I have had my little treasure home for just short of two years now. She was literally a shell of emptiness when she first came home. She remained that way for many months after as well. That is why a morning like this morning just humbles me, makes me teary, and leads me to praise God for giving me this beautiful child who has taught me so much about faith and believing in my God.
We started the morning at the library in the toddler class. We have been attending this class for several months on the odd Wednesdays when we don't have therapy. In this class, there are about twenty toddlers and their mommas in a smallish space. Toddlers are loud, unpredictable, and interactive by nature. These are all triggers for my baby girl who is generally scared out of her wits around so many little people. She shuts down or gets agitated and then we have to leave. Slowly though over the last months, something beautiful is happening in her heart. She is feeling more secure, communicating more with sign (even to others), and interacting with her environment even when we aren't at home.
This morning as we entered class I tried to sit against the wall with her..back a way from most of the action to give her a bit of space. She told me to get up and moved me to the rug where she signed sit. She wanted to sit on the rug in the thick of things. Then she listened to two books..watching as they were read..and watched two flannel boards. Then it happened. Ms. N, the children's librarian, said to the group..Does anyone want to sing if you are happy and you know it? Well, my little treasure's face erupted into a big smile at those words. We have this book at home and she LOVES this song. At home, she does the motions along with each page and even vocalizes two distinct sounds for the "I AM" page. I didn't expect her to do any of that at the library. After all, she was with a big group of people being directed by Ms. N and not by me BUT she stood up and did every. single. motion with each verse. I just watched in awe as she stamped her feet, clapped her hands, and signed "turn around" requesting the turn around verse in our book at home. The class ended with Ms. N handing out small party favors because the class had a birthday theme today. Ms. N stood at the front of the class with a big bowl. Jillian couldn't even see what was inside, but she saw all the children standing around waiting to receive something. She walked right up to the end of the "crowd" anxiously waiting for her prize. As she approached Ms. N she signed "please" while looking up at her without a single prompt from me! She understood that she needed to communicate with this woman! I could have lost it. I really could have just shouted from the roof tops because my baby girl continues to defy all the odds that are so stacked against her.
We then went out to the play area. She played and then we went to the craft table. At the craft table, I gave her the blue crayon to use to color her picture. I was holding a green crayon. I hadn't labeled each crayon by color using words yet because we just sat down. She looked at me and signed green because she wanted the green one I had too. (And of course she knew it was green!) Then Ms. N brought out a surprise..a fabric crawling tunnel much like the one we just bought her. All the kids stormed it because they were so excited to play inside. My Jillian, who has been so hesitant to try anything or be around anyone, went to crawl through it too along with the other ten or so crazy kids left playing. There was a wild little guy laying on the top and being pretty vocal, but she went in anyway!
Today, I am amazed at this little one. I am in awe that God has allowed me to do this. I am so flawed, so inadequate on my own..yet He trusts me with this precious one. How can it be? How can it be that He would bestow such blessing on me? I am giving thanks to Him today for this life, for who He is, and that He loves me so very much! I am one blessed momma...overwhelmed by what the Lord has done in the last two years! Praise Him! Praise Him!
Headin’ Next – Louisiana and Texas
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