It was actually something that came out in the news a few days ago. Research has proven that a couple is 3 times more likely to have a child with autism when the father is 40 years plus. Does this surprise me? No. I recall one of the first things I learned in college while getting my special education degree was that the father plays an equal role, if not more important role, in the child that you are conceiving. Most everyone thinks it is the mother. With that said, I did a lot of thinking about past conversations in my life.
For example, when Tim and I had a conversation about when we were going to have children, he wanted to wait a few years. I wanted to have children right away. I gave Tim many reasons why we should go ahead and start our family. One of the reasons was the age issue with conceiving. I told him the younger we are the better our chances were to not have a child with a disability. I gave him many other reasons. As it turned out, I wonder what would have happened if we waited til we were 40 to have children? Would Trenton be even more severe than he is now? Would Andrew be severe too?
Then I think about my first pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage. I look at that miscarriage as almost a blessing. Baby Freedom, as we call her, is in a much better place. I wonder if that baby would have been born with something even more severe than autism. Or would Baby Freedom have had autism and another disorder too?
Another conversation I recalled happened when I was telling a group of people that I was going into special education. One person's exact words to me was..."Why do you want to work with those people?" I was livid! My exact thoughts were, "How could you say this? You could have a relative with a disability one day?
That could be your child, your grandchild, your best friend?"
Another conversation I remember so clearly was in college. A few of my classmates and I were talking about all the disabilities we were learning about. I remember saying this exact sentence.."That would be awful to have a child with a disability. That parent has to die knowing they are leaving a disabled person on this Earth. I just can't imagine."
I remember the day I had to visit a school for children with severe and profound autism while I was getting my degree. I will never forget that day. It was all I could do to not vomit the whole time I was there. I kept on thinking about how awful it was for those children to not have a normal life. I kept thinking about their parents and their siblings. I was very distraught for several days. In fact I recall telling someone how every spoiled, bratty, just thinks of themselves teenager and adult needs to visit that place. It needed to be a requirement for every high school senior. I would guarantee it would make a few people appreciate their life more.
Another conversation I remember so clearly happened while in high school. A friend of mine had an aunt who had children with disabilities. We were talking about them and the whole time that night when I was laying in bed trying to go to sleep, I kept thinking about how awful it would be to have a child with a disability.
I thought back on the days when I was single and dreaming about my future husband and future children. I always dreamed of a picture perfect life but something always told me, my life was never going to be like that.
My mom and I had this conversation a few days ago and she recalls a conversation that haunts her too. Its almost as if God had prepared us for what lied ahead. Almost as if we knew what our future had in store for us.
All in all, I love my boys and wouldn't trade them for the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so glad God gave them to me! I am a much better person because of them.
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward
The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.
13He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.14The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children