Adopting Twins With Autism: My Dreams
A guest post by Lisa Brown
I was an Air Force Brat – that’s what they called us back then, kids that grew up in the military. Our parents were “lifers” – they’d retire from the military. Growing up on military bases around all those planes, dad was a mechanic and it allowed us to get up close and personal.
I wanted to be a jet pilot in the Air Force. Everyone said “girls can’t be pilots,” but I knew that’s what I wanted. Maybe I’d be the first girl pilot ever. Yes, that was it. I was going to be a jet pilot and a mom. I always wanted to be a mom.
When I was became a teenager I learned about a new program – from TV no less – Emergency One! Firefighter Paramedics. So that became my “fall back” – if I couldn’t be a pilot – I would be a Firefighter Paramedic, and of course a mom.
When I became old enough to join the Air Force I found out that I couldn’t become a pilot because I had inner ear problems. First dream busted… but, I could still be a Firefighter Paramedic and a mom.
I lived in Maine when I got married, and we couldn’t afford for me to join the local fire department and rescue at that time, because it was all volunteer. Dream 2 wouldn’t be a reality. But I was married and we continued to try to get pregnant.
I did a few other jobs, even “career type” of jobs, but I’d always dreamed of being a mom, so I expected that to come easy. Years went by and it seemed that no matter what we did, we weren’t able to get pregnant. Dream # 3 seemed further and further away.
In between I would write. I’d always loved writing. From my journal, to writing scripts us kids would perform for our folks, to publishing a Christian article and a few poems. I even started three novels – still unfinished – but still alive, and occasionally dusted off and added to. Writing was something I did for me. It helped me cope, live vicariously through my creations. It was therapy and fun.
We moved to California 16 years after we got married. Still childless and almost out of options, we finally got our family six years later when we were blessed to be able to adopt identical twin boys.
But it seemed that everything I ever dreamed of doing was going to be difficult – my two choices of careers…had they panned out would’ve been difficult to say the least. But I prepared myself for that. Having children, I thought, would be easy, but turned out to be the biggest physical, psychological and emotional challenge I’ve ever faced in my life.
When we found out that both of our beautiful boys had autism, and other challenges too, well… I see everything I went through before as preparation. Learning about autism, learning about them and who they are has been the best experience of my life. Life is never boring in our home, there is always something going on. Daniel and Anthony have made our house a home, and that has made my dreams come true.
It is difficult journey at times, but everyone has difficult things they have to go through. When I need a moment to myself, I try to steal away and write. It’s truly a Godsend, and I’ve been able to help others by doing that.
Even ending up at AngelSense, working in customer service, was a path that my sons led me to. Now I get to help other parents, and expand the supportive community that helps so many of us. We are all a part of something greater, and doing my part in that is another unexpected blessing.
All my life I dealt with dreams turning into mountains to climb. Each time, I moved past the disappointment to take up the road again. Maybe I didn’t get my dream career or my ideal life, but I count our family as truly blessed. You see, no matter what you think you’ll do, or how you think your life will turn out, I believe that everything happens for a reason. I also believe we are all being prepared for what we are ultimately going to be doing. We just have to trust that everything we go through is needed for one reason or another.
Lisa is the mother of Daniel and Anthony, seven-year-old twins with Autism. She works as a customer care specialist with Angelsense, and writes a blog about her experiences as mom to her wonderful boys.
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