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Mike and Anita James

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Apr '18

Our Reality

First of all, I should apologize for not writing here more often.  To say that our lives have changed is a bit of an understatement.  Since being back in the States, we have been trying to get Samuel accessed for autism.  I had made doctor appointments while we were still living in The Netherlands.  We went to a pediatrician who referred us to an autism center.  We got an appointment with them, which was 6 months out.  Just one week before we were finally going to begin the assessment, I found out that they didn’t have anyone at that time who would work with our insurance.  So, we were back to square one.  It seemed that I was constantly on the phone.  

I called the autism center, our insurance company, and many doctors who wouldn’t work with our insurance.  At this point, I was incredibly frustrated and was praying.  I felt God give me the verse from Exodus 14:14. “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”  I can vividly remember praying and telling God, “That’s all good and well, but who will keep making these calls for me?” It might seem like a childish thing to say, but I didn’t see how it was going to happen.  I made a few more calls, and was given a name of someone who could possibly assess Samuel.  She also didn’t work with our insurance but asked for their information.  She told me that she would call them for us. God was so faithful!  The doctor called the insurance, and they worked it out that they would actually work with her…and she could start the assessment in just a few days.  Yes, I asked forgiveness for my snotty attitude and the flippant question I asked God.

We have gotten an official diagnosis of autism.  Even though we knew it was coming, it was still hard to hear.  Since getting the diagnosis, it seems that I am again always on the phone.  I’ve called to try to arrange therapy.  Guess what?  One of the wait lists is over a year, and we will have to pay out-of-pocket. I could be frustrated and rail at God (again), but I firmly believe that the God who arranged for us to work in the States where Samuel could get the help that he needs and provided someone to make the right phone calls for us will open doors for Samuel to get the therapy that he needs with the right people.  I’m reminded that He is God, and he will fight for us!

In the meantime, Samuel is still going to school here in Ozark.  He’s part of the early childhood education program, and we are so incredibly thankful that he is getting some help.  He goes four mornings a week and has a wonderful teacher as well as a speech teacher who comes in once a week.  We have seen some progress as a result of his school.  I’m also reading a lot about autism and am learning a lot.  I’ve learned things that have helped some, but there is much more to learn.

Samuel loves his school!

I’ve known people who have children with special needs, but I never knew all the challenges they face. Our reality has definitely changed.  Going out is difficult because Samuel wants to run off and touch everything.  He doesn’t have a sense of danger, so that adds to the challenge of him running away from us.  Waiting is very hard – more than it is for your average child.  Samuel’s speech is delayed and he doesn’t have the social skills to play well with other children.  Our sleep is often interrupted because Samuel wakes often in the night, so I’m in a state of constant exhaustion. People ask us for family photos often, and we don’t have a good one.  Samuel has a really hard time being still enough to catch a good one.  It seems that we will be involved in therapy for the unforeseen future.  I don’t say these things for pity.  It is simply what our lives are like.

This is the last family picture that we have. It only took about 25 tries before we got this (and his dinosaur still made the shot). You do what you have to do! 🙂

Knowing all that I know about our reality as it is now, I am still so thankful to God for caring for us through all of this.  God has blessed our family with a sweet little boy who loves us very much.  He is super affectionate and when he smiles, his dimples will melt your heart just a bit.  The whole pregnancy was quite a shock, and I knew that God had a plan for Samuel.  I’m excited to see what that plan holds for Samuel’s future. God is in control, and He is fighting for us.  This is our reality.


4 comments to “Our Reality”

  1. Tabatha Bunn Says:

    I was thinking about y’all last night in my prayer time. I know that it wasn’t by accident either. I am praying for your family and God wants to do great things through you. He will bless your family in so many different ways that there will be no doubt that it was by His Hand. Just continue to trust Him and you will see the doors open for you. Many blessings your way…Tabatha

  2. Andy and Helen Says:

    We miss you, we continue to pray for you all. It is good that you are hanging on to the truth that “God is in control and He is fighting for us”. But also that you are real about it and how it is a challenge walking out that trust.
    Big hug from us here, love A and H

  3. Rem Says:

    Reality sucks sometimes. And it does so badly. However, as we found out with our autistic kids, things will work out for the better. That does not take away the fact you’re having a hard time now, but there it isn’t hopeless. Respect for your and Anita’s hard work and your love for your son. it will get better over time. Rem.

  4. Brook Ferren Says:

    I know you don’t know me, but I remember meeting you several years ago at Arkansas District council. Thank you for the honesty of your post. God knows our deepest hearts anyway; thank you for telling us a little bit of your struggle. We have a 6 year old little girl with Down syndrome, so I was able to relate to some of your feelings.
    In Arkansas we have something called TEFRA Medicaid. We pay a small monthly payment that is based on our income. Her TEFRA pays for all of her therapies and paid for 3 years of preschool in a special needs public school. Of course, I don’t know what is available in Missouri. Her TEFRA is a God send. We havent had to fight to get her therapy and other services that she has needed. I hope something like this is available for your son.
    May God bless you and comfort your hurting hearts.
    Mark and Brook Ferren

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