Friday, September 5, 2008

Just me and Gavin

So, you know that I was dreading sending the boys back to school. The day came and I found myself swimming in a sea of emotions! I was feeling happy because I knew that Nolan and Caleb were so excited about it and I knew that Jacob would love the independence that came with being a seventh grader. Yet, I was worried that Jacob would be feeling sad that school was back in session and I was worried that Nolan and Caleb would be giving their teachers a run for their money! You may want to pray for their teachers this year! They are both full of energy and lots of questions!

Here are pictures of each of them on their first day of school:


-----------------------Aren't they handsome?!-------------------------

Anyway, I started to cry on my way home from dropping them off at school. I'm not usually like this. I may feel sad about sending them back to school, but I usually don't cry! The crying continued when I got home and I was wondering to myself, "Why are you so emotional about this?!" I started thinking about it and decided that I felt sad that Caleb was starting kindergarten and that he had become so mature over the summer and that my 'job' with teaching him was done in many ways. Plus, he is always so cute about telling me how smart and beautiful that he thinks I am. And, I must admit, I enjoy this and I'm going to miss his sweet ways with him being gone all day!

I also started thinking that I just don't have much of a purpose anymore. Pitiful, huh?! Joel thought that I was being negative and that I should look on the bright side of the situation. But, it was hard for me to see the bright side. I told him to think about it. While my life has actually been given more purpose since Gavin was born, the fruits of my labor are few and far between. I reminded him that he goes to work, and as a physical therapist, he sees improvement in his patients. They get better, they thank him for what he was able to do for them, he gets adult conversation all day long, he gets praise and he gets a paycheck! (Although, I must admit he is very giving to me with that paycheck!)

When Jacob, then Nolan went off to school in their younger years, I still felt like I had a purpose with the son(s) that were still at home with me. I would be able help them to advance physically or academically by helping them learn to walk, talk, learn their numbers and ABC'S. It's different with Gavin! I can try my hardest to help him to learn to sit up, etc., but nothing seems to work! I labor, but I don't get the fruits of that labor! It's hard! So, I realized that this was why I was having such a hard time sending my other boys off to school. I have to admit that we have seen a lot of progress with Gavin, especially lately, but it's SO slow and we haven't been given a lot of hope from his doctors that he will advance very far. He HAS stayed out of the hospital, without seizures and healthy for a long time, He HAS become more active and interactive with us, He HAS been smiling and 'talking' to us a lot more and he's even started to laugh a little when being tickled! I am SO VERY thankful for these improvements, but he's almost 2 years old and, like I said, he's still like an infant. So, I struggle with this daily and especially this week! I'd really appreciate your prayers about this! Also, let me know if any of you have any suggestions of how I might be able to find more purpose in my life. It's not like I don't have plenty to do to fill my time, but I feel like I need something more. I've thought of starting a bible study for mothers with special needs children, but I'm not a leader type at all and I don't even know where to begin anyway. But, if anyone is interested or knows of anyone who would be interested, let me know. Thanks!

As if this post wasn't long enough already and as if my week wasn't emotional enough.......We went to Gavin's school lastnight for an openhouse to meet his teachers and see what it was all about. I left feeling more emotional than ever! The class he and I will be involved in once a week will have 7 other babies in it. The ones that I saw at the openhouse are way more advanced than Gavin and younger than he is. So, I felt way out of place and wondered how we would even fit into this class. Plus, the equipment that they have there seems so advanced for Gavin. I can't even imagine him being able to use most of it. So, now I have reservations about even having him go. Oh, the emotional roller coaster of raising a special child! More prayers please!

I do want to end this depressing post on a light note. I found some very positive things to sending our boys back to school! I don't have to play referee all day to Nolan and Caleb! No whining! No arguments! And, when Gavin and I went to the mall to walk around, I didn't have to make a stop at the toy store! :) So, it's not all bad!

"Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:9-11


ANewKindOfPerfect said...

Hi, I found your site through Tamara's. :) I read your last few posts, and I can relate a lot to them. Having a severely delayed child makes it hard to see progress.

I wanted to comment on the wheelchair issue. At first I was scared of the stares, because we got them already when my daughter was in the stroller. I realized that once she was in a wheelchair, people didn't stare as much! It was like they didn't want to be caught staring at "the kid in the chair" so they look away. LOL

Now I am immune to the stares and I don't care anymore. It's just one more thing we have to get used to!!

Anonymous said...

I came across your family's site on another, and wanted to stop in and read more about your journey. I also have a special needs child. His name is Braeden and he has HLHS(a severe heart defect) as well as global developmental delays, and a g-tube. Although it has been challenging, God has brought us through many struggles. I look forward to following your familys journey.


Annette Selden said...

Maybe someday Gavin will surprise everyone and tell you how much purpose you've had in his life. I'm praying that you will find something that will fill the emptiness and give you something to look forward to.

Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

Sometimes I have these short sweet moments where I am at peace with where Alex is developmentally, they are short moments, but I cherish these moments. There is nothing like peace. I hope you can find purpose even when you dont see the fruit of all that labor. You are working wonders, and the love from all that labor is the best thing for Gavin. This s l o w journey is so hard to be encouraged in, but feel encouraged tonight. You are such a wonderful mommma, and you and Gavin keep moving forward each and everyday.

