Monday, August 8, 2011

let's talk about lila and lee.

so the good people at lee gave me a pair of jeans and asked me to enter this contest where you show your life in lee. well i'm not sure they had this post in mind. but for the sake of being honest, this is my life. in your jeans, lee.

something strange has been going on in my heart. it's been a soft subject inside of me for a while now, ever since we discovered lila couldn't hear for the first 2 years of her life.
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 there was a swimmer on TV the other night that was hearing impaired and had a light flash when it was time to jump off the board. it caught my attention immediately. a couple months ago on MTV(no i don't watch that channel!...i mean,sometimes. 16 and pregnant is good, i hear.), they had a show about hearing impaired kids.... their daily life. there was a dancer that was trying out for a professional football team's dance squad. she was asking the other girls to tap her when it was time to start the counts. i cried. she was beautiful, she could dance, she couldn't hear well. she sounded deaf. and she was inspiring. see it's ok, people overcome hearing loss, i told myself.

lila can hear now with the help of  tubes and, at almost three years old, she is learning to process noises and sounds. it's like she's a newborn in language and processing department. the speech therapist comes twice a week and little by little, lila  makes progress. and i learn little by little how to teach lila basic skills like following instructions. sitting still. sounding out. rewarding for even just trying to say words. puzzles. shape sorters. things mothers do with their baby at age one. lila just got stuck in time for a while and couldn't do those things.

this is what our day sounds like:
lila, can you say, elephant?
A-A-ant!
good words, lila! elephant! yay!



when i go to the store and people say, 
what's your name little girl?
lila smiles at them and says nothing.
i don't know how to explain to them that she doesn't have words. i don't know how to say, i haven't figured my daughter out yet. 
i feel apologetic to children and mothers when she is aggressive with her peers sometimes. do i say, oh i'm sorry! lila couldn't hear for a long time and so to get what she wanted, she was aggressive. it's now become a part of her behavior, even though she can hear at this point. why are you looking at me all confused?. side note: aggressive behavior has MAJORLY decreased since she's learned more words. 

then there's other things. hmm, i don't know what classroom to put her in at church.with the babies who don't talk? with the older kids who are potty trained and she's not? how do i potty train her when she can't talk?

i worry about talking to the teacher when she goes to mother's day out in the fall. will they be annoyed with her? that question makes me cry as i type it out. 

 lila and i have lots of fun together. she is delightlful. always smiling and very happy most of the time. but she is also my challenge.
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and we are in the process of getting her evaluated for a sensory disorder too. she has some weird quirks, like tearing paper into tiny pieces and constantly rearranging things, along with her language delay. is it autism?  i doubt it... but i don't know. i mean, don't worry, i've over-googled it. but i'm sick of just wait and see. so we have become very active in figuring her out. whatever it is, i want to catch it while she's little to help her move forward.

so to describe lila for you:
on one end, 
she can not be left unsupervised anywhere.
she wanders away.
if the front door isn't locked, she'll try and get out.
can't find her? she's on top of the table smearing yogurt everywhere, don't worry about it.
or maybe she's putting necklaces in the toilet.
why are all the books off the shelves? oh, lila put every single book under the table.
why are there no books in her room? she has torn up each and every one. since she stays up late, she has a lot of time on her hands.

and on the other end,
she could also be snuggling with daddy.
dancing to any sort of music.
dressing up in my clothes.
hugging penelope.
singing her version of ABC's or twinkle twinkle.
doing my hair. wait, messing up my hair.
playing on my iphone. she's brilliant at it.
having a conversation with layne, including inflections and laughing at her own jokes. of course, we don't understand her...but it's really sweet to watch.
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so i'm at a tender place with lila. i cry sometimes at night in frustration because i don't know how to help her. wait,  what i mean is, i actually can't help her with some things. she just has to learn. and that's hard to watch your baby struggle through things that seem normal for other kids. it's a difficult thing when you realize you just aren't in control.

i do know that i love her and that she is a treasure. whether she will make progress or not. she is our sweet lila. God gave her to us for a reason and we are thankful. challenged and thankful. in my lee jeans.

