It has been nearly three years since Jake left for the Potomac center in Romney, WV. Three years of driving the 10-hour round trip to visit. Three years of bathroom training, behavior modification, building independent living skills and learning to live in a community.
The Potomac Center has been Jake’s University of Disability.
For the past year we have been diligently, almost desperately, searching for a permanent residency for our son as he entered adulthood and began to approach “graduation”, also known as the age cut -off from the adolescent Potomac Center.
We were prepared move our family wherever we needed to move in order for Jake to have a suitable, permanent, care facility to call home. We considered our neighboring states of Kentucky and Ohio as well as western states like Colorado and Oregon. “No more long distance traveling. No more separation,” we agreed. We needed to have our son close enough to be active in his daily life. He needs us. More importantly, we need him.
Once again we were faced with the dilemma of change and the danger of upsetting the one thing that Jake thrived on—routine. And once again, God exceeded our expectations in a lavish display of love and mercy for our family.
Jake comes home tomorrow.
I need to say that again just for personal clarification as well as a resounding testimony to God’s goodness and greatness.
Jake comes home tomorrow!
The Lord did not see fit to provide a home for our son in Oregon or Colorado, as beautiful as those states are and as willing as we were to move there. Neither did he provide a place for Jake in Kentucky or Ohio.
Instead, Jake will be moving into a house with seven other young men, seven miles from our home. With one breath of grace, God turned ten hours into ten minutes. Can I say it again?
“God is good.”
This means we can see Jake when we want, as long as we want, and as often as we want. Our entire extended family can be involved in his life. He can be with us on holidays and birthdays and every day days.
Yet he will still be learning essential life skills as he lives in a community of young men with disabilities similar to his own in a home where he can live and receive care for the rest of his life. If I could dream of a final chapter to “Wrestling with an Angel” (with the exception of the future resurrection of my son's disabled body and mind) I couldn’t dream it as perfect as this.
We know there are still great challenges ahead, namely tomorrow as Jake travels the five-hour trip and adjusts to a new environment, new faces and new routines—a nightmare experience for those suffering from Autism and PDD. He will regress. He will withdraw. He will experience anxiety. But he will be with us, and we will walk through this transition with our son.
So I write today to give credit, honor and glory to our heavenly Father, the Father of mercy and the God of all comfort—the God of Jacob. Our God is in the heavens and He does whatever He pleases. This week He was pleased to bring our son home. We are forever thankful.
I also write today to give encouragement to parents of these special children. I know your anxiety for the future. Let me reassure you, God loves you and your disabled child more than you could ever fathom. He has a plan, the plan is perfect and the plan will come to pass. It may not be what we expect, but it will always be better than what we could ever imagine.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power…”