Princess Ky Background - The cutest blog on the block

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Booger We Will Never Forget


"Painful as it may be, a significant emotional event can be the catalyst for choosing a direction that serves us- and those around us- more effectively. Look for the Learning."
~Louisa May Alcott




I remember the day that my daughter made her first request. A therapist from Early Access was working with our 2 year old baby girl and, honestly, it was painful to watch. My daughter wanted a puzzle piece and the therapist kindly and gently refused my daughter her desire because she didn't use her words.

I remember sitting there feeling tortured wanting to scream at the therapist.

I was an expert (and still am) at anticipating my daughter's needs and meeting them before she had/has a chance to be uncomfortable.

I remember my daughter extending her sweet little hand and reaching for the puzzle piece. It was just out of her reach. She then began pushing at the therapist. She was getting more frustrated and more frustrated. Soon little tears welled up in her eyes. I could tell my girl was going to break down any second.

I felt so enraged inside; I wanted to shake the therapist! How dare she make my daughter cry over a puzzle piece! Honestly!! Is this really how we are going to teach her? I was quite upset! I wanted to gather my baby in my arms and shower her with puzzle pieces and hug her hurt feelings away.

I don't know how I kept my composure, but I made a huge effort to staple my mouth shut and sit on my hands. It took everything I had. I wanted nothing more than to rescue my girl (and throttle the therapist --- did I just say that?)

About the time that my daughter's tears were ready to drop on her precious baby cheek, the therapist said (for the 10th time...) "I ...want..." - the silence was deafening, but then, my baby opened her mouth and said very quietly "I.want.puzzle"

A bomb could have dropped in my living room and I wouldn't have been phased! I was so shocked to hear my daughter speak. I felt as though I couldn't breathe. In slow motion, I looked at my husband and noticed that we both were weeping. We embraced and rejoiced over what beautiful music her voice was!!

I have since wondered what would have happened if I had followed my instinct to rescue my girl. Would she be talking now?



"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship"
~Louisa May Alcott

It has been 3 years since that day and still my daughter has significant trouble communicating. 95% of the things she says are a form of echolalia or parroting (repeating phrases she has heard in movies, lines from books or etc).

It is heartbreaking. There is so much we want to know about our girl... what is her favorite color? Does she like her room? What does she want for her birthday? How would she like to spend a day? Where/what would she like to eat for dinner? How does she feel about things?

So many answers are locked inside our girl.

It is especially difficult when the general public are kind enough to try to interact with our girl. It might be the checker at Walmart or the greeter at church. It becomes Dan and My responsibility to "smooth things over" for these kind people so they are not embarrassed. We often tell Kylie what to say and she dutifully repeats it.

Though we did have one surprise: When we realized that Kylie was going to have difficulty with communication, we began to teach her sign language (http://www.signingtime.com/ - I can't say enough positive about this program). Kylie was a quick learner and we found that while she would not speak appropriately or in a meaningful way, she would sign. One evening, at Walmart, we were paying for our purchases when we realized that our checker was deaf. She signed to Kylie and - much to our surprise- Kylie signed back. The checker was completely shocked and it meant so much to her!!

Over the past three years, Dan and I have often wondered what Kylie's first APPROPRIATE and ORIGINAL sentence would be. Well, this past week we found out.

The three of us were in the living room and Kylie was trying to tell Dan something. He was clearly having a hard time figuring out what she was trying to say and she was quickly getting frustrated. He looked at me for help (As I care for her 24/7, I usually can follow/discern what it is she is wanting).

I realized she was saying something about "booger"... she was getting more and more animated and even I was having trouble... I finally took a step back and said "Kylie, tell Daddy what you want"... (then I prompted) "I want.." Kylie looked him right in the eye and said plain as day....

"I want booger out please!"

It was hilarious! Not only her choice of things to ask for, but the look on Dan's face when it dawned on him that she wanted him to PICK HER NOSE!!!



So THIS would be her first appropriate and original/meaningful sentence. I LOVE IT!

I am so excited for what is to come. (you can bet I am writing all of this down)



"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."
~Louisa May Alcott

As I have contemplated all of these happenings in our lives I am brought back to a couple of passages that have meant so very much to me over the years. They were a comfort to me when my husband was away for weeks at a time (in the military), during the pain and lessons learned through infertility, during our adoption process, during the 6 months that Dan was unemployed and now as we walk with our Kylie experiencing Autism.

Romans 8:25
"But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it"

Proverbs 13:12
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life"

and

Jeremiah 33:3
"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee GREAT and MIGHTY things, which thou knowest not." (emphasis added)

As a believer, I have great personal faith in my God. To some, it seems simplistic, but when you have seen what I have seen.... well, let me share just one (quick) personal testimony....

When I was a teenager, my dad lost his job. I am the oldest of four children and my mom had always been a stay at home wife/mom. So, when my dad lost his job, we had no income.

I remember when thanksgiving came that year, my mom was particularly disheartened as we did not have the typical thanksgiving groceries required to prepare a traditional dinner.

We kids, were pretty unaware about what was going on, but I remember one afternoon my mom gathering us on the couch and explaining to us that we had no food for thanksgiving and that we were going to pray for a Turkey.

At the time, I initially felt a bit of shock... Thanksgiving without a turkey? and then I felt a little sheepish... we were going to pray for a turkey???

I remember making a conscious decision to go along with it and just see what would happen. (even though I didn't really believe that God would care about something so silly).

The 5 of us, my mom and we kids (age 4 to 15) lined up on our knees and asked God for food. Not just any food, but thanksgiving food - in particular- a Turkey.