69 comments:

  1. this brought me to tears because i honestly thought i was reading about my liam. i, too, struggle with those two seemingly opposite ends of her personality. when i see the wonderful things liam does, i find it so hard to believe it's the same child that's doing the puzzling things. i struggle with "what's your name?" followed by silence. i struggle with his aggressive behavior and outbursts and judgmental looks from onlookers. but like you said, they are our treasures. and whatever it is that she is going through, you all will get through it. just because. she's your baby and you'll jump whatever hurdles you need to so that you can get through it.

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  2. Lila is the most precious little girl in the world. Really. She's so adorable!! It makes me sad that you are hurting and Lila is struggling. She will get there! You are a really awesome mommy (as well as I know from your blog that I'm obsessed with and I read your posts before anyone else's). I love Lila to pieces and I don't even know her. Surely her teachers will feel the same.

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  3. This just about made me bawl. Precious Lila - she is a treasure, and she is blessed to have you for a mommy.

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  4. Jami!
    I always look forward to a new post from YOU! I'm guaranteed laughter, honesty, and a heart after God's.

    your.honesty.is.so.refreshing.

    This being said, I just wanted to share some encouragement! Through-out my college career I have babysat for the same family with a little boy who also had a speech impairment. Seriously this little cutie did not say a word for the first couple of years, he was 19 months when I began watching him, and didn't start talking until he turned 3.
    He also began going to speech a couple times a week, and continues to do so, at his ripe age of 5! When he first started to say words, it was just opaque, loud sounds. He hit year 4 and words started flowing like a raging river!
    He's now 5, and understandable and a chatter box! Little Lila still has time to chatter! I can't imagine what it must feel like to have to sit on the sidelines and wait for improvement for someone you LOVE so much.

    Just wanted you to know I'll be praying for the little dear and your family!:)

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  5. Thanks for the Lila update Jami!
    Glad to hear she's learning words, even if it's at a slower rate.

    I wrote an impossible long comment and I decided just to email you that half :)

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  6. I could have written this about Timothy. (except for the whole him not hearing thing. He can hear a little too well which made him close himself up in a little box of silence) I'm still figuring out the sensory issues and often cry over Timothy. I've read lots of good books and have figured some areas out if you ever need someone to talk to about all of it. Or just need an understanding shoulder to cry on.

    also I <3 lila. she is not the least bit annoying to me. I would be her teacher if I could. {hugs}

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  7. I've shared this with you before, but we are definitely in a similar place with Eva's language for the same reason (she also has tubes). Mom guilt is so overwhelming!

    You are doing a great job teaching her and being her best advocate. God will do the rest :)
    Philippians 4:6-7

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  8. I did not know you were going through all this with your precious little girl. Maiya, my daughter was born with various leg issues. I have been through some of what you are questioning and still going through it too. I have found with Maiya that if I expect it out of her, she pushes herself. It was hard putting her with her age group in church when she could not walk. But now at 8 and even still, when with her peers she knows what is expected. I have always told her teacher to not treat her differently. Kids can be so loving too. They overlook a lot! Love you and let me know if I can help in any way!

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  9. Thank you for posting this. We have a special challenge in our life and I feel so alone. She's an amazing little blessing that we adopted through foster care but her start was rough and it shows. I'm dreading preschool this fall, I don't want her labeled. I want her to make friends, I want her to have a great time! Thank you for your honesty and helping me feel not so alone!

    Barb

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  10. You are an amazing mama to view your daughter so perfectly. if there were more mom's like you, there would be many more well adjusted kids!

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  11. I know Justin's mom must have struggled with the same things with him. He couldn't hear for the first few years, until he got tubes. It will be a process now, but she will be just fine. She's lucky to have such amazing loving parents to walk her through this life. All kiddos have some kind of struggle we deal with :)

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  12. Hey jami! First off I will tell you I read every single post in your blog. I love it so much even though I don't leave a comment sometimes.

    This really touched me because I have the same thing going on with my son. He is much younger though. He just turned 17 months. In my opinion, I feel my son still has a little time to find his words, but sadly, his pediatrician thinks otherwise. She told me he NEEDS to see a speech therapist. I am baffled. I know I am not a physician, but I don't see how ANYONE can make my very VERY busy toddler sit down and do ANYTHING!

    (Sorry I am venting. It is just so nice to hear from another mother who is going through a similar struggle.)

    It so hard to go through all of this and not think it my fault...

