Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Extraordinary Kid Series

Wednesday is quickly becoming my favorite blog post day of the week!  Today I get to introduce you to the first guest blogger of my extraordinary kid series... my friend Jenni.  She is a mom of an extraordinary kid and I feel privileged to call her one of my good friends.  One of the best qualities about  Jenni is she listens...whether I'm angry, about to cry, laughing or just stressed.  She listens and then she makes me laugh.  I love her for it!  I'm so excited you get to read what she has to say about her extraordinary kid.  She has a wonderful, optimistic attitude and I hope it's contagious!  My friend Jenni....

"Hello. My name is Jenni. Melinda is one of my dearest friends so when she asked me share my thoughts about my extraordinary child I of course said yes. I would do anything for her, besides she asked me to write about one of my favorite topics, my wonderfully amazing son Owen.

Everything about Owen is extraordinary, even the way he came to be a member of our family. After the birth of my daughter my husband and I soon discovered that more biological children were not in our future so we decided to adopt. We were completely naïve to the adoption process and could have never anticipated that we would have to wait over three years for our sweet Owen to join our family. I can now say that he was worth every discouraging day and every other hopeful adoption that fell through. He without a doubt was handpicked by Heavenly Father for us.

Owen was the snuggliest, most even tempered, best sleeper of a baby that anyone could dream for. He was super easy to fall head over heals for. And we did. I noticed early on that Owen’s brain processed differently than my daughter and other children I had observed. I kept saying, “I can see him thinking”. I noticed that he had some attributes of children on the spectrum but dismissed them because he was so affectionate and verbal, and he made eye contact. He didn’t fit with what I thought I knew about autism. We just kept saying, “He’s so quirky”. Plus we loved all those little “quirks” (most of them anyway) they are what made Owen, well Owen. It wasn’t until about a year and a half ago (Owen was almost 4) that my husband said he thought I should take Owen to the doctor. My husband is an elementary school teacher and works at a school with an autistic program. After observing the vast array of differences between children on the spectrum and many similarities between Owen and his students he was encouraged to have Owen evaluated. We have been so blessed throughout this process. We have easily been guided to the people that can best help Owen. He is officially diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (whew it’s a mouthful), but many have said he has very high functioning aspergers. Personally I don’t care what they “label” Owen with as long as he is getting the services that will benefit him the most.

Now onto what makes Owen so fun. He L-O-V-E-S traffic signs. He can’t get enough of them literally and figuratively. He has dozens of “friends” which consist of named fingers on his hand, his actual hand, which was appropriately name “Hand”, and a plethora of stuffed animals. Owen is never lonely. He is the funniest person I have ever met. He can contort his face in ways I haven’t seen since Jim Carrey. My husband asked me what we would do without him; the first thing that came to mind was laugh a whole lot less.

Owen is fairly easy going, which I know is atypical for children on the spectrum and we are grateful for everyday. The main issue we have seen is that his older sister (age 9) doesn’t completely understand Owen’s extraordinariness. Sometimes he becomes “annoying” to her, but really what 4 year old brother isn’t sometimes annoying to their older sister. She also sees him as getting preferential treatment many times. It’s hard for her to understand that he doesn’t think the same way she does so there’s no way to treat them the same. Can you really treat two kids the same anyway?

Owen is a joy. He is 100% without guile. He is compassionate and loving. He brings light and life to our home that could be achieved in no other way. We praise his birthmother and Heavenly Father everyday for the most extraordinary gift we could have ever received. "


  1. Love the picture of Owen holding the sign :) Seriously Jenni... you are one awesome mom!

  2. What a wonderful tribute to a darling boy. I agree with Melinda. You're an awesome mom, Jenni. (Beautiful family photo! We miss you.)

  3. He was meant to be in such a loving family. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Great job Jenni! Reading your post helps me realize that I need to focus more on the "extraordianry" things about my extra-special daughter! Some days are harder than others.... Love to you all!

  5. Wow! So I have tears running down my face!! What a great tribute to Owen. I love reading all the funny things he says. But I especially love the perspective you have on what being a true MOMMY is.....unconditional love. I am so happy to know you and your very funny family!!

  6. I feel so blessed and guided by my Heavenly Father! My son was recently diagnosed with PDD-NOS as well. To be completely honest, it sounds like Owen and my little boy would be great friends. Landon also LOVES traffic signs. He is also very easy going and even tempered.:)
    I am so thankful that I have found this blog and found this particular post. Thank you for helping me remember why I love my little guy SO much.


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