Toddlerhood

I love this stage with Abigail. She is learning so much, and she wants to learn. I often feel inadequate to teach her because I don’t know what she is capable of, and I often don’t know how to teach her. But I am glad she is willing to learn with me and be patient as I learn with her. She picks up things so quickly whether it’s a new sign for communication or how to make her body move the way she wants it to. Her therapists are so pleased with her progress, and they are working just as hard to get her to sit and grow too! I mean just look at her sitting on the steps. She looks like such a big girl now, and I love it. My little baby is growing up slowly but surely.

As much as this is an exciting time for us all, it is also a frustrating time. We are at a weird stage right now. Abigail wants to be a toddler so bad. She wants independence and freedom. She is smart and growing everyday. From the outside she looks like a big girl. But physically she is only at about a 8 month old level (well an 8 month old who can’t sit or stand yet). It’s tough. It’s frustrating. Do you know how hard it is to play with toys when you can’t sit yet? We are limited by what we can do. Even as I took the picture of her sitting on the steps, looking so big, she fell over before I could catch her and hit her head pretty hard against the wall. That’s our life. A mix of wanting to be a big girl, but being limited by what she can do. I am just glad she has been a champ so far and is taking things so well.

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Yes, that is my toddler lifting a 2 pound weight. No, I do not let her play with weights. She just happened to find them during one of my workouts. But she can lift 2 pounds!!

I think the worst thing for us right now is not the lack of physical ability, but the lack of communication. Because we have no way of communication we get frustrated at each other. She’s beginning to want certain things or not want certain things but I’m not sure what she needs all the time. She is becoming more and more aware of her environment which is exciting, but that means she is almost waking up cognitively. She can get sassy sometimes with what she wants or does not want, and I am struggling to keep up with all her new awareness. Since I’m with her all day I can usually keep up with her needs, but there are times I have no idea what she is thinking. Thankfully we are slowly learning signs, and I pray her speech continues to improve so I can help her. I do not want her physical handicaps to slow down her cognitive development.

Bed time is another frustration for us right now. She seems to never be tired, so at 9 we make our way up to her bedroom. We read a book or two and sing a song then it’s to bed. I have to lay beside her because she scream cries if I leave her side. And I swear she has no idea how to cry because she never does, so she then gets all chocked up and it’s just a big mess. So I lay beside her and she wiggles and tossed and turns. It takes about an hour for her to finally go to sleep. So now it’s about 10:30 and I’m tired and frustrated. I miss time with Jordan in the evening. It’s just a big mess. So we are attempting some changes this week to see if they help us all. I hope they help!!

But even with all this newness and learning going on Abigail is so happy all the time. Sometimes I wish she was not. I know that sentence is weird, but sometimes her constant good moods are a detriment for her. For example this past week was r-o-u-g-h. But she seemed like a champ the whole time. Unless you know her super well you would have no idea anything was wrong with her. We started the week off constipated. It’s a struggle we often have since Abigail doesn’t move a lot. But she hadn’t gone to the bathroom for a week and the pediatrician put us on Miralax. So now I’m a worried mama about that, but of course Abigail just continues to eat like normal and not cry. I could tell she was a bit off because she was clingy and not as talkative but no one else would see that. Then this weekend we had a wedding in our family and her whole schedule was thrown off! She did not sleep much. She did not eat like normal. She was cooped up a lot. Nothing was normal on top of being constipated. What a weekend for us all!! But through it all she just laughed and was her normal self. Only at the wedding reception did she start showing the wear and tear from the long week. And then she simply just wasn’t smiley. She’s a mess!

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Her sleeping off her hard weekend. She slept so much after the wedding, and I am so thankful!

But that’s toddlerhood in our house. It’s a weird mixture of growth, excitiment and frustration. I have a two year old who has a lot of struggles other two year olds have, but they cannot be treated the same way. I have a two year old who wants to learn and be independent, yet is highly dependent on me. I have a two year old who wants to be social, but cannot express her needs. I have a two year old who often is tired or hungry, yet is laughing and smiling so most people have no idea that she really needs a nap. This is our life in toddlerhood for now. I hope Abigail continues to progress and grow. I love seeing her personality bloom. I love seeing her explore and learn. And I love that she is becoming a big girl day by day. But I also hope her limited communication and physical ability does not slow her down. I think every parent of toddlers would tell you every day is a rollercoaster, but to see that tiny little one grow into a little person is something I would not miss for the world!

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About Me

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For those who need to see hope in this world.

For those who want encouragement in parenting.

For those who want honesty about living with a child with special needs.

