Monday, January 31, 2011

Meet Tom

When I was pregnant with my 2nd child, I kept having the thought, "What if there is something wrong with this baby?" I determined in my 8th month, that it didn't matter and I could handle whatever our Father in Heaven sent my way. When our little son was only a few months old, I knew there was a problem. He wasn't making the milestones he should've been. At 10 months old we took him to see a geneticist in Marshfield. He gave Tom the diagnosis of William's syndrome. He did eventually make those milestones but they were just later than other children his age.
When Tom was 3 years old, he was tested and eventually got into school half days. Clare was a little concerned that Tom was getting to go to school and she wasn't. Try explaining to a not-quite-five year old why she isn't in school when her younger brother is.
Tom spent a lot of years in school. From age three until age 21. Now he spends a lot of his time surfing the internet, watching TV, playing the Wii and doing whatever chores I have for him, plus going to the chip mill to work with me one day each week. He's also in a Special Olympics group which he absolutely loves. He qualified for state last year in all three sports he competed in. That's quite an accomplishment!
As for me, being a parent of small children wasn't always easy and some days were definitely easier or harder than others. Tom made things a lot more difficult sometimes, but the blessings attached to having him in our family were so overwhelming. I had my children because I wanted them. They weren't thrust upon me against my will. It was my choice to accept these spirits into my family. I learned a very valuable lesson from my sister, Tina. These children are mine and I can enjoy them or I can grumble and complain about how much work they are. I chose to enjoy them and it has been a wonderful experience because of the right attitude.
Tom will always be living in our home. He is very possessive of things that belong to him. He doesn't like babies or even small children until they are about five years old. He has a very strong testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He is truly a spiritual giant. I look forward to the day when I can meet him in the next life when his "limitations" will be removed. Until then, it is my pleasure to call him my son.


Hoffman Family said...

this post made me cry! Tom is an amazing spirit and you are an amazing woman and mother.

Mont and Dawna said...

This is beautiful, Heidi! He's a Blessing to Everyone Who Knows him. A Good Guy! And I love your attitude about Children, having them and raising them!

mom2_7 BRADYS said...

THANKS for sharing the picture of Tom on Stage. I loved meeting Tom in Nauvoo and seeing him work so hard to get the dance just right!
Heidi, You have a fantastic ability to grab hold of the blessings of all situations. That's just one reason we love you so much.

Megan said...

Hi! I know this is random, but I came across something where I could see who had looked at my blog recently and your blog came up. I was so intrigued that I came over to investigate. Thank you for posting this so recently. I had been thinking a few weeks ago about what its like raising a child with special needs and adding more children to the mix. In reading this, I did cry a little as you put into words what my future might entail as well as the overwhelming blessings that we've already recieved. But you also reminded me that Tom was your second child. After finding out some specifics and knowing what challenges he had, you still chose to have more children and have created a beautiful and very happy family. You have suddenly been thrown onto my list of heroes. :) Someone to look up to and learn from. Thank you.