Tamara said...

Right now I am hugging you though the screen your looking at!!!! I too cried and got emotional and had no idea why and had to question if it that time of the month was coming sooner than I thought. I pray you will see/feel the joy through all this! I pray that the Lord gives you and Gavin sweet time together during the days! Wow that is a wonderful idea about the study! I wouldn't know how to begin, but maybe open your home to those you know that live in our shoes? Maybe the school?While the kids are there maybe you could offer to the moms a place to come and share their stories, have a bit of coffee and dessert and relax. This time would just start off as a gathering and then maybe you can somehow introduce Christ... through Gavin's life. Just a thought... Let me know what you come up with and I will remember to pray for you in this regard. Remember when we are weak it is then that Christ is strong... Moses was afraid too Moses said to the Lord, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." God told him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who give him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." Exodus 4:10-12 May this scripture encourage you! I believe in you Alicia!

Cathy said...

Alicia, I am so sorry you had such an emotional day!You are such a good mommy filled with so much love for all of your boys. I wish I had advice to offer but just prayers. You have a very handsome group of guys.

Princess Abigail said...

Hi, I'm Abigail's Mama. We live in France. Abigail has a rare genetic disease called Jacobsens syndrome which means she too is delayed. Her development is further delayed by seizures due to West Syndrome. I do feel like I understand how you feel. Its tuff. And sometimes we just can't take the whole kaboudle anymore. I know. Been there too.

I know you already know this but your Gavin is gorgeous. I have so enjoyed discovering him through the pages of your blog. Behind as he may be, he is getting there. And he IS terribly cute!

You are doing a tremendous job of being a great Mom. To all of your kids. It permeates through every word printed in your blog.

Well done!

We are all allowed down days. They are necessary.

Bon courage, as we say in France!

I'll be back to read more!

(Bernard Bunch)

Inspired said...


Lately I have had the same feelings of a lack of purpose in life. Tim and I have decided not to have any more children and although it is the right decision for our family, it is a mourning that I have to go through (plan to blog about it one of these days). I don't have any hobbies really (finding I'm not too good at things). The wedding planning is over and Rena doesn't need me in the same ways she used to. Its a huge struggle.
As for you sweet girl, you have purpse WAY beyond anyone I know. Do you see all these posts above of people (as far as France) have found your blog and can relate and find inspiration!! The long days of little to no progress sure don't feel like it, but you are making such a difference in Gavin's life. In doing so you are teaching your older boys some of life's hardest and most important lessons. You were a fantastic mother before Gavin came along and now look at you....well beyond amazing.
We all feel down and we deserve those days, especially for you and the roller coaster you've been on. But please know your purpose is in the unconditional love you give yours family. You are a special person to so many.


The VW's said...

To all of my AWESOME supporters above,

I appreciate your kind words, prayers, scripture and sharing your own struggles with me! I can't thank you enough! You are all just what I needed this week! God always supplies me with what I need in each and every moment, but for some reason I am always in awe of it! God has used all of you this week to boost my soul. I am so thankful to all of you! May God bless all of you and fill you with the knowlegde of just how important you are to Him and me!

Love, Alicia

ruehshouse said...


Even though the situation with our children is different I still have alot of the same feelings. Not knowing if the judge will send these kids back to there "abusive home" kills me everyday. Not to long ago there mom abused one of them in a visit in front of a worker--it was all witnessed and still she is allowed to see them. I was ready to give up. Ryan and I try to protect them and then they are allowed to be abused by the people that are "supposed to be getting better". I feel we go 2 step backwards after every visit but the law says we have to do this. You are an awesome mom. I think a support group is a great idea---another foster care mom and i are starting a support group for foster parents. You dont have to be a leader---god will lead you.
Love you lots--
The Ruehs Family

Amy said...

I'm so sorry you've had a rough start to the new school year! I can imagine it would be quite the adjustment going from having your days filled with bustling noise and fun, to having you-and-Gavin time all day. Still, this is also a gift! I can't think of a bigger job anyone could ever do than to stay home and be a beacon of hope for their baby in need. Gavin is so blessed to have ALICIA VW as his mommy...not so many can boast this! :o) You mentioned not feeling like you have much of a purpose since the boys have grown bigger and are moving on to grade school and beyond. The funny thing is that when I read this, I instantly thought to myself, "It's ME who doesn't have much of a purpose...I can think of no more important job than the one my sister is doing!!" Take that for what it's worth, but I mean it with all my heart.

I think it's Gods intention for us to be humbled every now and again, so we push ourselves to new heights and capabilities. Maybe now is such a time for you? I can completely see you taking this Gavin's Voice idea so far! You could start a foundation to help those who have suffered similarly to Gavin and your family (medical negligence, etc)! By using the internet as a tool to propel this cause, people could donate online, or sign up for local charity walks, etc. You could be the hope for someone else who can't pay for gas to get to the hospital to see their own baby through yet another surgery, or even just a place for someone to go when they, themselves, need to put out a prayer request. Anything is possible, and I can't think of a better person that you to be able to carry such a mission out with success. I believe in you more than you will ever know! (((HUGS)))

Amy said...

Oh, and since I forgot to mention this, I just had to say that I have THE most handsome, smart, and fun nephews in all the land. *sigh* :o)