“Dad, I’m Okay,” Ensign, Jan. 1997, 65
Several years ago my wife and I were struggling with the heartbreaking discovery that our four-year-old son, Adam, was mentally disabled. He had been slow to crawl, slow to walk, and had only a 10- to 15-word vocabulary. When we heard the news, we felt as if we had lost our child. Where was the bright little boy that would excel in school, drive a car, serve a mission?
While struggling to understand this problem, we visited many doctors, hoping to find one who would tell us the others were wrong in their diagnoses. Finally we came to accept that what they had been telling us was true: our son would never grow up to pursue a career, marry in the temple, or have children.
Then one night, during a period when my wife and I had been fasting and praying, Adam came and slipped into our bed. In the morning my wife got up to start her day, but I remained snuggled in bed, with Adam curled up against my back. As I turned over I realized that Adam was awake and watching me. Before I could say anything, he looked me in the eye and said as clearly as he had ever said anything in his life, “Dad, I’m okay.”
His simple statement was carried powerfully into my heart. I knew suddenly that our Father in Heaven was letting us know that although Adam’s condition would entail many challenges, everything was fine. Father in Heaven loved Adam and would help us through whatever difficulties lay ahead. In an eternal sense, Adam was okay.
This sweet, clear revelation to my mind that morning has been an assurance to my wife and me that, in the eternal scheme of things, Adam has a different mission to fill and eventually will be able to receive every blessing that is available to any of Father in Heaven’s other children.
As we have dealt with schools, friends, doctors, and family members through the years, we have been amazed at how Heavenly Father always prepares people to be there to help us along the way.
Even though many rough roads are still ahead of us, I’m not as afraid of them as I once was. I know that everything is going to be okay.