Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Welcome To Engeland

No..I didn't spell it incorrectly. This is a little something I wrote (thought I blogged it, but can't find it)....way back in 2007. My son Kyle was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified) way back in 2003/2004...that diagnosis explained a lot, but totally rocked my world at the time. I have spoken about Kyle so many that boy as he shows me Jesus in so many ways. I have a friend who read something that I once read...a long time ago. It blessed me way back then, just as it has blessed her most recently - It was called Welcome To Holland. When I read it, it prompted me to write something of my own. I called Welcome to Engeland!

I read it again made me laugh. Oh how I remember those days of being misunderstood. How hard it was for me, but at the same time really loving what God was doing in me. I remember how I use to pray for a healing for Kyle. Still believe God totally heals. But what I believe was more powerful is the change God has done in my life & the lives of the rest of my family. Kyle is absolutely amazing. Does he have challenges? Of course. He still struggles, but nothing like he use to. If you ask my family (the citizens of Engeland)...we will say, Kyle has issues, but don't we all!?! That is what we say. Anyway, I thought I would share what I wrote back in 2007. In case anyone else wants to relate or needs to relate to what goes on in our world. (REMEMBER I WROTE THIS IN 2007) :)


By Lisa Engel
January 2007 

Engeland (kind of like England, but with the extra "e" that makes it my special country). I recently read a description that someone wrote about what it is like to have a child with a disability. It is called "Welcome to Holland". It is basically saying that when we were pregnant and waiting the day of our delivery it was like planning a trip to Italy. You get all excited about going to Italy, you read the books, talk to others who have been to Italy, you buy the clothes for your trip and you are beyond excitement after months of planning this trip and finally the day arrives for you to land it Italy and you get off the plane and the flight attendant says "Welcome to Holland". You can imagine the shock and then all the things that go into having to learn a new language, meet new people, learn new customs...... you get the idea, all the while wondering what life would have been like in Italy. If you’d like to read the full story just let me know, I can show you where to find it. There is an update to that story that someone else wrote, that brought even more comfort to my heart and that was entitled "Holland Shmolland". Basically, that having a child with a disability is not always pretty and spotted with windmills (like Holland) and yes though, we can find the joy in our lives even while in Holland, it still is splattered with trials and turmoil.

That is why I call my little country Engeland. Because no two families, no matter how close in disability you get, are never ever the same. Ours is where the Engels reside and it is unique. Sometimes I weep when I think about Kyle. Will he ever conquer the challenges in his life?

Sometimes I laugh when I think about Kyle. He is such an individual with such a sense of humor and carefree spirit because black and white just make sense. Gray is hard. In Engeland, it is tradition to wake up each morning and go through the ritual of making yourself into an edible burrito with all the toppings just to get dressed and ready for school. Literally, it is the same corny jokes and same corny story that we must tell Kyle in order for him to get dressed in a timely manner. If not in a rush, Kyle will change 3-4 times when the room is at the right temperature and his clothes will match - oh yes, blue on blue or black on black. But, the citizens of Engeland, if you ask them, they would prefer to stay in their jammies! Oh yes, and where a mask. The other day at church Pastor Tim was thrilled that Batman would grace Edgewater Alliance Church with his presence while singing on the stage.

Ever give an Engeland citizen a fruit rollup. Oh dear. Beware. It has to be straight, no wrinkles, and it needs to go on a plate and fast. First we must look at it for some time and then we must try to eat it with a fork. Yes, a fruit rollup. Don't laugh.

You see to Mike and I these are the things we do to survive in peace and unity in our country. We understand, as do my other boys, that this is just how it is here and if we work on accepting some of the "isms" that our fellow citizen has, it makes for a pleasant and sometimes hysterically fun place to live.

The other day while at Disney, Kyle had to touch every person he came close to. Just a finger, a soft touch with a finger and then move on to the next person. Oh yes, he has been in the phase of tasting things too. Have citizens of your country ever tasted the monorail at Disney before? Well, that is an experience not many have encountered. He is ours. And we love him.

In fact it blessed me today, while trying to get one of our other "citizens" dressed and off to school, I asked Shane if his best buddy was a little boy Luca in his class. Shane said, Kyle & Brendan are my best buddies too. I pray that my boys will always be best buddies. We've been invited to dinner by a newer couple in our church and Mike & I always fear that our first invite will be our last, because not everyone understands the lifestyle of the citizens of Engeland. That has never happened yet; we have in fact been blessed to have some really wonderful friends. Some of our friends even volunteer actually ask to "hang" with our children for a while. WOW! 

The truth is, that the citizens of Engeland have an enormous capacity to love. We know love, we have felt it in real ways, we have experienced it in many arenas, and we are generous-genuine sharers when it comes to love. That makes the citizens of Engeland very special and I'm so glad to be a part of this country. 

Well, two of my citizens are home now, and I must go and welcome them and go through our afternoon of lining up the pennies, eating fruit rollups with a fork, and cutting fruit snacks with scissors. I can't wait. No really, I am saying that with a smile. It's going to be a full day. Oh yea, one other thing we do real well in Engeland is sleep. After a full day here in our country we get real tired and sleep comes easy.
If you would like to read more of my posts about raising a special needs child, or children with ASD...please feel free to search at the top for those labels (special needs child or Autism Spectrum Disorder).