I'm tired. The pollen is kicking my butt. I'm behind on everything. I've had so many things to do. I've had so many things to say. But I feel like I have no time to do anything that does not involve my children. Join the club, right?
Therapy. The all encompassing therapy. Tball. My business. Soccer. Photography. Blastball. Young athletes. My own volunteer work. All that and more on top of trying to retain order within my home and just be a family.
I sound like a broken record.
All this stuff ain't happening. Well, it is happening but it needs to get easier. So I rehired my house cleaners. And oh how happy that makes my soul. They came yesterday and some of that must.retain.order.within.my.home stress has been lifted.
I feel like I have sort of been slapped in the face lately with a few things that have put me in a funk. I try really hard not to let things get to me, but seriously ... one human soul can only handle so much.
Payton has childhood apraxia of speech. In other words, we are trying to get our 4 year old to be able to say things like me instead of pee. Or bye bye instead of dye dye. It is an ongoing struggle. Watching her speech be broken down to such a level has been really eye opening for me. To see the stages of development from this perspective is something I wish everyone could see. It is breaking my heart that speech is so incredibly, frustratingly hard for her.
She is tired. I'm tired.
And then ... to increasingly observe other kids staring at her and asking why she can't talk. Although she has no idea any of this is going on, I do. I have always been fine with explaining her speech delay to other kids, but the older she gets ... the more I worry about them judging her.
Like four older neighborhood boys did this past weekend.
She said, "Hi."
They said, "You're stupid."
I presume they called her stupid because she looks like she is big enough to be able to talk, but they have picked up on the fact that she sounds like a young toddler. So now she is being called stupid because she can't talk. Fan-freaking-tastic. Not only that, but Mason was standing right there to hear it all ... coming from his peers. Fan-freaking-tastic.
Nika is in the third percentile of children her age for fine motor capability. Or so the evaluation says. I ... I don't even know where to start with that one. I feel like she is doing better than that, but I also think that I classify her as younger than she is ... I guess given the fact that she spent two years in an orphanage where she was cared for, but not really taught skills that a child with Down syndrome would need to be taught. I guess that is why? I am also concerned that she has childhood apraxia of speech and we have a detailed evaluation in a few weeks.
Mason is still struggling a bit with reading and it frustrates me to no end. I feel like no matter how much we work with him on certain things, he has such a hard time wrapping his little mind around it. Yet when it comes to math or science ... he is golden. Clearly he is my kid. So we roll on ... hoping he somehow is not being left behind in light of all that his sisters require.
Meanwhile the fact that he is growing up so fast has become so evident. The things he says crack.me.up. He has a new found obsession with Justin Bieber. He asked me to upload the song Baby to my iPhone, so now that is what we listen to as we stroll the aisles of the grocery store or as we drive down the road or as we eat dinner or as we try to sleep. Ha.
Then, Mason came to find out that Justin Bieber is on the cover of Teen Bop and other such magazines. "Mom, can you buy this for me?"
Really? Really. I am having to buy teeny bopper magazines for my six year old? Wow, that makes me feel really old. As did spending our last shopping trip in abercrombie shopping for clothes for him. It really was a weird moment for me to have graduated from Baby Gap ... I mean abercrombie, this is big time, big boy shopping. So crazy.
I sort of have been really bothered lately by things I have read on an adoption listserve that I subscribe to. This attitude of I-will-adopt-only-the-perfect-child-or-none-at-all ... it seriously drives me insane and it is really hard for me to bite my lip. I try to remind myself different-strokes-for-different-folks ... but honestly, I'm not really sure how one can go into an international adoption and expect that their child will not have developmental delays, cognitive problems or even health problems.
This is par for the course people. No, a child will not always have those issues, but they could. And no, it doesn't necessarily taint the child for life. Or, what if it does? Does that make that child any less deserving of a family that loves him or her?
Sometimes I just want to hold Nika high in the air and yell, "Look at her! She is beautiful! She is healthy! She deserves to live her life! Down syndrome, developmental delays, cognitive problems and all!"
And then I go on to read about this Tennessee family that adopted an eight year old child from Russia six months ago. Because they could not deal with ... nor find the right means to go about a disruption ... whatever issues he brought with him, they thought it would be a fantastic idea to put him on a one-way flight back to Russia. After arriving in Moscow alone, he gave officials a note from his adoptive mother that explained that she was returning him due to severe psychological problems.
I mean seriously. Seriously?
And now Russia is threatening to stop Americans from adopting from Russia at all. I'm praying and hoping this will not happen, but it is a very real possibility. I pray that one bad egg doesn't ruin the bunch.
And as if that wasn't enough, I read about a doctor in Florida who is alleged to have "aborted the wrong fetus". Shocker that the fetus that was to be aborted had Down syndrome. After the parents found out that the wrong fetus had been aborted or "killed", they proceeded to abort the fetus with Down syndrome.
So let me get this right. The fetus that did not have Down syndrome was "killed", but the fetus with Down syndrome was "aborted"? Is the method of death not the same? Is a fetus with Down syndrome not worthy of life, so it is not classified as being killed? Is this what we have come to as a society?
And ... the fetus with Down syndrome was described as "deformed". Okay, having an extra chromosome does not make you "deformed"!
*stepping off soap box*
And had I finished this post last night like I intended to do ... I would have said ...
I was happy to run across your blog. My son is almost four and according to evaluations he has a "severe speech delay". I know for certain that he has apraxia of speech which I believe was caused at birth after his heart rate dropped to the single digits and we had a very scary emergency C Section. It is heart breaking to watch this extremely smart, outgoing, little boy try to communicate with kids his own age. They ask him his name on the playground and he can't say it. He tries to "spell it" when they don't understand: "a, e, i, u,". They laugh and go on playing without him. He doesn't understand. It's SO hard to watch. He has made some improvements, but Caden can only consistently say mostly vowel sounds and rarely gets the beginning or the end sounds. I just had to let you know I know exactly what you are going through with your little girl, and it made me feel better knowing I was not the only one- especially when the speech therapists act like a) he may never over come it and b) I shouldn't be so concerned.