Thursday, April 18, 2013

Let's Celebrate!

I started to post this yesterday as a Facebook status but then decided it is much better suited for a blog post. Do you ever start typing a status and realize that it's too long to be a status update? I do that a lot. But my family use my Facebook as their primary tool to know how Harper and Ryan are doing. So I post a lot and about anything. Anyway, onto the post...

Next week, Carson and I have a meeting with Ryan's speech therapist at school. It our annual IEP review. Ryan will be 11 in May and has been receiving speech therapy since he was 10 months. This is a very long time! On Tuesday of this week, Carson came over to pick Ryan up for the night and I asked him his thoughts on our meeting. We always like to be of one accord at school meetings. I'd hate to be of a different mindset and end up disagreeing in front of school staff. How embarrassing! We both feel like speech is something that Ryan is ready to "graduate" from. Ryan is ready too! He speaks extremely well for an 11 year old boy. He has overcome this obstacle of the cleft so very well. I remember two years ago when our plastic surgeon told us that the worst was ahead of us NOT behind us. I was devastated. I thought we were almost finished but the season we are about to enter- orthodontics will be the worst. It will likely require extremely painful surgeries and braces for Ryan will be unlike anything his peers have experienced because there is so much work to do. I told our plastic surgeon then that I was looking forward to "graduation" from the Craniofacial Clinic. No, we aren't finished there but to finally bring one chapter to a close brings tears to my eyes. On Friday, April 26, if you see my crying. Know now my tears aren't of sadness they are of joy! (I should write a book on our journey.)

For Harper, I receive emails every month when she is close to her month birthday. On the 16th, she was 19 months old. I was sent an email from Pampers. I usually disregard these emails. They bring me to tears. I am reminded by all she can't do. Well, yesterday, I read the email. I smiled because Harper for the first time was fairly equal with her peers!!! Dr. Young tells me that when we are on the other side of hypotonia and Harper is running and jumping that this will be the longest journey of my life because it is full of uncertainties. At least with Ryan, there has always been a plan.

Dr. Young is right and with both of my children, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Ortho may be painful for Ryan but that's the end. Harper may take a while to run but she can walk so eventually she will run.

I am asked, occasionally, if I could go back would I chose to have my children born without birth defects. That's not my reality. I'll never get to chose a "do over". However, my life is vastly different than it would have been. My marriage is strong because of the struggles we face. My relationship with my parents and my brother is my life line. They hold me up when I can't do it by myself. My extended family, bring food, gifts, and pray. I'm blessed. My children were perfectly created in the image of God and I was chosen to be their mother. There are days that I hate the cards handed to me, there are days I scream why, there are days I cry. But you know what, my kids are the best. It's all worth it. Days are hard and long but the years have been short. Time flies when you are having fun and well, we have a great time!

It's nice to be about to "graduate" and it's even nicer to have a walker.