"Life is like a box of chocolates...
you never know what you're gonna get."
That is a famous quote from the movie Forrest
Fifteen years ago my husband and I went to see
the movie Forrest Gump at the movie theatre.
Matthew was a baby then...only nine months old
at the time.
My parents watched him for us so we could go to
We had just learned about Matthew's diagnosis of
complete Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum when he
was four months old so we were in the beginning
stages of our journey having had only five months
to deal with it.
Little did I know that when we sat down on the
theatre seats for a night out as husband and wife
to watch Forrest Gump that I would be filled with
tears and find it emotionally difficult to enjoy
the movie as I watched little Forrest Gump struggle
to run away, while wearing leg braces, from the kids
who were being mean to him.
I know that the movie is wonderful but at the time
I was stuck in my own emotional whirlwind of
wondering if my own child may be disabled, wear
braces and have other possible challenges.
Rewind several years earlier before Matthew was
born. My husband and I dealt with infertility for
many years before we decided to adopt a baby.
When we made the decision to adopt, we applied
through Children's Services Division but were
told that the chances of us being able to adopt a
baby or toddler were slim and that it would be
more likely that we would adopt an older child who
would probably have some challenges such as
physical, mental or developmental disabilities.
We were required to take several classes before
we could adopt through this agency.
We only took one class and I knew that I was not
able to proceed further down this avenue because
my heart's desire was to adopt a baby. I did not
see myself as being the mommy of a child with
So, we applied through a completely different
adoption agency and we were chosen by a birthmom
who was eight months pregnant...Matthew's birthmom.
Fast forward sixteen years later and our
'baby', Matthew, celebrated his 16th birthday
on October 1, 2009.
We took him to the beach and stayed overnight a few
nights in Seaside, Oregon to celebrate his birthday.
Our last night in the condo I was searching through
the cable guide on the television and saw the movie
Forrest Gump listed so I switched the channel and
began watching the movie.
It made me cry several times though now I was able
to see the movie in a different light and my tears
flowed in response to the beauty of the movie, the
story of love, the magnificent way in which
Forrest Gump was able to love unconditionally.
At one point in the movie Forrest Gump's Mom
explains to him that it was her destiny to be
his mom. Then he wants to know what his destiny
is and she tells him that he will have to
discover that for himself.
I ended up becoming the Mom of a child who has
I believe that it was my destiny to be Matthew's Mom
and that Matthew's destiny is yet to be discovered
but will unfold one day at a time...
When we think we are in complete control of our
own destiny I think that is the time to stop and
"We toss the coin, but it is the Lord who
controls its decision."
Matthew had fun opening his birthday presents,
playing with his new toys, taking walks through the
town, riding the carousel several times, and
spending time with his grandparents who came
While walking along the Seaside turn-around
boardwalk that overlooks the beach and ocean
we saw this beautiful sandcastle...
Today I bought Forrest Gump on DVD and it will
always hold a special place in my heart.