Thankfully God woke us both up. I am thankful for my Christian faith for many reasons, but when my husband and I both committed to follow Him, our lives changed. Many people probably view our lives as a tragedy. We were married almost five years before we considered having a child. The first pregnancy ended at 7 weeks by miscarriage. The second pregnancy gave us a beautiful baby girl who died 9 months later after a long battle with CHD. Several years later we decided we didn't want to live our lives without a child. God blessed us with Drake in September of 2011.
Drake was diagnosed with autism in May of 2014. I knew early on that something was wrong. I think I secretly expected something because of all we endured with our daughter. I was afraid to tell Allen...so afraid. When I was pregnant I was so ecstatic when we discovered Drake was a boy. Allen lost his best friend and daddy in 2007 and I knew this child would be his new best friend. I wanted so badly to have a baby that gave us a "normal" life. I wanted T-ball games, soccer practice, monster truck shows, and 7 million hot wheel cars and trucks. Allen loves to hunt and I knew this sweet little bundle of joy would be his new hunting buddy. Drake may not be doing all the things other children are doing, but he works harder and tries harder than any kid I know. It did take my husband a bit longer than me to accept autism, but when he did he was all in.
I'm so thankful for this man I married all those years ago.
I'm thankful that he has always trusted my instinct as a mother.
I'm thankful for his work ethic to allow me be at home with Drake most of the time.
I'm thankful for the way he looks at me every single day.
He is my best friend, my cheerleader, my lover, my provider.
He goes above and beyond the call of Dad.
He loves me madly.
He spoils me.
He lets me take a bath...alone.
He prays for me.
And finally this....
I know with every fiber of my being that he will never leave me. We are in this together.
Sometimes life has a way of knocking you off your feet and changing your course.
Notice I said...changing your course. We have been knocked down numerous times in our 17 years of marriage. However, each time we came back stronger, closer, and more in love. The bond we share would not be possible without our trials. Autism has changed our lives, mostly for the better. Drake may not be the child we imagined, but I promise you he is the child we are supposed to have. We work together every single day to make sure he gets everything he needs. Our schedules can be crazy at times but we make them work. Most of the time we only have an hour to an hour and a half to ourselves after Drake goes to sleep. We cherish this time. There is nothing we cannot do together. Our story may not be typical, but it is ours.
As our wedding song lyrics stated all those years ago..."Everything I do, I do it for you." Thank you for living up to those words, Allen. I thank God for you every single day.