When we were finished, I still felt embarrassed and rather sheepish.

We went on about our day.

That afternoon, there was a knock at our back door. It was a preacher friend of my dad's who lived really far away. My mom was completely shocked to see him and, even more so, that he had thought of us (as our paths didn't cross often). He explained that their family and church had been praying for our family and God had led them to bring us a box.

Yes, you guessed it... In that box was everything we needed to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner - especially a turkey.

My faith changed that day.

I saw that the Great BIG GOD we serve cares about the insignificant, silly, desires of our hearts. That GREAT BIG GOD made sure that HIS KIDS had a turkey for thanksgiving.

If God cared about a turkey, how can I doubt that he cares for my family now? God knows what our Kylie experiences. He hasn't forgotten about us. He is working to show us "GREAT and MIGHTY things" that we cannot even fathom.

He even loves us enough to give us a bit of blessed laughter in the form of Kylie asking Dan to pick her nose! My GOD has a sense of humor - and we will laugh about that for years to come!

Thank you God for your GIFTS (even if they are in the form of a turkey and boogers)!!


"He who believes is strong; He who doubts is weak. Strong convictions precede GREAT Actions"
~Louisa May Alcott


P.S. In prep for this blog post I did a little "booger research" and learned that there is a "Booger Hollow" in Arkansas (population 7 - including a coon dog). They even serve a "booger burger" at the local diner... I can't wait to visit!! Check it out... http://users.aristotle.net/~russjohn/attractions/booger.html

20 comments:

  1. Gifts don't always come wrapped the way we expect, do they? I think of the pain I felt when my mother died... and yet without that pain, two of the greatest things that have ever happened to me wouldn't have come to pass. One was the poem I wrote about the pain, which won a major poetry prize- and the other was really understanding the pain that the love of my life was going through when I first met him, just after he too had lost a loved one. Without that shared experience and compassion, we never would have discovered our love for one another.

    So yes, your booger story touches a chord here- though with laughter attached!

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  2. I would love to read your poem, Aunt Annie- If you are willing to share... Thanks so much for your comments and for sharing in our journey.

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  3. This is so beautiful, honest, powerful! What a huge moment you all had when Kylie first spoke to the therapist. I tutor students with disabilities (used to teach, currently caring for grandfather) and those moments of waiting and then the child acting are my favorite. You and your husband did an amazing job waiting! Thank you for following on Blog Frog - I'm definitely following back!

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  4. I just featured your cleaning tip on my blog!

    Thanks,
    Summer Jo Brooks
    www.believingboldly.com

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  5. Kerri - I loved your story about the boy iat Target in the marker aisle!! Thanks for taking the time to write about those children... they are precious in God's sight too!!

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  6. Summer Jo - thanks for highlighting my cleaning tip...do you think people will be shocked that a christian has a sense of humor?? ha! ha!

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  7. You are truly blessed ~ You have an angel that is special and I treasure this post ~ and wishing the best for you as a family and individually ~ Life is not always easy ~ yet it is a Gift ~ You also are a gift ~ hugs and namaste, Carol ~ visiting from Blog Frog ^_^

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  8. What a powerful and beautiful post.
    www.rebeccabany.com
    http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/becbany

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  9. Seriously laughing out loud! Hope I can meet this precious girl sometime!

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  10. Thank you for following on Blog Frog - I'm following back now! We too have struggled with infertility and it's something I pray about every day. Your little princess is beautiful!

    Amy
    http://makingajoyfulhome.blogspot.com

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  11. Amy, you have perked my interest in the book "unplanned" -I'll have to check it out!

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  12. Amy,

    I really enjoyed your post. I was moved to laughter and tears. I am doing some "soul searching" on my blog by asking myself to answer some difficult questions. The last question was referring to naming a time in life when when I felt spiritually repressed. I wrote about a three and a half year battle along side of my son, who has multiple disabilities. As I look back on that very difficult time, I see God's carrying us, holding our hands, and steering us along every bloody step we had to take. I'm eternally grateful for His promise to never leave us!

    God winks at me every time he brings someone like you along:o) Thank-you so much for your testimony ...your little one is a treasure!!

    Marisa (http://meyouandcreamedcorn.blogspot.com/)

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  13. You are ONE GREAT MOM, Amy. How you share your heartfelt experience, deepest fears and greatest joys, your readers like me are so blessed. These are just peaks into your mom-hood but what I saw is one amazing and graced mom :) Reading this post was a rollercoaster of holding back tears, pondering, amazement and a good laugh!

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  14. This was a very touching post, but humorous, too. When I saw the title, I had to read it.
    Your daughter is such a gift, and you are a gift to her. To have parents that love her as much as you obviously do... that's an amazing gift. It's wonderful how God knew just what Kylie needed in her parents, and that he created you for her.

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  15. You all are so kind, you make me sniffle!! THANK YOU for your kind words. I am blessed to have such great virtual friends!

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  16. Wow! What a journey. Your honesty, courage and love inspire me. Blessings to your beautiful family! ~Rachel

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  17. Thank you for your encouragement, Rachel. I love your daughters dandelion tiaras...my siblings and I used to collect grandparents the way your kids collect aunts and uncles...isn't the family of God awesome?

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  18. Yay for Kylie and her first sentence. So funny that it was about boogers. That is definitely one for the baby book although I know you will never forget it.

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  19. I've just found your blog, and I'm so glad I did - I really needed a laugh today! My 4 year old son has autism. I love your positive attitude - I'll be back :)

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  20. Thanks Millie...so glad you have all joined us! Life is sure eventful!!

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