I'm quite sure that all parents, from time to time, sit and wonder what their child(ren) will become when they grow up. Will they be productive and kind citizens? Will they go to college? What profession will they choose? Will they know and follow God? Joel and I sit and talk about these things concerning our boys.
Our older boys aleady have some ideas of what they plan to do with their life. Jacob says he may or may not go to college and that he wants to be an actor or a stunt man. (I know...he has big dreams. I think that I read that only 1-2% of actors actually earn a paycheck, but at least he's thinking about his future.) He says he'll probably get married and have children, but at the moment he claims that he doesn't even like girls! ("They are annoying and not very nice!") Nolan has a desire to become an astronomer. He loves reading books on space and knows a whole lot more about it than I do! He is still weighing his options on who he'd like to marry, but says it's definitely in his plans! As for Caleb, he thinks that he has his whole future figured out! He plans to become a plumber, Get married to a certain young girl in his kindergarten class ("Because she is really nice and has pretty hair."), They will have 2-3 children and name two of them "Patrick and Sally.", They will go to the church that we go to now and his children will attend the school that our boys go to. He's so cute! Anyway, parents and children all have dreams of what the future might hold.
This brings me to my hopes for Gavin. What will the future hold for Gavin? His past has been littered with plenty of suffering. The present finds him doing better than many ever expected, yet still unable to do much of anything. As a mother, it is so heart wrenching to want so much for your child and not be able to do anything to change the circumstances! As a mother, I wish that I could feed him. (Mothers have a strong desire to feed their children! Jacob participated in a 24 hour fast this weekend, to raise money for a mission project and it actually made me sad to watch him not eat, while the rest of us were able to! He really wanted to do this and we were proud of him for doing it, especially knowing how much this boy loves to eat! Still, it was hard for me as his mom.) Anyway, I would love to be able to feed Gavin by mouth, but it's just not possible for him right now. As a mom, I would love to be able to watch Gavin sit up and play with his toys and find pleasure in things. I often feel so guilty that the only pleasure I can really give him is to snuggle him, kiss him and talk to him. He IS a happy little guy, but being a mom, you want to be able to give your child so much more than that!
So, what does the future hold for Gavin? Will he ever sit up, walk or talk? He may sit up one day or be able to say a few words, Lord willing, but the ability to walk seems like a dream that will never come true for him. He will likely live with Joel and I until we can no longer care for him ourselves. He will likely never get a job or even be able to dress himself. He may never eat by mouth. He may never have the ability to do anything for himself. He may never have a voice for himself.
This is part of the reason that I come here to type my feelings and chart my days with Gavin. I am trying to give a voice to Gavin and many like him in this world. (That is why this is called "Gavin's Voice.") I am normally a very private person and actually feel somewhat 'naked' sharing so much with all of you. And yet, I have such a strong desire to do this for Gavin! I am his voice and I may be the only voice, here on earth, that he will ever have. I also come here for my own well being. It has been wonderful getting to know others through this site and finding support from so many. And, it's been a great way to ask for prayers for Gavin and to get things off my chest. But, primarily the reason for this blog (in my mind) is to give a voice to someone who is not capable of giving one to himself.
I pray that those who read my words here, come away feeling more compassionate for those with special needs. I pray that they are kinder to those who aren't capable of giving or taking. I pray that they are kinder to those who are having to walk in the shoes of a caregiver. I pray that they see the love that is felt and given and know that these children or people are here for a reason and have a purpose! I pray that they see God's hand in all of this and that without Him, our days would be so much harder than they are. I pray that they will look to God in their times of suffering, and know that He is a loving God and that He has a plan for all of our lives.
As a mother to Gavin, I may not be able to do that much for him and I may not be able to do anything to change what his future holds, but I can give him love. This I can do without even thinking. I would do anything for this sweet boy! I will stand up to those who are ignorant. I will fight for his rights and comfort. I will be a voice for him, even when I sometimes feel my voice is very weak and I am uncomfortable being that voice. I will love him with all that I have, even if that means giving more than I have to give! After all, God gave me life and the ability to be this voice for Gavin. And, He gave me a great gift when He gave me Gavin!
My other boys may be able to tell me that they love me. They may grow up to do great things and to make Joel and I proud. They may teach others about God and hopefully follow Him with all of their heart. I pray that this is God's will for their lives! Gavin may not grow up to do so many things, but the fact is, he has already done all of these things, just by being here! Thank You God for Gavin! And, Thank You for sending others like him, to teach us so many great lessons. The greatest lesson of all.....Love!
I tried to download a video of Gavin using what voice he does have in this world, but being computer illiterate, I wasn't capable of figuring it out. So, here are some pictures of Gavin using his voice and 'talking' to us. His voice is truly the sweetest voice that my ears have ever heard!
"A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9