This is for my beloved son Jordan.
When Jordan was just four years old, he was diagnosed with Autism. My husband and I were devastated by the news. Up to that point, we had thought that Jordan was just an extra-difficult child, throwing tantrums, being hyper. Sure, we had our suspicions because he was behind in his verbal skills and social interaction. But we held on to a ray of hope that this delay in development would eventually pass. Unfortunately, our biggest fears actually came true. Imagine, Jordan had been misjudged the whole time. He only acted out because of his limited communication abilities due to the autism. At least we had a diagnosis; I guess it’s better than not knowing. Still, my heart broke for him.
As years passed and our family dealt with the challenges that accompanied the autism, we were hit with another major blow. Just prior to reaching adolescence, Jordan was struck with Type 1 Diabetes. I sobbed immediately when I was told. “Why Jordan, of all people?” I thought. All of a sudden, Jordan’s health issues are not merely social and developmental. They are now also physical due to the diabetes. Jordan’s struggles just got ten times harder.
Thank goodness for my family; I don’t know what I would do without them. I certainly appreciate the support of good friends as well. But without question, I draw my greatest strength from God. I don’t know what His plan is for Jordan, but I put my full trust in Him.
What I do know is that Jordan has brought me unparalleled joy as a mother. He has given me happiness beyond words. Caring for him may be one of the biggest challenges in my life, but he is also one of my greatest gifts. The late nights preparing for meetings with service providers, the long hours of research into possible treatments, the frustrations whenever there are setbacks, the anxiety during uncertain moments, the anger I feel when others mistreat Jordan, and more… All these trials can turn into sheer gladness with every simple pocket of progress Jordan makes. A single smile from his handsome face can make my day. It’s a roller coaster of emotions indeed.
My husband wrote a book about my son and the family. It chronicles our experiences being parents of a special needs child – the joys and struggles, the highlights and heartbreaks, the victories and setbacks. The book is entitled, Half My Life: The Testimony of a Father and His Special Needs Child. Author: Joseph Lim. Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing
The book begins with a poem about Jordan. The words completely capture what’s in our hearts. Here is an excerpt from that poem:
Though my time is filled and my days are packed,
And my plate is full and my workload is stacked,
He takes so much more than all these together,
He’s half of my life and half of what matters.
I’m happily married with a complete family,
I serve at my church, more busy than free,
Still he takes so much more than all others combined,
He’s half of my life and half of my time.
He’s half my life and so much more,
He takes half my strength and half my chores,
He occupies half my thoughts, half my mind,
Half my feelings and half my pride.
He accounts for half my worries and half my fears,
Half my sweat and half my tears,
He uses half my energy and it takes a toll,
But he’s still half my heart and half my soul.
Through the good times and bad, the lows and the highs,
Through the coldest of winters, and darkest of skies,
Still half of my happiness is because of that boy,
That blessed little son of mine is half my joy.
He can be difficult at times, much tougher than it may seem,
But we’ve gone through many challenges together as a team.
And the pain that we share, we cannot easily hide,
But I know one thing for sure, he’s a good boy inside.
But as hard as it is on his mom and me,
I could barely begin to conceive,
What the child himself must be going through,
Many would struggle to believe.
But through all the limitations, he still presses on,
Through roadblocks and obstacles, he still remains strong,
And he doesn’t even know this, so innocent is he,
But Jordan Christian Lim is an inspiration to me.
That pretty much says it all. My husband nailed what’s in my mind and heart perfectly, as if I could have written the words myself.
My hope is that through this article, and with my husband’s book, those families facing similar struggles may be inspired. Though every child is unique, and every situation is different, for the most part, I believe we can relate. After all, we share a common purpose in doing what’s best for our children, seeking the best services, and finding the best treatments. To the general public, I hope and pray that these words can bring about wider awareness of special conditions, and greater compassion towards the kids affected and their families. ♥
Half My Life: The Testimony of a Father and His Special Needs Child is a true story of unconditional love and lessons in patience and faith. It’s about a loving, intelligent, and energetic boy named Jordan, who is diagnosed with autism and diabetes. This book is a vivid chronicle of the highlights and struggles, the joys and challenges, experienced by a special child and his family.
Available online at Amazon.com, Apple iTunes, Kobo books, and Barnes & Noble. Part of the proceeds will be donated to charities for autism, diabetes and special kids.
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