Mrs. Sheryl Shaffer said...

You're the perfect mom for a boy like Zack. I taught a little boy years ago in our Christian school who had FAS. I learned and thrived and we all grew because he was there. You might remember his name. Cory M. What a precious heart he had. I love you Martie.