The History of Us

Tamer and I had quite a whirlwind first year in our relationship together. In less than one year, we would meet, get married and have our first baby. This presented quite a few challenges for us, as we barely knew each other, came from different lifestyles and faiths, and had differing plans for what the future looked like. Yikes!

Together, we overcame some really difficult odds. The first few years were wrought with one problem after another. We reached a low point in our relationship when we had to make the decision to either make it or break it. We opted to go out of our way to make it, and both put forth 100% effort into this endeavor, as opposed to the 50/50 we were putting in prior. This is also about the time when we had both reached the conclusion that we had no where else to go, but on our knees before the Lord. Putting the Lord above ourselves and each other would come later, at this point, we were just recognizing that we needed the Lord. When we did reach the point where we elevated God above ourselves and all else, including one another and our kids, our relationship took an incredible change of pace that brought healing, peace, and joy. And today, we are passionately in love with each other, and not only that, we like each other and enjoy spending time together! 🙂

The day we recommitted to our marriage (top), more recently (bottom)

Junior was born and all seemed well. By the time he was five months old, we would be expecting baby number two. But Junior was healthy and happy. By 4 months old, he was sleeping through the night. That lasted all of about a week. He came down with RSV and required breathing treatments that seemed to last forever. By seven months he was chatty and even said “dadda” a few times. But then all of a sudden, there was just silence. And anger. From about 12 months old until almost 4 years old, Junior didn’t say a word. When the words did come, there was no connecting language. He could tell me car, ball, jet, cat, dog, cow, house, blue, red, green, two, three, four all day long, but he could not tell me the car was blue or if there were four cars or if a cat was soft. Junior was not able to communicate with us, and he was angry about it. By the time Junior was about to turn three years old, we got an autism diagnosis. Tamer and I would often cry out to each other, what we would give to hear his voice… At four years old, he began attending a special education preschool class and all of a sudden the language came. He has not stopped talking since and we are now eating those words we would often cry out to each other half of his lifetime ago.

Completely opposite of Junior’s early infancy, Handsome was born with health problems from the get-go. Jaundice was our biggest concern at first. But almost immediately after being released from the hospital, severe reflux became a concern. Despite jaundice lasting for over three weeks, Handsome’s doctor did not feel compelled to treat him with anything other than twice a day bilirubin testing at the hospital and stop breastfeeding him. Not knowing better, I did exactly what the doctors told me to do. At two months old, despite his sickness and not being well enough, the pediatrician gave him the pertussis vaccine combo, with which he had an immediate allergic reaction to that ended with us in the emergency room for the next 24 hours. Yet, despite all of this, the pediatrician insisted to continue vaccinating him and giving him Tylenol for the spiked fevers that came immediately after vaccinating. He had negative reactions to every single vaccine he received, which included fevers reaching 105 that lasted for anywhere from five to ten days. {I’m not trying to start a vaccine debate here, and if you don’t like that I cannot vaccinate my child, no one is forcing you to keep reading.} Handsome had a distended abdomen that last for about 8 months. By the time he was five months old, Handsome had endured multiple procedures, including an upper GI endoscopy. He was put on every possible medication to treat reflux and GERD. By six months old, he was taking Pepcid twice a day, Zantac 5-6 times a day, Prevacid twice a day (by the way, that’s a once a day pill for adults, just sayin’), and over the counter Maalox up to 8 times a day. Oh, and let’s not forget that his pediatrician had also wanted us to give him Tylenol once or twice a day to help with any pain that may come with all of his vomiting. Remember he had jaundice for over three weeks? I digress… Handsome missed all of his milestones, except for the ones that showed us he was happy in spite of all the sickness. He loved to laugh and smile–still does! By 7 or 8 months old, he was finally able to sit up with some assistance. By 15-16 months he was walking. He was diagnosed with autism at 2.5 years old. At four, we removed the pediatrician from our lives and started seeing a holistic doctor. By six the diagnosis “moderate mental retardation” was tacked on. (To this day, that remains one of the most difficult days of my life.) When he was seven, he was able to spoon feed himself. When he was eight he was able to scoop food with his spoon (still working on using a fork). And at almost 9 years old, we are still optimistic he will one day speak. Unfortunately, he will have liver disorders, GI issues, and cardiac disease for the rest of his life.

And finally, we have Captain. Born one year after Handsome. He was our miracle baby. We almost lost him twice in my sixth month of pregnancy. But God had big plans for him. He and I muscled through a challenging labor that lasted all of 12 minutes, but still resulted in a sunny-side up baby. He came out angry and screamed so incredibly loud. No tiny infant cry with this guy. He was healthy and hit his milestones on time. Except for speech. In that regard, he was very similar to his brothers. Very quiet, always observing and taking it in. Understanding what was said to him, but not able to verbally reply or express. We were convinced he had autism, too, and had him tested for it, not once, not twice, but three times. And all three times the testing came back negative. Whew! At almost 8 years old, his biggest struggle is dyslexia.

Today, we are joyful and thriving. Starting our sixth year of homeschooling and embracing all the little things that make up life.

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