As the mom of two 2.5 year olds, I seem to watch new skills develop daily.
Having a typically developing son who is only 1 month younger than my son with Down Syndrome has been such a gift. Ben teaches Paul so much and motivates him in ways that I simply cannot. Likewise, Paul has inspired much growth and virtue in Ben.
They are just better together than they were apart.
But with each day comes the juxtaposition of two very different (albeit adorable) children.
We work hard around here to help Paul gain the skills that he should have. He’s made great progress, but there are a couple of big things that just seem to be stalled. As far as straw drinking, he is not making the connection. He still drinks from a bottle. A bottle that he doesn’t even hold. And while he has started feeding himself, it’s very limited, so I am still feeding him the vast majority of all his food. When it comes to walking, progress has been slow. For a solid 2 months, Paul lost all interest in it. He figured out how to crawl (yay!), and decided that was enough for him. With the enthusiasm he had shown with it, we were sure he’d be walking before 2014, but with his extended hiatus and family travel, here we are in February, basically in the same place we were in October. Still, we press on because these are important things to learn and he needs help to figure it out.
Paul has to work so hard for every step forward (literally and figuratively). We all have to work hard for it. There are moments when I feel overwhelmed, discouraged, wondering how long it will take and what the next hang up will be.
But then I look across the room at the little boy playing. Why is he here? Why did we adopt him?
It really has never been about the skills. Obviously, we want Paul to reach his full potential, which is due to him, by virtue of his dignity. But, it was really about giving a child a family. And it was REALLY about Christ being known to that child, through the experience of loving and being loved, within that family.
That is the perspective I try to keep before me. So that, on the days when I am frustrated that he dropped his fork on the floor again, pushed away the honey bear cup, or bent his knees refusing to walk, I can step back and remember that we are, in fact, doing exactly what we set out to do.