Sunday, June 01, 2008

A Joyous Reunion!

Last weekend we interrupted our outdoor chores for a most joyous reunion. Our goddaughter(SB) stopped by for a visit with her 2 1/2 yr old son! My post of 9/15/05 explains the circumstances of Thor's birth. A LOT has happened to SB since the birth of her son.

As I expected, SB called us when Thor was 6-months-old. Thor's first few days on earth were spent wired to machines in the neonatal intensive care unit. SB spent every minute she could beside her newborn, willing him to live. Thor gave SB the focus she needed in her life. From the moment he was born, Thor's life became SB's #1 priority.

Throughout the following 2 yrs, SB would call me every couple of months with news of Thor's progress. During this time, SB sought help for her bipolar disorder, with devastating results. SB is SEVERELY bipolar, with accompanying psychosis. The only meds that worked for her had extreme side affects. The meds she was taking had a chance of destroying her organs. Every 2 weeks, SB had to have a needle biopsy of her liver. The doctors warned SB that she shouldn't get pregnant again, as she would have to quit the meds. Without her meds she would more than likely have to be institutionalized for her own safety.

A couple months later, SB called to say that she had moved 3 hrs away from her BF. BF had told her that she wasn't the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, but she was welcome to live with him until "someone better comes along". SB said "No thanks!", and moved in with her aunt and uncle in Duluth. Within a month, BF was literally on his knees, begging her to come back to him. Their relationship is still rocky, but BF is a devoted father.

A year ago, SB called with more bad news. Thor's development didn't seem right to her, so she scheduled him for a complete battery of tests. Thor is "marginally" autistic. SB immediately enrolled Thor in a daycare program for autistic children. She and BF have taken all the classes available that help them work with Thor at home. Despite her dyslexia, SB has read everything she can find on autism. We are soooo proud of the way SB is working to give her son the best life he can achieve! Early intervention will make all the difference in this little boy's development!

During one of our chats, I convinced SB to contact her Grandma(my Boss). Boss eventually persuaded SB to re-establish her relationship with her Dad and BF's Mom. Last month Thor's grandparents got to meet him for the first time. This led to SB and Thor making the trip up here with her Dad and BF's Mom. All of us are ecstatic to have the family reunited! BF still refuses to communicate with his Mom, but we're all hoping that he will come around eventually.

I, too, have extensively read up on autism, so I didn't know what to expect from Thor. Imagine my amazement when SB walked in the door, with Thor in her arms, and Thor immediately smiled and reached his arms out to me!! Tears of joy ran down my cheeks as Thor wrapped his little arms around my neck in a hug!

The hug didn't last long as Thor wanted to get down and explore our house. Thor doesn't talk much, but he is addicted to Old McDonald. Eyi-eyi-oooo, is his mantra! Thor is a highly intelligent child that loves to draw and will sit quietly paging through books and magazines. He has autistic "meltdowns", but SB handles this with patient efficiency. We're all sooo proud of the magnificent mother she has become, and the amazing difference she has made in her precious son's life!


At 6/01/2008 4:44 PM, Blogger Jeannie said...

It's so nice to hear good things. People show their true mettle when faced with difficulties. The fact that SB has been able to provide her son with so much support in spite of having her own handicap is remarkable. How many other people who have so many more advantages totally melt down when faced with such a challenge? I am proud of her and I don't even know her.

At 6/01/2008 7:53 PM, Blogger VV said...

It sounds like having this baby turned her life around. Sometimes people turn into amazing human beings when children with challenges come into their lives. It's so nice to hear she has risen to the challenge. I wish all the best for this little family.

At 6/01/2008 10:49 PM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Rain Man introduced me to autism, and I'm really glad Junior didn't have it. It's very common here in this area. If I'm not mistaken, higher than any other part of the country. Why? I have no idea.

Best of luck to SB and also BF. Keep in mind, bipolar folks aren't exactly easy to deal with. I'd give BF props just for trying. I hope nobody demonizes the poor guy.

I have never had a successful friendship with anyone who's bipolar. too much work. we have a guy at work who has an extreme case of it. Let's just say if he wasn't really, really good at what he did, he would have been fired a long, long time ago.

At 6/01/2008 10:51 PM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Shoot. Should have really edited this before sending.

I just wanted to be clear that I am rooting for SB. I'm just defending BF in advance, because I know folks might want to demonize him for not being there. I'm just saying it's a tremendous amount of work. People who haven't had to deal with bipolar folks have no idea.

At 6/02/2008 10:40 AM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

That sounds wonderful. Glad you go to see her and son. He looks so adorable in that photo of him.

At 6/02/2008 2:19 PM, Blogger Hammer said...

looks like a cute smart little kid. I'm sure with all the love and attention he is getting, he will excel.

At 6/02/2008 8:19 PM, Blogger Mike S said...

What a cute little guy. Having an autistic granddaughter and an adoptive sister who's VERY bi-polar, plus a sis-in-law we're guardian to who is retarded and bi-polar, I'm truly inspired at SB's success in coping with so many challenges. I'll be keeping them all in my thoughts and prayers.
I just know we'll be hearing more about them from a very thoughtful blogger lady:)

At 6/03/2008 7:46 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Wow what a great post and wonderful developments. A colleague has a daughter who was on the severe end of the autism spectrum, but with her and her hubby's (and province-provided professional)help, you'd never know.

Wishing all the very best for all of them/you.

At 6/04/2008 2:28 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Jeannie, I know; isn't it great to hear something good for a change? ;)

VV, I don't think any of us would've given SB a snowball's chance in hell of handling Thor so well! She knows how proud we are of her.

ZS, BF's problem is more about boredom than dealing with bi-polar. His mom spoiled him rotten and he expects everybody to entertain him. I don't think ANY long-term relationship will work for him until he changes his attitude.

Tweets, he looks a lot like his Mom at that age. Such a cutie!

Hammer, you know from experience how much difference good parenting can make in a child's life!

Mike, thanks! Prayers are always appreciated. You know, first hand, how hard it is to overcome this stuff.

Bridg, Thor's counselors say that he should be able to live a pretty normal life, thanks to SB getting him the help he needs at such a young age. He's already made huge progress in just a year.

At 6/04/2008 4:38 PM, Blogger Candace said...

What an adorable little boy! :) I'm glad to hear that things are looking up for them. :)

At 6/05/2008 10:00 AM, Blogger zydeco fish said...

What a cute kid.

At 6/05/2008 12:46 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

OMG, I know that life is all about challenges and how you handle them. They are really doing a great job with this load of challenges. Life's not for the faint of heart and SB sounds up to it. BF sounds like he's working for his son, too.

What brave people. You must be proud.

At 6/06/2008 4:56 PM, Blogger Gardenia said...

Oh, this post made me cry. What an example of rising to the best despite what life has to dish out.

Autism is so on the increase. No one seems to know why - there are theories.

I worry - my daughter is planning to marry someone who doesn't seem to have a clue about boy's handcaps and is determined to "make a man" of him. yes, prayer.

Prayer for all of us who love these kids so much.

At 6/07/2008 1:59 PM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Ah. Ok, well you didn't tell me that. Heh. Kind of changes things.

At 6/10/2008 2:14 AM, Blogger Cherie said...

A heartwarming telling of courage and love, Tshs. Thanks for sharing it. Made my day.

Love the photo - what a sweetie!

At 6/12/2008 11:06 AM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

You have been tagged when SME and Doug leave...


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