Speaking to the Heart of ADHD

Mothering is not for the faint-hearted.  No truer words were ever spoken.  Having been a mom for many years now, it has been without a doubt the most challenging yet rewarding job I’ve ever had. 

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Psalm 139: 14

My sweet Noah came into the world fourth in line; the baby of the family.  We were thrilled to have been given another healthy baby knowing that he would complete our family.  I knew it would be busy since we had four kids under the age of five.  Yes, that’s four kids in five years!  

It wasn’t long and I began to see that Noah was different from my other kids.  As he became mobile, he was on the move constantly.  Like an engine, he constantly ran.  He did not sit still unless he was sleeping.   Movement spilled out of him from the moment he awoke in the morning.  He was incredibly smart, curious and loved to explore.  Anytime music came on, Noah stopped in his tracks and bounce to the rhythm.  

At first, I just chalked it up to him being more “active” than my first three, and that eventually he would “slow down” a bit.  That never happened.  It became more and more challenging to parent Noah.  His constant motion, lack of fear, and impulsivity was exhausting.  And then we began our school journey.  He was so very excited to make friends and have new experiences.   It was within a couple of days that I had my first of many phone calls teachers on his inability to focus. Noah began to speak “I am stupid” or “It’s too hard” or “I cannot sit all day.”  And so began weeks, months and now years of constant communication with school to find alternate routes for Noah to be successful…..academically and socially.

You see, Noah has ADHD.  He also struggles with dyslexia.  The kid who can complete a Rubix cube in 30 seconds and correctly solve math in his head couldn’t sit to write that same math problem out.  It wasn’t a choice he was making or an a lack of intelligence, but rather a neurological disconnect that affected almost all of his daily activities – short term memory, executive functioning, language development and retention, impulsivity, and the list goes on.  If you are a parent of a child with ADHD, you get it.  As parents, it is by far one of the most challenging things we’ve encountered. 

Topping the list would be the judgment of others thinking we had not properly parented this kid academically or behaviorally.  But we knew differently.  We knew we had three kids ahead of him who were smart, respectful and loving kids.  Instead, we saw the child that came home to us feeling defeated, stupid, not accepted and sad.  As I write this, it still continues to break my mom heart.  Because the reality is, Noah is one of the most caring, personable and intelligent kids I know.  It is Noah who would stop me on the street and say, “Mom, I feel bad for that homeless man.  Who will care for him?”  Or, “Mom, I want to take all my money to buy a treat that I can share with my brothers and sister.”  Quite like the poor widow’s offering, Noah often times will come along and give his last two cents. (Mark 12: 41-44).

And so, most days when Noah is battling to get through the chaos in his mind,  I speak this truth to him:  “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14).   Noah will always struggle to cope with ADHD. But, with the help of medication, resources and people in Noah’s court, I am believing God that he will help Noah soar.  For it is the content of our kids’ character that ultimately matters most to us as their parents.  Noah finds freedom on ski slopes….skiing many days with his freestyle team.  He once said to me on the chairlift up the mountain, “Mom, I love to ski because I am free to be me.”  Free to be me….isn’t that the longing our hearts all have?  

xo Carre