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Saturday, July 5, 2014

When Delays become Disabilities--Part I

My Precious Blessings!!
I never in a million years ever expected to be a mama to 7 treasures.
When our infertility issues lasted for so many years, and we didn't become parents until well into our 30's, and most of my high school friends had children graduating when I had baby showers, I would have thought, 2-3--

But God!!

When we first began the adoption process, our farming was our lifeblood, and we insisted on "healthy" children, because we were sure, due to the demands of farming, that we NEEDED healthy children...and were tremendously blessed with Kendell and Nicholas-both have had excellent health, they both have tremendous minds, and came home at 1 1/2 and 2 1/2, both within 365 days.
They got all the snuggles, all the bedtime stories, all the room decorating, all the bazillion toys and all the showers of attention from extended family and our many friends that any biological child would have received.

I was an instant mom of virtual twins, and loved it.
They were TOTALLY loved and accepted, instantly, and there was never a question about their future. They were bright, they were healthy, they were joyful, they were FUN to be around, and our little picture of "NORMAL" was as we envisioned-

Then we moved, and didn't think any more children were in the plans, when all of a sudden, both Chuck and I had just a HUGE desire to add to our family.
Kendell was baby nuts, at  8 yrs old, and we began the process again, this time with a different agency, and a different country.
After MUCH prayer and seeking God's direction, we selected an infant program in Taiwan, thinking a baby was surely in our future.
Within a few months, altho there were many referrals to other families of very little babies, we still waited.
Until a wonderful day in early Aug, 2007, when we got a call about a little lad who had JUST turned 3, and had JUST been relinquished by a very young birth mom. "Would you consider a 3 yr old?" our agency asked us???
Almost without hesitation, because the NIGHT before, we had prayed for God's direction, and to hear Him clearly, we KNEW this was for us, and we began the wait to bring home Tyler, our totally joyful, healthy, and creative now almost 10 yr old!!!

Surely, our parents thought, we were done now!!!
I guess we thought, "Well, maybe???"

And then, I got a HUGE yearning for a baby girl, and we thought, OK, maybe one more???
As we perused the internet, considering available children, we both began to feel something different this time.
We felt so blessed to have 3 such wonderfully healthy children, what if God was calling us into a special needs adoption?
We fell in love with a little face, and our journey into the world of Special Needs was off and running.
We bathed this decision in prayer, we sought godly counsel from godly friends, we begged God to make this clear for us.
And everything went so quickly-the placing agency in Taiwan said YES to our request in 1 day-unheard of!!!
Funds fell into place, in the midst of one of the WORST years of farming we had lived through!!!
We searched the internet about brain injuries, and heart issues, as our treasure had a baby brother who had a supposed heart condition, and we waited an excruciatingly long time to finally get a picture of our littlest son,

Who had no diagnosis, other than tachycardia-an extremely fast heart rate, and he was on HORRID meds to correct that.
We knew so little about them, but we knew the birth mom had issues, so we were prepared (or so we thought) for more cognitive issues for both boys.
In the beginning of this adoption, I had agreed with God that 2 boys were for our family, and I readily laid down my dreams for a baby girl. If this was what God wanted for us, then I was on board with Him, 100%.
Once we traveled in May and June of 2010 to bring our boys home, we found an extremely TINY little baby, who could not even sit up yet at 16 months old, without support, and who could not tolerate many food textures and who had no idea how to receive love and attention.
Isaiah was a sweet boy from day one, very gentle, very quiet, very compliant, while his baby brother was, definitely the poster boy for the slogan, "Dynamite comes in small packages"

We did have reservations about his delays, but without any concrete diagnosis, and virtually no medical info other than about his heart condition, we resolved to give both boys the best home we could, and hope and pray for the best.
Well, Isaac made little bits of progress over the next year, but was quite delayed, and we finally agreed to take him to a neurodevelopmental clinic his second year home to determine the extent of his delays, and see when he would "catch up"
Isaiah had been diagnosed with cognitive issues from the same clinic a few months earlier, as he had a double whammy, a piece missing in his brain, and a brain injury. He would proceed, slowly, to hopefully a 12 yr old level, and we hoped Isaac would fare with a better test result.
However, we were quite shocked when his chromosome test came back abnormal.
Our little man, our baby, was going to receive a label too, with cognitive impairment, severe speech apraxia, extremely small stature, and extensive delays of motor skills, like dressing, potty training, etc...

A brain MRI showed no similar damage as Isaiah's, so we had to begin attributing all of his behaviors to the chromosome disorder. The ADHD, the obsessive, compulsive attitudes, the extreme LACK of impulse control, the poor oral motor skills, including eating and speaking, the obsession with throwing things, and spinning things, and WATER!!!!(probably not an official diagnosis for this, but it sure ties into the lack of self-control our little man has!!)
As we sat in with the Dr's when they gave us all their findings, we were floored.
Not because we didn't know something was off kilter, but because they made it sound SO BAD!!!
They said he could easily be the most impacted by disabilites (as they had already met our 2 girls, but we didn't have a diagnosis for each of them yet).
Our heads were spinning, our emotions were on overload, and all we wanted to do was scream, NO!!!
Not Isaac. He will grow up, he will speak, he will stop some of those incredibly insatiable habits of his-someday!!
Now, 2 years later, we see things a bit differently.
We see that many of his quirks will only get more intense.
His impulsiveness gets more alarming the bigger and quicker he gets.
Although he is learning many things, he is probably on a 3 yr old level for many skills.
He is learning simple things like the letters, and their sounds-and I think his love affair with an ipad is having some huge impact on this-his cuteness is still carrying him through many rough behavioral days, Isaiah's laughter is still overriding his need to hit Isaac.
They are still little, they are still cute.
But what will the future hold for them, and for us?
To be continued....

Our 3 Little Buds!!!
Tyler is soooo good with them, and loves them, no matter what!!


1 comment:

K said...

You've been on quite a journey assembling your family. I didn't realize your brought the two little boys home at the same time. I can't wait to read the rest of your story.