    Praying for your sweet girl!

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  13. thanks for the big ugly cry...yep, kids playing in the other room, me with big ol' snot bubbles in the office....
    I hadn't ready your post about finding out about Lila's hearing loss and then the surgery...so I just got all caught up...big ol' snot bubbles!!!
    my daughter's (10 yrs old) BFF is deaf...they found out at 2 months (our girls were in the hospital together at birth)...
    she learned words late...
    but she is the sweetest thing...
    she wears hearing aids...
    she's self conscious of her hearing loss...worried about going into 5th grade and kids calling her a freak...
    she is so tender....
    and sweet...
    and darling...
    she always...
    ALWAYS...
    AL.WAY.S!!!has an ear infection...
    taking her swimming is crazy because she has to take her hearing aids out to swim...and then the life guard is yelling at her to not jump/run/do all the stuff kids do at pools and she can't hear anything....
    she has her own unique clothing style...
    she can hold her own with the boys...
    your Lila will be amazing...
    she will know her true friends earlier in life...
    she will be a fighter for the underdog...
    she is your gift from God and she will teach you amazing things...

    oh, and the paper thing...our daughter did that too...tearing paper into little pieces, sorting them into piles and carrying them around...slightly quirky...at 10 she's grown out of that...but might, just might, end up on an episode of Hoarders as an adult!!!

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  14. Sweet Lila. My brother lost hearing in one of his ears and recently, temporarily lost hearing in the other due to a scratch from his hearing aid. My mom was feisty about it. I'm going to email her this post--I think she can totally relate. Even though my bro is 18.

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  15. Hey Jami, I lost my hearing when I was four and consider myself hard of hearing now. If you ever just want to chat, let me know! :-)

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  16. I've lurked your blog for ages but I had to comment on this post.

    I'm a college student and a pre-school teacher and I just wanted to reassure you that if her teacher is anything like the wonderful women I work with they will most certainly not be annoyed by Lila.

    I don't exactly know how to put into words what I'm trying to say but I just want you to understand that we pre-school teachers are always willing to help a child that is struggling in any way, just as long as we understand the problem. Or at least, understand it as well as you do.

    This probably didn't make much sense, so just take from it that Lila seems like a wonderful girl who can do whatever she sets her mind to.

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  17. oh thank you so much for this update. iv'e wondered how things have been since the surgery...now we know how to pray for you and her.

    thanks, lee jeans.

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  18. i really just spent 3 full minutes laughing at that last line... after almost crying through your story on lila, because i had completely forgotten this post had anything to do on lee jeans... love it!
    it's actually your stories on lila that are keeping my {eyes? ears?} perked to my kiddo's speach/hearing. he's 20 months, and his dr says he has a speech delay. which was not a shock. he only says a handful of words, and only really if you ask him to. and when he does - they're SUPER unclear. other kids younger than him are speaking clearly & beginning to form sentences, and he is still jabbering. of course, he's perfect. he's amazing. and i can tell he's super smart. but i worry about his hearing. my hubs doesn't want to be all freaky & worry-like {which, i can understand, i can be just that} but i have him promise we'll get it tested at 2years if it doesn't improve.
    ANYWAY. you're such a great momma. love when your blog pops into my rss feed :)

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  19. You just spoke what my heart feels!! I have a daughter who is profoundly deaf that we adopted from S Korea. Yes we knew she was deaf but it is still a daily challenge. I also wanted to say I am from Kansas City too!!

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  20. only you could make me laugh and cry while modeling lee jeans. you are a great mommy, jami and you inspire me!

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  21. I love this post! I relate a lot to it. My daughter Meritt who is 4, has some speech delays, and is missing a lot of her sounds. It's so hard as a mom to see your kid struggle. To see other kids get frustrated because she doesn't play like a 'normal' kid... But what I have found is with love, and patience, and working with them, these struggles become easier. In a way these 'struggles' are blessings in disguise because they cause us to grow closer to our children!

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  22. thank you for sharing such a precious part of your life. prayers as you go through the day to day. i don't have the perfect words but to remind you of His presence. peace.

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  23. Your honesty and raw motherly love is so encouraging. Thank you for sharing your heart so beautifully.

