This is a big week for Rhema. I have prayed that this week in particular she will understand – even just a little – how deeply treasured and loved she is. I’ll watch her face closely, I’ll note her body movements and every sound out of her mouth. But I don’t know if I’ll know how my prayer has been answered.
But simply, I just want her to feel special.
It’s a big day, week, month for Autism Awareness. Last week the CDC estimated that 1 in 88 children has some form of ASD, and 1 in 54 boys.
So last night we got out the blue lights. The girls and I waited patiently while Brandon put fresh batteries in our blue lantern from Home Depot. We asked Hope what the blue lights were for, and she excitedly replied “Autism Awareness!”
For us the Light It Up Blue initiative is about doing whatever little thing we can to help support and promote research, family services, compassion and understanding for people impacted by this disorder. It’s about joining with Autism Speaks and a wonderful community of friends and family who share hope and work tirelessly inside and outside the home to make a place for our children in this world. I’m so thankful for all of the efforts that shine a light…
For our family, perhaps it is most about honoring our Rhema. Honoring the efforts she makes to face the day full of unpredictability and sensory bombardment, and the courage she finds to communicate and connect with us. It’s about recognizing how hard she works to learn to wave “hello” and say her name and use a spoon and go potty and copy a circle. It’s about celebrating her resilience and resourcefulness, her amazing growth in development, her ability to grasp the things predicted to be beyond her reach. Every day.
Brandon put the lantern on the table and invited Rhema to turn it on. She tentatively reached out her hand, not sure what to do. He guided her fingers and helped her flip the switch. On.
I can’t say for sure but the words “autism” and “acceptance” and “awareness” and “advocacy” do not hold meaning for her.
But I do know that her lovely face was illuminated by the blue glow of the lantern. And a bright squeal escaped her lips. And Hope cheered.
And I just believe that somehow Rhema knew that the blue light had something to do with her. Something exciting and good.
And that means a whole lot of something.
For more on Light It Up Blue, click –>here<–.