Saturday, May 08, 2010

When your special needs kid leaves home... for good.

Greg Lucas writes for all of us with special needs kids.

He hugged his brothers and sister; then dad and mom. Before walking to the car he picked up his small computer talker that he wears around his neck and said, “Goodbye”. He waved like the grand marshal in a ticker tape parade and blew us volley of passionate kisses.

I buckled him into the back seat of the care worker’s car. And just like that…he was gone.

For a brief moment I felt like a normal parent watching his 17 year old son drive away to college. Then, in almost a panic, it seemed like someone had just kidnapped our baby boy. Like a good cop and faithful father, I wanted to run after the car, catch the kidnapper and rescue my son.

Then I realized—this was the rescue.

Jake was moving to the best quality of adult life that we could offer. My selfish attitude of, “No one can care for my son as good as myself” faded into the submission and surrender of his future to the care of my sovereign God.

My wife and I sat on the front porch swing most of that day--wondering…grieving…resting. It was almost like a death in the family, except no one came with food and condolences. We were all alone.

I told a friend it was like we had just completed a marathon together, but when we crossed the finish line no one was there to cheer us on. Then we realized the race had been over for quite some time. All the lights were off and the crowds had gone home. There was no celebration, just exhaustion, weariness and fatigue. We embraced each other at the finish line knowing we lost, but still grasping for the hope that at the very least, we finished the race.