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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In Honor To The LORD for our Tim




I don't know if I can get through writing this, but I am compelled.

My Tim, OUR Tim is graduating from College. A mother could not be prouder of ALL of her sons, but Tim.... How can I begin?

When I found out Tim was on the way, it was because of a "threatened miscarriage". I went to the Dr. and found out he was still hanging on for dear life. Well, he hung on as long as possible, and when I was 30 weeks pregnant, he was born. I won't go into the long details of the experience except to say that is was not normal labor and delivery.

Tim breathed on his own, gasping for each breath through underdeveloped lungs for nearly 4 hours before he was rescued by a team from the NICU at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. I took one long lingering look at him as they were taking him away. He curled his little fingers around my finger and gazed back at me so intently for a very sick newborn. I checked out his fingers and toes and full head of black hair. He was the most beautiful baby. And then, he had to go. I couldn't follow until several hours later.
I got there as soon as I could. Of course, my first question was, "Is he going to live?"
The very experienced nurse said, "I can't tell you that, but he is a fighter!"
Those words never rang so true.

He fought for 16 days on a respirator, and on his 16th day, VICTORY! He was breathing with oxygen, ON HIS OWN! I went home triumphant. When we returned that night, the Dr. stopped us saying "Don't let them in here yet, I need to talk to them!" Chills ran through me. I caught a glimpse of him. He was back on the respirator.

The Dr. gave us the grim news, that he had suffered a major brain hemmorage. It was large and to the left side of the brain. As the Dr. went on explaining things, his words were humming somewhere away from me and I was thinking, "Can this be happening?" It was. But it was so surreal. I came back to hear the Dr. once again say that he has given them no indication that he will ever see, hear, speak, sit up, etc. I said, in other words, "He will be a vegetable?" Yes.

The Dr's. told us they wanted to remove him from life support. After numerous tests at our request, he was taken off of life support. He was determined to be brain dead.
My prayer had been, "Lord, if Tim is never going to know he was alive, if he can never Know YOU, then take him, but if you have something to teach me through taking care of him, can I please keep him? But can you make him Know he is loved and make it so he will know you and can worship you?

Well, I didn't know it, but my prayer was answered. We rocked him for a day, and he didn't die. Then they put him back on oxygen and I overheard them say, "this is a devastated baby", meaning,  he can breathe, but nobody is home. I was crushed.

I visited him every day and talked to him and held him. At nearly 3 mos he came home.
I don't exactly remember when, but I went into his room and looked at him and he looked back for the first time and SMILED back at me when I said, "hi Timmy"! OH WOW! That was strange. He started to learn how to suck too, and at 5 mos, was taking a bottle without needed to have a tube put in his tummy to feed. Up to that point, I was tube feeding him several times a day. It took a lot of practice, but he learned.

Before I knew it, he was babbling and starting to bunny crawl, but not sit up.
He was a happy little guy, all chubby and cherubic.

I knew we had a problem when he couldn't sit up and seemed rather stiff. I found out he had a condition called "Cerebral Palsy"; spastic diplegia to be exact.
Not much hope was given.

He had some therapies but not much made a difference. He wanted to walk when his baby brother Joe started walking. In fact he got MAD that Joe was walking and he wasn't. He made it is life project each and every day to do nothing but try to walk, and walk he did! It was just a few steps, but after trying over and over and falling and falling, he was finally able to manage a walk.

He was considered retarded by all the tests, with his first IQ test coming back at around 68. I was again told not to expect too much. I knew better. He was a linguist and was already conversing above his age level. Did he have issues. YES!
Wierd seizures that made him stop talking, bang things, including his brothers, open and close doors... and forget everything he ever learned in his life. But, we got them figured out.

It was time to start school. First he was placed in a Preschool for the Handicapped through the public school system. He came home after 1 week and had a tanrum, and by week 2 was banging his head on the floor! I went to the school and was shocked. The teacher said, "I think he is autistic!" AUTISTIC! NO! He is mimicking his classmates. I pulled him out and he returned to normal.

He went to a regular Kindergarten, and then was placed in a special ed for 1st. They were teaching him to tie shoes, comb hair, things I would teach him at home. I asked them, "What about reading?" It was like I was from mars.