This blog offers a positive view on children with special needs; written for special needs moms, stay at home moms, and those who are interested in my daughter’s progress. If you love inspirational writings, adorable toddler stories, and a heart felt love for children than this is the blog for you! The posts on this site include stories of my daughter’s progress, things I have learned from being her mother, and life with a special needs toddler because she is the inspiration behind all I write. The journey with our daughter started when she was two months old. It has been an almost two year process of tests, therapy and tears and we still are not sure why causes our daughter’s developmentally delay. This blog tells our story of the day-to-day life as we discover how to love each other through the delay.

Welcome to our family! My name is Heather. My husband, Jordan and I were married February 1, 2014 and we had our beautiful daughter, Abigail in May 2015. My husband works hard providing for us at his retail job while I stay at home with our joyful little girl. She keeps me busy between occupational, physical, and speech therapy. We live in Atlanta, Georgia, and love spending time as a family. We are active in our local church and are Christians who love God and have an intimate relationship with Him. My prayer for this blog is that it would inspire you to love others more and encourage you in ways you could never imagine. Life is hard, and we are often dealt cards we were not expecting, but those hard, unexpected things are sometimes the greatest blessings. That is what Abigail is to my husband and I, a great blessing! Abigail gives us encounters everyday that we treasure with all our hearts.

So please, if this blog sounds like a good read, subscribe to my posts! Send me an e-mail with comments or questions, or find me on social media. You can find all the links on the left side of my home page. I want to tell our story and help others with theirs. Thank-you for stopping by, and hopefully we will talk to each other soon!

My Man

Back when we were just children in the stages of liking each other I once told this boy that I thought I could follow him anywhere. After just knowing him for a short period of time I knew this kid could be trusted. Then less than two years later I was looking at that kid right in the face and promising to be his forever until death do us part in front of God and man. I call us kids back then because even though it has only been three and a half short years I feel ancient. We have always been two mature individuals, but the last few years has aged us.

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My handsome groom on the day I married him! I am so thankful he picked me!

I met Jordan at college when we were both resident assistants. I caught his attention with my weird testimony and he caught mine when he paid attention to my amazing athletic skills on the volleyball court. I am kidding about the athletic skills by the way, but when there’s a cute boy out there who is willing to laugh at you then you go play whether you stink or not right? Well at least he saw something in me, and to this day I am still not sure what that is. Our relationship moved fast. We lived on a tiny school campus and within two months we knew we would be married. I had a near death experience and that boy I only had been dating for maybe six weeks stayed by my side in the hospital. It truly was the experience that changed our relationship I think.

But here we are almost four years into marriage and he is my best friend. I have learned a lot about him and a lot about marriage. Things like we cannot have the same blankets and that he is truly a nerd on the inside. Things like boys and girls are very different. Things like what unconditional love truly is, and how it feels to be in a partnership with someone. Things like how selfish I am, and how Jordan never cries even when Mufasa is plummeting to his death. And so many more things I could not even begin to list.

This man is loyal through and through. He works so hard for us so I can stay home and take care of Abigail. But even after a long day of working two jobs he still comes home and spends time with his family. Jordan is not a man of much emotion, but that little girl

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One of my all time favorite pictures of these two. They used to look just alike, but he just adores her!

of his brings out the worst in him, as he would say. I have seen him cry over her (which is a truly rare event). I have seen him laugh and smile like he never does with anyone else. She may not always reciprocate the love, but I know that man would move mountains for his little girl if she needed him to. Jordan is our strong rock, and when my emotions are everywhere I know I have him to steady me. He is my encourager and my personal comedian. He can make me laugh more than anyone.

Most of all though Jordan is my race buddy. The Bible tells us we are in a race. In Hebrews 12 it reads, Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” And I am thankful I do not have to run this race of life alone. I have a partner every step of the way. He has experienced the same exact things I have and we have held hands through every disappointment, every failure, and every step along the way. I am excited to continue to run along beside him. Sure we will see a lot together – the good, the bad and the ugly, but I am so excited to grow old with my best friend. I once told him I could follow him anywhere, and that’s what I plan to do. I will follow him as he follows God. And wherever God may lead us we will be together. 

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Miracle Glasses…Maybe

The last month we have seen some big things happening with Abigail. She can now roll from her tummy to her back and her back to her tummy with ease. She can pull herself forward with her arms and push backwards, and she’s actually getting faster everyday. She wiggles around in circles and plays with her toys. This weekend she even tried to pull herself up on the furniture. Her progress is amazing! And it has happened over night. I mean a month ago she couldn’t even roll over by herself, and now she is scooting all over the living room and into everything.

