Now, you may be thinking..."Whoa, hold on, getting an Autism diagnosis is not the same as losing your child!"
But to me, it was! I was grieving the loss of what I had hoped and dreamed life would be like for my child, and I was being told that those hopes and dreams would not come to be.
Zoey was here and thriving and just the most beautiful light that anyone had ever seen.
We were always hearing people say, "She is so beautiful!" and she is! I was there when she entered my life and I was there when she, "went away."
Unlike Sally Fields character I didn't find it all so precious to witness this happening.
I was grieving in a way that only could be felt and not explained.
I constantly replayed the scene of the movie in my head. I related to her, to that grieving aching mother...I wanted my daughter back!
When we got the diagnosis, I was Sally Field in Steel Magnolias, screaming, "I WANNA KNOW WHY...I WANNA KNOW WHY!"
And inside I was screaming, "I'M FINE...I'M FINE...I'M FINE!"
But I was not fine!
I was selfish, I wanted her here with me, just as she had been before, and just like in the movie, I ached for my daughter that was once here and now was not.
I started thinking about her future, and all the things I could do that she couldn't do and I was angry, hurt, sad, confused, and so scared.
On August 8th, 2014 our youngest daughter, our baby was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Global Developmental Delay with having the communication skills of a 6 to 8 month old.
She has Sensory Processing Disorder and OCD as well.
To say I was and still am crushed is an understatement.
When you find out you're going to be a Mom you have hopes and dreams for your child and you want them to be healthy and happy...
. . .never did I dream I would have a child who was nonverbal, who could not tell me or even point to what she wanted or needed, a child that found it painful to make eye contact, painful to give or get hugs and kisses, and a child that was in her own little world, finding comfort alone and not even looking up when calling out her name.
You mourn for this child, you grieve, you and your family go through bouts of denial and acceptance many times, and you cry...All of it normal and okay!
It's been a year now and so much has changed, I've changed, Zoey has changed and I can honestly say that I can flip the script.
I am fine, I don't need to know why anymore, she is still my beautiful happy little girl and she has taught me so much about life.
She may not be able to do the things that I can do, now. But I'm not counting her out, she is a fighter, tough as nails...my little steel magnolia!