Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A short update on K.

I realize I haven't updated on K. is doing in a while, and I mention it now because he has made such huge progress in the last few months. You know how I have always said that if we adjust his age down two years, to make up the two years in the orphanage, that he is entirely appropriate? Well, I'm beginning to think that he had made up a year and that we only need to adjust down one year these days.

And why do I think this? Well, a variety of reasons. First he has just had a huge growth spurt, the likes of which I never thought we'd see. Toward the end of summer, I realized that his dresser was overflowing with clothes, most of which he couldn't wear because they were either worn out from three years' continual use or they were actually a little short. I went through and pulled out everything that didn't fit and was able to take out all the 3T and 4T clothes and leave just the 5's. (It shows how perpetually tiny K. has been that at age 6 he still had 3T's in his dresser and would put them on.) I was thrilled with moving up to a size 5. There were moments when I wondered when he would actually fit in something that big. But when we were packing for Thanksgiving, another amazing thing happened. I had asked A. to look through his clothes and find something decent to pack. She discovered that the 5's were already too short again and went down and brought up the size 6 box and tried them on him. They fit! I cannot tell you how happy I am that he is now wearing a size 6 in clothing. My dreams of him being taller than 5 feet when grown are perhaps not so outlandish as I thought.

And not only has he grown, he has made other progress as well. Over the summer, when we were showing the Leap Frog videos to H. (over and over and over), K. would often sit and watch them with her. It did the trick and he now knows all of his letters and the sound they each make. Perhaps you do not see this as quite as miraculous as I do, because it is quite common for a 6 year old to know this. But what you don't know is that this 6 year old had remarkable difficulties remember things for a very long time. He can also count now... something he couldn't do before. And remember his age AND hold up the correct number of fingers to go with that number.

When he turned 6, he was very much like a new four year old in what he could and couldn't do, and perhaps even still a three year old in some areas. Now, he has made such progress that he really just seems like a kindergartner. I have him doing kindergarten level work and he is doing well. Plus he is in the kindergarten Sunday school class at church and fits in completely with the other children. (Would you think less of me if you knew I threatened him with a quick move back to the Pre-K class if I found out he was behaving poorly? I did... and I know his teachers and they know my expectations.) Sitting still and listening are still developing skills, but really, that's true for 99% of all kindergartners.

It has helped that his best buddy in the whole world, P5, is just a year younger than he is and K. wants to do the same things that P5 is doing. It was K. who was pushing the whole move-up-to-kindergarten-thing, not me. (The longer I homeschool, the less likely it is that I will push a child into academics when they are little.) But K. really, really wanted to be in kindergarten just like P5. I see just being aware of that is a huge developmental advance because 6 months earlier, he had no idea about such things.

Of course, this means that my arguments for putting off his bone graft surgery are quickly evaporating as well. I figured that if bone grafts were usually done around the age of 5, that we should hold off until he was at least 7 because of that two year delay. As he grows more and catches up more, that also means that my reasons for delaying have little basis. I kind of dread the bone graft surgery and can barely wrap my mind around keeping him still for the length of time it will need to heal. We see the cleft team next week, so I'm sure this will be one of the items discussed. I'll keep you updated. (It's the same team that H. sees and she will be seen by them at the same time. I have a bad, bad feeling that 2013 may be remembered as 'the year of facial surgery'.)

But I can put off thinking about all that for another week and right now focus on how well K. is doing. Just four years after we first held him and realized that his delays were so much bigger than we expected and truly wondered if he would ever talk or communicate, we now have a healthy, happy, imaginative, and communicative little boy. Once again, I am so grateful that God was in charge, because had we fully known about all his delays, there is always that chance we would have thought them too great for us. And think what we would have missed!
I've got to change what I write so you won't stop reading it. This little girl's file is at Reece's Rainbow again. Can you imagine being her? A child who is fully aware of what is going on and being trapped in a crib for 10 years? The CP affects all four limbs, but who knows what progress she could make with the right treatment. How many people have looked at her diagnosis and decided it was too great for them? What joy and blessing are they missing out on because they have counted their abilities (and the abilities of God who gives them to us) as too small?

This is Garnet. She is 10. Ten years old and lying in a crib. It's all she's ever known. How can we let this happen? How can we leave her there knowing now that she is there? Despite what she has lived through, she still looks as though she has life in her eyes. Imagine what she would look like with the love of a family

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