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  24. Jami your honesty is inspiring. And Lila is one lucky little girl to have you as her Momma. And you are double as lucky to have her as a sweet little baby girl. Xoxo

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  25. Like all of us, you're too hard on yourself! Lila looks like a fantastic little junior and I'm sure life for her will be just fine.

    I shall sing you a song to lift your tired spirit- Some day somebody's gonna make you want to turn around and say goodbye. Until then baby are you going to let them hold you down and make you cry? Don't you know, things can change? Things will go your way if you hooooooold on for one more day... Okay, I think that's enough WP for one day. But there's plenty more where that came from, in case you need it. My repertoire is endless...

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  26. James,
    Thanks for this post. Sometimes I want to write more about how I'm feeling with Olivia's issues but I don't want to come off as whiny. You don't. Thanks for the guts to write this. See you tomorrow :)

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  27. My daughter, Landry, was born profoundly deaf. We were lucky to have discovered this when she was 4.5 months old and she received bilateral cochlear implants when she was 9.5 months old.

    We have spent countless hours in speech therapy and were blessed to live 15 minutes from one of the nation's top Oral Deaf Schools (sounds like an oxymoron, right?) with unbelievable speech therapists. I sympathize with the number of hours you will be spending in speech therapy, but can tell you that Landry, at 3.5, has not even a trace of a deaf accent and most people don't even know that she's deaf.
    For a few years, I felt like my life was one big Listening Game and we were constantly pointing to our ear asking, "What do you hear?" (i.e. did you hear the loud truck that just passed by? the person speaking behind you? the bird in the tree?).
    If you ever need to vent or need new speech therapy tricks, shoot me an email!
    And if no one has yet welcomed you to "Holland," please let me be the first: http://agnichfamily.blogspot.com/2008/08/welcome-to-holland.html

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  28. My heart is with you. I have two boys on the autism spectrum and I fully understand the frustration and hopelessness. My parents discovered my hearing loss when I was seven and my mom struggled with the guilt but all turned out ok. Better than ok. <3

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  29. Thanks for sharing your heart. You are an awesome mom and Lila is precious. Oh and you look hot in your lee jeans.

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  30. thanks for being so honest in your posts. praying for your family. lila is loved by her Redeemer family :)

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  31. God gave Lila to you because you are the perfect mommy for her. She is a gift, and stinkin cute one at that.

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  32. love this post.

    i am excited to see how God grows you and lila too through these challenges. :)

    i love how much JUMPING and excitement has been on your blog lately ;)

    i have a feeling you speak lila's language perfectly, even if words aren't involved. :)

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  33. She sounds like an amazing little girl, and you sound like an amazing Mom! She couldn't be in a better family.

    As a teacher, I can ease your mind about that one. The teachers will be aware of her hearing issues and they will find ways to communicate with her, and her with them!

    And as a side note, I had a third grader this year who was always ripping up paper and creating tiny little worlds...to say she had quirks would be an understatement. I would look at her in amazement and think: I have no idea what on Earth is going through that child's mind! But she was sincerely the brightest, sweetest, most gifted child I have ever met! :)

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  34. thanks for sharing your guts on this one. what a great family lila has and i am super stoked to hear about her progress and the support & love that you all provide to her.

    love these "jumpin for joy" pics--celebrate every victory!!

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  35. Just happened upon your blog. Lila is blessed to have you as her mommy. You know her heart. Everything else will fall into place!

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  36. lila seems like a beautiful person, inside and out. she may have her quirks, but she'll turn out just fine. don't beat yourself up, you're amazing.

    and i'm kicking myself for not participating in the life in lee contest... i wouldn't be able to accept the prize, so i thought it was silly to participate. but now I really wish I had gotten a pair of free jeans :o). Love your photos!

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  37. Hi friend IRL. I think that it is natural to worry. And Lila was a total charmer when she wasn't wandering tonight.

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  38. Lila is lucky to have such a wonderful mommy! Especially one who can rock some Lee Jeans!

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  39. i love lila. and you. i will pray about this.

