By Kurt Ervin: If you were looking for a kid like mine, and decided to post an ad on Craigslist, it could very easily read…

  • Wanted: 12 year old boy, who in the past 18 months has had half his brain removed in the final of three major brain surgeries;
  • Had to quit his public school for a special needs one;
  • Experienced a significant fire in his home which displaced him and his family for 3 months;
  • Experiences a minimum of 8 to 12 seizures a day (on a good day; bad days are 80 or more).

My son fits every part of that description -- a rare find I must admit.  At age 7, my son could read better, walk better, talk better, socialize better, and remember more things than he can now at age 12.

Surviving life = lowering your expectations of it, redefining the new “normal.”

That has been my philosophy for a little over a year now. But the problem that I’ve learned is that when you redefine the new normal, you're basically labeling the people around you who make up your life.  You're giving them labels to better define your flawed perspective of who or what they are.

Slow Special needs Unhealthy

In casual conversation, that is how I would describe the oldest of my three kids to people that I might have just met -- I would simply label him.

Until recently…

Sunday morning on December 11th, just before 9am, Austin had a seizure just after eating breakfast.  This seizure hit hard and fast as many of them do, and like many of them he immediately fell backwards to the floor.  Often times we are there to catch him, but this time we weren’t.  Instead of just landing on the floor like he usually does, today the odds in the universe were stacked against him and my family.  Austin fell backwards onto our miniature Yorkie, the family dog we bought my daughter for Christmas 4 years ago.  With my 11 year-old daughter, wife and 18 month old son watching, the dog died immediately

I was at a cross roads with my mind and spirit... what do I think about my son, my God, and the situation?

And here's what I came up with…

I would do anything in the world for Austin, and the love that I have for him is so deep that it hurts.  Austin does have medical issues -- he cannot do what other 12 year olds do, and his younger sister does have to live as an additional care giver to him.

But that is all good.

Anyone who knows Austin knows that he is the happiest kid in the world, has tremendous personality and cares about people more than anyone I have ever met.  He makes us smile and laugh, all the time.  Austin has become who is he today because of the struggles that he has had to face and endure, and quite honestly I wouldn’t want my son to be any different than he is.  He is very uniquely and wonderfully made by his Creator, and I thank God for that.

So today I would like to introduce you to my Son Austin.  He is…

Brave Caring Joyful