Weston was adopted 19 months apart from Emily.
Weston came first on groundhog’s day February 2nd, 1998.
Emily was born on September 14th, 1999.
They both have the same set of birth parents.
They were very young.
Joyce and I had been married now for over a year and had talked extensively about having a family. We did not want to grow old alone but wanted to cultivate and share our incredible lives with our future children.
Weston was born beyond perfect and with no complications whatsoever. I remember that day like yesterday watching his head pop out of the birth canal and then his dainty crying as he entered our world. Joyce and I looked at each other as tears ran down our faces as we knew our lives could never ever be the same.
The next day we took him home ecstatic and full of joy and optimism. We kept a little diary a log noting precisely when he would go to bed and when he would wake up, what he would eat, and when.
His first pediatrician visit with Dr. James Mick was exciting and uneventful as he just reiterated what we already knew that our little Weston was perfect. Beyond perfect!
One of my favorite things to do was to look at his big brown eyes his thick hair, perfectly formed ears and marvel at the perfection of life. I could not believe that at the age of 40 and Joyce at the age of 38 that we had attained the right of passage. The right of parenthood after all those years.
The doctor’s secretary casually made his next appointment for 2 months later. I thought that was a little early as why would you take a healthy baby in so quickly I asked. 2 months later I found out. We returned with Weston and walked into the examination room where Dr. Mick promptly put Weston on the scale, noted his weight, measured his head, and pulled out his tray of needles.
I had no idea at the time.
Over the next couple days, my happy and cherub little boy was no longer as happy. He was fussy and distressed. His tummy hurt. He had received three shots of five different vaccines. When I questioned the doctor about the necessity he reassured me that the vaccines were necessary to the well-being and development of Weston and all children.
We, like most parents believed him. After all he was the doctor.
They penciled in an appointment for 2 months later. A well-baby check-up where they would again repeat the procedures. This time Weston cried even more at the shots and was even fussier when we left. We made a follow-up appointment to express our concerns and were told that kids get sick all the time and he would be fine.
Another well check followed two months later.
The damage and change was so subtle and minuscule and took place over a period of days and weeks and then months. We just remembered the doctor’s words as kids get sick and Weston certainly was not the epitome of health he was when he entered into this world.
You have to remember it was 1998 the internet was almost non-existent and people didn’t talk about it.
The well-baby visits ended but the endless doctor’s appointments had just begun. There was something wrong with Weston. Something not right.
Over the next several months Weston began missing his milestones. Classic symptoms of autism but no one ever brought that up. No one had even mentioned the word. Yet…
By the age of one Weston still had not walked but would walk on his knees. He would get frustrated and bang his head easily. He would remove his clothes his shoes and his socks and at the time we did not know why. His screaming started slowly and then accelerated to a point of Non-Stop. Up all night. Projectile vomiting, electrical smelling diarrhea. It was hell on all of us and this when we should be enjoying our little Weston.
Mysteriously we knew several other parents that were experiencing the same thing and no one had any answers.