we are given a teeny tiny bit of hope as far as R.'s abilities. We know she is making progress, but so much of it is the structural, foundational kind that has to be done first, but isn't always apparent. It's kind of like having the wiring redone in your house. You know it is vital, but it's expensive and messy and time-consuming. Plus, it doesn't really leave you with anything to show to people, other than the fact you can turn your lights off and on without burning the house down.
R.'s progress strikes me as this sort of progress. There's not much to show, but has to be done, and if the work doesn't get done, then I'm afraid her house really will burn down, never to be resurrected. I truly don't think this is an exaggeration. R. has experienced so much neglect and so much trauma, combined with an incredible number of care givers in her short life, that I feel as though we were the last straw. There was too much change on top of too much change, and while her mental house didn't exactly burn to the ground, it was certainly lit on fire. It's hard to show progress when step number one is to put out the flames and wait for the smoke to clear.
But then, every so often...
R. drew this the day before Christmas. I bet I don't even have to tell you what these drawings are, because they are so very recognizably people. Round faces with eyes and noses in the correct places; bodies, arms, legs, also in the right places; and even hair. No, I don't know what's going on down there at the bottom of the page, but even that is bigger and bolder than her earlier squiggles from the past two years.
Perhaps the fire is finally out, and the smoke is clearing. That would possibly be the very best Christmas present of all.