We are celebrating Andrew’s first day of 10th grade today! Many of you are celebrating right along with us because you know Andrew and can attest to the struggle his dad and I have had to get him to this point in his life. Yes, he’s in 10th grade, but he certainly doesn’t function as a typical 10th grader. You see, Andrew can’t read, can’t do basic math and is still unintelligible at times. But I’ll tell you what he can do:

💙 Andrew CAN light up a room with his infectious smile.

💙 Andrew CAN feel compassion for you when you are having a bad day.

💙 Andrew CAN hug you so tightly you feel like your suffocating.

💙 Andrew CAN put his arm around you and ask why you’re crying.

Photo taken by our good friend Scott Gaeta!

💙 Andrew CAN find humor in everyday life.

💙 Although once non-verbal, Andrew CAN now say, “I love you, Mom!”

💙 Andrew CAN (and does in such a profound and deeply mysterious way) show me Who God is!

💙 Andrew is made in God’s image! I have learned about God’s character in a way I never would have otherwise.

💙 Andrew creates in me a longing for heaven where there will be no more struggle. No more pain. And no more tears.

💙 Andrew keeps me on my knees in prayer. He is a vulnerable “man-child” who will require constant supervision and care for the rest of his life.

💙 Andrew keeps me humble!

The mysteries of God are wrapped up in the weakness of my son with special needs. Click To Tweet

Photo taken by our good friend Scott Gaeta!

“Dear Andrew,

Today is the first day of 10th grade! I can’t believe you are 15 years old already. Where does the time go? It seems like it was just yesterday you were a chubby little 1-year-old boy. I had to lie down with you every night in order for you to go to sleep. Even though you couldn’t communicate with me, I knew we had a bond. We would look out my bedroom window, and I would talk to you about the crickets making music when it was bedtime. We would look at the moon together, and we would marvel at God’s creation. I would sing to you and over you:

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do for you!

I would rub your back until you fell asleep! Sometimes with stealth ninja moves, I would sneak out after you’ve fallen asleep in order to be with Daddy, but a lot of the times I would fall asleep, too. Daddy would come in and carry you to your bed.

I love you, Andrew! I hope and pray this school year is the BEST EVER!”

Much Love,


20 Replies to “Andrew”

  1. beautiful

    1. Thanks, Kathi! 😊

  2. What a beautiful post, Julie! I’m so glad for this tender, special glimpse at your precious son and what he does to bless his family. Praying blessings on his school year today!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! We are anticipating a good yet!

    2. Thanks, Sarah! We are anticipating a good year!

  3. I hope he had a great first day! Love his smile!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! His smile is contagious! 😊

  4. Beautiful, Julie! I love that we had a heart connection over a funny little Snow White Gif but now when I stopped here, I find we have a much deeper connection. Our parenting journey is very similar. Our youngest, Selah, has a multitude of special needs and through her, I too, God has revealed so much more than I ever could have imagined!
    Blessings and big hugs,

    1. Lori,

      Yes, that silly little GIF! I’ve looked at it a couple times. Each time I see it, I laugh out loud. It epitomizes how I feel a lot!

      We do have a deeper bond, don’t we? There is an instant connection with others who are special needs parents. I would love to hear more of your story.

      BiggER Hugs,

      Julie 💜🌸💜

  5. What a beautiful story!
    While I may never know what you experience, I do have a step son who is special needs at a high functioning level. Though I’ve only known him for six years, I love him and love it when he calls me Mom, which he always does!
    Praying for you and Andrew, that this year is the first of ‘best years ever’!

    1. Thank you so much, Cindy! I appreciate your prayers. We are anticipating a good year this year. Love that your stepson calls you “mom.” There is no better sound than when my boys say my name, except when it’s “mom, mom, mom, mom, mom!” LOL!

  6. Thanks jewels for sharing your heart. Thanks also for giving the insight on what “day to day” life is like with Andrew. Some of the most difficult situations in life seem to bring the biggest blessings and effect the deepest, most profound impact in us.
    Love you,

    1. Thanks, Dad! Yes, I keep that thought in front of me all the time. Some of the most difficult situations in my life have brought about the most significant blessings. Andrew, in spite of his disabilities, is made in the image of God, and because of that Andrew is a unique expression of Who God is.

      Love you,too!


  7. Beautiful. Your son is so blessed to have you. My oldest is also named Andrew; strong man it means. You have painted a beautiful picture of a strong young man. 💜

    1. Yes, it does mean “strong man.” My husband and I have chosen each of our boys’ names because of their meanings, and each one has had a significant influence on their lives at some point or another. Thanks, Leslie!

  8. I love this so much Julie, and I hope he had a good day. So glad you came over to #saltandlight! Thanks for linking up, friend! xoxo

  9. Yes that is my Sugar!

  10. “Andrew is made in God’s image! I have learned about God’s character in a way I never would have otherwise.” Amen to this! Children are such a gift! Happy (belated) birthday to Andrew. xoxoxo

  11. So much family goodness in this post. I rejoice with you over Andrews life and entrance into 10th grade!

  12. Hi, Julie! Visiting from the FMF Facebook page.
    Andrew looks like a rad dude! I fully believe that he brings something special to the world and God has a job for him that only he can fulfill. I will add him to my prayer list as he continues to grow and learn! (And I will be praying for you, as well).

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