Things continued that way through 4th grade. He was going into 5th grade and still could not read and write, or do any math problems. The teachers told him he couldn't and he believed it. WE DIDN"T BELIEVE IT! We went to his final IEP and 10 professionals stared at us telling us he would never learn to read or write or do math. WHAT? He can find the super secret Mario mushroom! If he can do that, he can read!

Thus began our journey with home education.

Tim tried so very hard and by Christmas was READING. Before school officially started he did 2 years of beginning math! He was focused and ready! Life was back in his eyes. His internal clock was raring to go at 6:00 a.m., and I had to ask if I could have my morning coffee before answering his math question.:)

Tim continued to progress and more importantly grow in his relationship with the Lord.

When he was 18, he so much wanted to graduate. I knew it would benefit him to study just one more year. I asked him to pray about it. He did, and then made a very mature decision. He would study one more year and graduate with his brother Joe.
He grew so much that year academically and emotionally. It was a fun year.

He was still convinced he couldn't do college. Joe and taken a year off to wait for Marcus to graduate, and then they were going to go to school together.

I so much wanted Tim to go too. His brothers got a grand Idea! While Tim was on a missions trip to Russia, they would sign him up for college. When he got home, he had 5 days to take the college entrance test and move into a dorm room with Marc. We told him, "don't think, just GO! I don't care if you take underwater basket weaving, GO!
He took the entrance test and passed it. His first semester was bowling and Russian.

After that, he got the school bug.... then more encouragement, and then.... he met a girl. Emily. She encouraged him even more. And... She married him. :)

Well,day after day, week after week, month after month, semester after semester, Tim went from Jr. College to University of Texas Dallas! Wow, he was a Junior, and then a Senior!
Math class after math class; professors telling him he should give up, not allowing extra time... then there were those who did give extra time and encouragement. But NOBODY gave him a free ride. He did every assignment. He did everything, just like everybody else.

And then, today came. He took his last final. He is done. DONE! It has been 7 years of non stop study. He is done. And December 8, 2007, when he walks across that stage to get his diploma, We will be there, proud mom,proud dad, with a large box of kleenex stashed away. We're gonna need it.
Praise the LORD!

We're so proud of you Tim!

Dear Lord,

I thank you for letting me be Tim's mom. For sending him to me and giving me the honor of raising him. I am so honored and thankful for my dear son. Lord you know what is best for each of us, and all of your gifts are good. You have taught me to embrace sorrow and suffering through Tim, in order to achieve gladness and joy.

Thankyou for my wonderful gift.
Tim's mom

A U Tube Slide Show has been added over there--------> see Tim's Slide Show

6 comments:

Dana and Scott said...

Speechless - inspiring. Congratulations!!!!!

Jodie said...

I had a difficult time just trying to get to the end of this one! I am so very proud of this nephew and his brothers!
Love,
Aunt Jodie Swader

Waitingonmyua2 said...

Christie - I don't read many blogs, nor do I read many blogs very often. Today for some reason, I decided to read yours. I am so glad I did. I am still weeping tears of joy. Our God is an awesome God. Tim sure sounds like and awesome man. And I am so glad to know you are his awesome mom. I hope someday (this side of Heaven) I get to meet you. Many blessings! And huge congrats to Tim! Beth

Christine said...

Congratulations! Tim is one amazing young man! You should be proud. :)

christie said...

beth
I so much want to meet you too! Thanks for reading my blog. :)

Christie

Piggeldy said...

I don't remember how I found your blog and I know I only found this entry by chance... but: thanks!

My husband was born in the late 1970s after a "not normal labour and delivery", 6 weeks early and not breathing (he is stubborn, was then and still is) which resulted in CP (spastic tetraplegia - and he walks).
He graduated from University with a degree in Law in 2007, we got married in 2008. I am so proud of him.

From what you wrote about your son, it's so easy to feel how much love you have for him. And it makes me so sad that my MIL doesn't seem to feel the same love for her son. She sees his flaws, his mistakes, where he didn't succeed (like his bar exams). Not which obsticles he overcame (doctor's said she should be happy if he would roll over and say mommy), that he graduated from public school with his age group, went through university while working part-time, only graduated late because his father died a week before his final exams, and has a full-time position as well as a wife and a happy home. My heart breaks for her as it does for my husband who just needs some extra love and warmth and compassion from her. I love how you love your children! I hope I can one day do the same.

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