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  40. Jami - Rachel send me the link to your blog and I was overwhelmed! What an amazing mom you are and what a blessed girl little Lila is. As Rachel mentioned, her brother (my son) lost his hearing in one ear and I am extremely mama bear protective over his remaining good ear. He had an infection in his good ear and his hearing was deteroriating and the docs weren't "listening" to me! That's what we mama bears do!!! We fight to get our cubs everything that they need! Hugs to you and your beautiful Lila! From - Rachel's mom, Cynthia

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  41. when i was pregnant i PRAYED for a girl. because i needed one. i needed to have a sweet baby girl to have all my mom dreams come true because my mom abandoned me. and then my prayers were answered. and my sweet baby girl turned into a toddler. a really strong willed toddler who is now 3 and i find myself so lost with her sometimes. i cry at night because i fear i will lose her before i can enjoy her. i'm so grateful that God has heard my cry, but i'm also still crying out for that sweet relationship.

    it's hard work. strong willed is way different than hearing impaired, but it's hard. for me, i have to be consistent and never let her get away with anything because she thinks she's in charge. and i'm so tired. but the Lord hears my cry. and i know He knows my heart and sees me trying to do what is right.

    you are the one He chose for her. and she is the one He chose for you. be encouraged.

    xoxo, tara

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  42. We have a son who has Asperger's Syndrome. All I can say it that whenever there is an adversity that your child has to face, it is heartbreaking at times. Then their triumphs make you feel like you want to soar with pride! Just take it in baby steps for now. : )

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  43. Did you know that Charlie doesn't talk either?
    No, b/c I don't talk about it.
    I mean he talks A LOT, but I can't understand 80% of it.
    He doesn't have a hearing problem that we know of, but at 2 1/2 he can't say words most kids his age do.
    We have been in the long process of going through the approval of a program to get him into speech therapy.
    Words have opened up in the past two weeks. Last week when the speech therapist was doing yet another test he said words I had never heard him say.
    And he has never said his name.
    And yes, I am crying.
    The day when my child says his name will be one of the most memorable days of my life.
    Love you friend. You are an amazing mama.

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  44. Praying for sweet Lila and for you to feel encouraged. Your mommy love for her comes across so strongly in this post!

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  45. WOW! Strong post. Bless you. I will be praying for you to know how to teach Lila and that she will be a fast learner. You are a wonderful mother!

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  46. My mom admits to thinking "My poor, learning-disabled child" and planning for special ed for me when she tried to teach me my letters at age 3 (when my older sister had learned easily) and I just looked at her cluelessly. Took them awhile to realize I'm super-duper farsighted and needed glasses :). She did, however, wait to tell me this story til after I finished medical school, so I guess mamas always worry....

    Whether this becomes something you can laugh about later when Lila's a professional motivational speaker or whether she's got some more bumps in the road ahead, it sounds like you guys have a great attitude about it and have already proven yourselves strong to face any obstacle.

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  47. ashlyn and lila need a playdate. we can just leave our front doors open and they can meet in utah. also, i thought ashlyn was autistic, too. before she was diagnosed with her hearing loss. don't stress, mama! you are strong. the Lord is with you. YOU CAN DO THIS. it your hot non-mom jeans.

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  48. Do not worry about your sweet baby! I have been through this. A 3 year old who can't say "potty!" How in the heck are u supposed to train someone who can't speak?? I get it! Reagan started Speech therapy at 3 and by 4 1/2 she was dismissed! Lila will advance faster than u can imagine! And put her with the big kids, she will learn from them! Praying for your precious little girl. Being a mommy isn't easy, but u r doing a fab job!!

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  49. I only found your blog recently so this is the first time I had heard of Lila's hearing issues, the surgery and her recovery. I read it all last night and it touched me so much I didn't even have the words to comment. It still brings tears to my eyes even now as I type this. I am pretty sure my almost 2 year old hears fine (although now I'm thinking I should double check), but he has struggled with words and speech delay and is way behind his peers. And it's been hard and I've blamed myself so much. Thats what touched me the most about your post. The blame. It's so hard. So I love that you wrote about it so honestly. I don't talk about it, I don't write about it and it's so hard to keep it in and feel that I am the only one going through this. So I just wanted you to know how much your honesty means to me. I feel certain that it was no coincidence I found your blog. You are an amazing Mama and Lila is so lucky to have you! {hugs}

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  50. Wow- Layla really does sound challenging! What a challenge to love her so fiercely and yet to be confused/unable to help her. I have some experience working with hearing impaired & deaf kids without language (I minored in deaf studies). Like you mentioned, aggression certainly is common when you there aren't ways to communicate with other people. Geez- even adults are that way! :)

    Take heart Jamie- God sees your struggle and Layla's too. And he has awesome things in store for all of you! Just think- even before Layla was born, God knew her. Awesome, I tell you!

