My name is Crystal. I have been married to my husband Judd for 4 years. I am a mother to 4 boys ages 26, 25, 21, 19 and a 21 year old step-son. I have two daughter-in-laws and two grandchildren ages 3 & 11 with a third one due any day now. I also have a Master’s Degree in teaching Moderate to Severe Disabilities.
On September 19 at 9:13 a.m. my phone rang. As I went to answer the call, I saw who was calling. My first emotion was excitement. Maybe just maybe the information I had been given the night before was wrong. As I hear the voice on the other end of the line, my heart sinks. The information I was given was correct. Novii’s dad was dead.
As l listen to the voice on the other end explain what had happened, I am overcome with grief. Novii is one of my special need students. I cannot image what is going to happen to her. Then I hear the words, “Chris always told us if anything happened to him to call you because you would take her.” The voice went on to tell me that no one in the family knew how to deal with her disabilities and if I didn’t want her then social services would become involved. I told him I would be right there.
September 19 has become our “gotcha day”. It was not a day we had hoped for or had been planning. God simply had a plan and I followed. When I picked her up that morning, I did not have a bed for her, let alone a room to put her in. I did not have one piece of clothing. God showed up and provided everything I needed for her within a few hours. A church donated a hide-a-bed couch for her bed. Countless community members and friends brought her toys, shoes, and clothing. There was not one thing she needed before she went to sleep that night. God is truly the great provider!
In the days that followed, we faced many challenges. Novii has high functioning autism and she is legally blind. One of our greatest challenges was to get Novii to understand death and life after. I read everything I could on how to help children with autism understand death. We did all the recommended steps. I was still not sure she understood, until one day in class another student said something to her about her dad. She told the other student she didn’t have a dad anymore.
Learning how to live on a routine was also a challenge. Novii could not handle when things changed suddenly. If you told her something, then that is what was to happen. If things did not happen like she was told then she would melt down.
Let’s not forget that she is also legally blind. It took a little time to adjust to “seeing” things like she does. We take for granted being able walk from the carpet onto the hardwood, walking up and down stairs, walking over cracks in the pavement, and so on and so on. When Novii comes upon one of these obstacles, it presents a challenge for her.
Over the past two years, we have taught Novii how to deal with changes, how to tells us her needs, social skills, and much much more. None of what we have taught her compares with the daily joy she brings to our life. God had a plan and his plan made our life complete.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the a Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11. Never in my wildest dreams could I have known God’s plan for my life or Novii’s life. Novii it’s one of the greatest joys in my life. I am so thankful that God entrusted Novii to me.