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  51. What a sweet and thoughtful mama you are! Cutie little Lila is blessed to have you to love, guide, support, and encourage her.

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  52. i love reading about all three of your kiddos on your blog. lila is just precious and i am so glad she gets you as her awesome momma!

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  53. Here I am dealing with caring for a 20 month old (for 2 weeks) that isn't mine that just screams for no apparent reason and I think I can't handle it anymore and then I read this and I just crumble at the feet of Jesus! One thing I know for sure is that we can't decide the child that is placed in our lives, but God, the all-knowing, infinite One places these children in our lives to break our pride and make us more and more dependent on Jesus to cling to forevermore. You are a fabulous mom...for the all 3 weeks I have been reading your blog. You have a heart that I can see loves Him and He will forever strengthen you and encourage you! Love you (even though I don't really know you, yet I do!)

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  54. jami. your heart is beautiful. and lila. the life and JOY she has in these pictures are PRICELESS. how lucky is she that she got picked to be YOUR daughter! the luckiest, i say. loveyou.

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  55. I have been coming to your blog for a while. It makes me laugh and has helped me through a hard time. I never usually comment, but felt compelled this time.
    I have the same struggles with my second child. We had his hearing tested so many times. The speech therapist works with him once a week. She says he is making progress, but if I compare him to other three year olds, he is not there, although I try not to compare.
    My husband is hearing impaired. And is living a beautiful and mostly normal life, and so I dont worry so much about that diagnosis. I worry that I can't get a diagnosis on my son. I too have over googled things. He is sweet and loving, and destructive and aggressive. He terrorizes his older sister, who is scared of him, he kisses me full on the mouth with such tenderness I cry.I understand the fustration and worry, sometimes I think it is just his personality and his birth order. I explain to others when he shows the aggressive behavior, but I don't ever apologize for him.

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  56. I have a 5yr. old son is Amazing. He laughs and hugs tightly. He jokes and he is smart! He is Autistic and ADHD. He can tell me how to get to Target or any other place but when I ask him to eat or to put something away he looks at me like, "I know u just said something but I forgot." Its frustrating but at the same time I feel blessed. I will be honest and tell you I have more days crying then laughing. But those moments that we laugh together I hold close to my heart. I pray for you and your sweet little girl!!! Adorable in everyway.

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  57. Oh this post is fabulous! So true and so sweet! I adore the photos.

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  58. I only just found your blog recently, but this post could have described our daughter exactly! She is almost 3 1/2, and has only been truly hearing, with the help of tubes and a canal ring, for about three months. She was adopted from China last year, and we were told she could hear. We knew right away she had some hearing issues, but there were other more pressing health issues. I feel so badly for her, and have so much guilt for not solving this for her sooner. I totally relate to your story of being in the store when people talk to your daughter, and the books stacked under the table totally cracked me up while I am looking at all of our books crammed into every bag she could find.:-) I understand, and I look forward to following your journey!

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  59. Sweet friend...I love you. I love your heart. And I love your precious daughter. She is an amazing child and I know her teachers will love her as much as every other person that meets her. She'll probably be their favorite.

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  60. My son has lung disease and breathes differently. So he holds his mouth differently. Which makes for very tight facial muscles. He is pretty speech delayed because of it. I spend much of my day asking him to say things and enunciate and praising the effort even when no one but me would know what he is talking about. And I have been worrying about what to say to his new teacher next week too. Here's hoping mine and yours continue to make great progress.

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  61. jami,
    i felt like you were describing briley... and my heart, fears, reactions, struggles... so so so in the same place. you are not alone. we are not alone. and as you well know, she is not a mistake and it is not a mistake that Nato and you are her parents. thanks for sharing your heart... and mine.

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  62. I've realized that it is far easier to grow up profoundly deaf, than to be a mother of a child with a disability.

    Now I've experienced both and it breaks my heart worse to realize what burdens I can't take for my son.

    Honestly, the most important thing you will ever do for Lila - has nothing to do with any of her physical senses. The fact that you love and adore and care for her with a passion - speaks more loudly than anything you could say into a hearing-aid.

    It was when my mother refused to let my hearing impairment govern her discipline that I realized I was a "normal" kid who needed to work a little harder.

    I absolutely believe that God puts families together, and how blessed is yours?!?!

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  63. I love you and Lila! Thanks for sharing this. You're a rockstar Mom in your Lee jeans!

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  64. I love how naked you are in your post. You have this sweet quality of taking a hard conversation and making it so simple and tender. Lila is one lucky precious girl to have a fun, honest, pure, mommy. I apprciate your the way you strip things down to such a pure state.

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  65. This post touched me on so many levels.

    I am controling. I know how things should be:) I speak up before I should and am not afraid of confrontation. I have no control over my chidlren. They are people. I try to figure them out and figure out how I can help and how I can teach them and giv ethem the tools to be people that I want to spend time with and live the life that God created them for. I cry for them I pray for them..but we dont really shape them. Not really. We figure them out and get to know them and wonder what in the world God was thinking trusting us as parents.

    YUour daughter sounds wonderful and if she annoys her teacher than that teacher shouldnt get to be her teacher ;)

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  66. lila has a spark in her that i've never seen in anyone else. she has this beautiful curiosity for life that you can just see when she observes the people around her. she's one of my favorite little kids, because you can see wonder and exploration written all over her face. she's also such a sweet little cuddler who i think has given me a hug every time i've seen her. which i love. she's awesome, and has so many big moments to come. God has lots in store for lila and for you guys as her parents. :)

    p.s. you look like a dreamboat in your lee jeans. that's how my mom would describe t.

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  67. A friend just sent me your blog because she knows we're struggling with our son's speech delay - for the same reasons I think? Anyways, we've got it sorted but he needs time to catch up and no one wants to give him that time, including the schools that give up on him. It's is relentless and hard and heart breaking, and I thought you might be interested in a recent blog I did during another intensely frustrating time with others trying to diagnose our son with everything under the sun and ignoring the fact right now, he NEEDS to catch up with his speech! Anyways, nice work. Just think more of us need to share these stories because it can feel very alone as a parent http://withoutthebollocks.blogspot.com/2012/02/my-son-has-speech-delay-period.html

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  68. Ok, I totally, accidentally just stumbled across this post. I have heard of you and visited your blog on occasion from Emily Anderson's blog. A friend also follows your blog and she wanted me to see your puppet show post. So...here I am. Anyway, all that to say, man, I totally related to this post and it touched me. I felt like someone just actually had a glimpse into my head and truly understood some of the things I have felt and thought about.

    Our daughter is adopted from China and was born cleft lip/cleft palate. Her lip was repaired in China, but not her palate. We have already had two surgeries and are coming up on possibly a third. While she is making great progress it is still very difficult to understand her. We do pretty well because we hear her often, but others not so much. The thoughts and questions and explanations you gave....well, I have had those. We didn't deal with aggression, but there are still so many other things I feel I should explain. It is hard and I am nervous about preschool too. She has seemed to do ok at church but I went through the same things. Not to mention, throw in how incredible shy she is and easily hurt. Well, you can imagine. Now, that she is older and understands English better, she gets so frustrated when we can't understand her. And, pardon my french, I feel like a complete ass as well. Thank you, just because it's nice when someone out in this wild world understands. :)

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  69. I found your blog from a friend of a friend. As I read several posts this one popped us and I wanted to comment and hopefully give you some perspective and hope. One of our boys was clearly different from the beginning. At the age of 5 we had him evaluated and the neuro pysch diagnosed him with Aspergers. It was a relief and terrifying all in one fell swoop. We walked away with knowledge and begin to work with him with specific goals in mind. It was hard. Four years later we were having some educational testing done and they evaluated him again. They said he is not on the spectrum. I tell you this to say nothing is set in stone for your little one. Our son is still quirky and there are still struggles. I am convinced his brain still works differently. There are still days that I have to remind myself that God's plan doesn't always include normal or easy. There are days that I still cry out to God to help me because I am at the end of me. To be honest there are days that I question why angrily at God. But in all of these things God has shown me his grace and his mercy. I don't understand the whys but I know this God loves my little guy more than I do and his plan is bigger than my eyes.

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