Jordan and I were talking the other day about Abigail’s progress. Do you know that in a year or two she could be walking? She could be caught up physically. Watching her progress these last few weeks has given us hope that maybe she will be able to catch up eventually. We are working on getting her some kind of equipment piece to help strengthen her legs. Her arms are so strong now and we just have to get those legs to catch up. Jordan told her she needs to stop skipping leg day.

We still have a long ways to go. She still isn’t sitting on her own. Her legs don’t do much at all so she isn’t crawling or standing or walking of course. But these things have a chance of coming along as she continues to learn what her body can do and as she continues to get stronger. She’s growing mentally too. I know even if she started walking tomorrow she still would be very far behind. Her speech is coming along. She loves to babble and ‘talk’ to us. But she still cannot communicate at all. Compared to a normal 2.5 year old we still have a long ways to go. But this journey is taking a turn for the better and it is exciting to have a front row seat to Abigail’s growth.

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So why is she progressing so fast now? Why has it taken over two years for her to just begin to want to be active and explore? Is it the glasses? Because her vision is straightening out is it helping her to focus and move better? Weirdly enough about the time we got our glasses and started patching her weaker eye is the time she started to massively improve. It could be just a coincidence but who knows? Is it because her arms have been getting stronger so now she can move? Did something just click in her brain and now she wants to discover? I have no idea. It probably is a combo of everything plus therapy. But for whatever reason she is improving and I love it!

We may never find out why Abigail is the way she is. She might be the world’s most average and normal eleven year old and we look back and tell her she was the weirdest baby. But today she is an amazing baby with a willpower and drive like non other. And I am a proud mama. Abigail encourages me to not give up daily. I’m a quitter at heart. If something is not easy or I’m not good at it I would rather just quit. But Abigail’s strength and motivation to keep trying inspire me to work harder and try things that are hard. Today I am thankful for progress. Even slow, baby steps of progress are amazing to watch! I am thankful Abigail is not a quitter, and that she wants to learn and grow too. And I am thankful for those little pink glasses that might or might not be helping her, but they are the cutest things!

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A Musing Mother

It happened again. We were in the waiting room of our doctor’s office waiting for Abigail’s eyes to dilate so we could go back to see the doctor. Abigail was in my lap eating goldfish and watching all the other children running around. Me and her are good people watchers. One particular father was having issues keeping track of his son. The little boy kept wanting to run away and run straight out the door, so the dad kept running around after him only for the son to escape again. At one point the dad sat down across from us and tried to offer his son his own goldfish, to try to entice him to be still for a minute I am sure. The dad made a passing comment that made me cringe inside. He turned to his son and said, “Why can’t you be calm like that little girl?”

It is not the first time that comment has been made about Abigail. Obviously, she is calmer than a typical two-year-old. I mean she can’t move for goodness sake. And this was not our first rodeo in a crowded doctor’s office full of typical kids. So you can imagine when parents are chasing after running toddlers, and trying to keep their young children occupied in a boring office that seeing my child just sitting in my lap calmly chowing down on her snacks could easily make you jealous. I mean selfishly does not every parent want an Abigail who does not move and get into things and all the normal toddler things that toddlers do? A selfish parent wants an Abigail, but a parent with any bit of love for their child would never wish this on their child.

I wish I could tell that father that he really does not want his son to be calm like Abigail. I wish I had the time to explain our story, but a crowded doctor’s office is not the place. That dad wouldn’t care. If anything we would just get all the pity stares from everyone when I explained why Abigail was sitting in my lap and not running around. We receive enough pity stares already, so we do not need those either. My favorite response from strangers are the ones when they comment on how cute Abigail is, or how her pink glasses are adorable, or how blonde her hair is. I just want to stop and thank those lovely strangers for taking time to talk to us and to see my girl for who she is and not what she can’t do. I know these comments will decrease and the pity stares will increase as Abigail gets bigger and we actually have to use her new adaptive stroller or wheelchair more. Kids in wheelchairs are different and our society does not like different. Right now that only thing that sets Abigail apart from a typical toddler (at least from what a stranger can see) are her glasses and we get so many comments about those!

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Abigail’s newest wheels – the adaptive stroller. We haven’t used it a lot but I think when we do this thing will get some attention.

“Why can’t you be calm like her.” I won’t ever forget that small comment. I would not wish any parent to have a child with special needs. It is a whole different world (that I am only beginning to learn about) that comes with struggles, heartaches, and a dash of hope. While I am thankful for our journey and I could not be more blessed to be a mom of a special needs child, I want more than anything for Abigail to be normal. I want her to be able to be the independent child that she thinks she is. I want her to be able to walk and run and just be a kid. I want her to play pretend with her baby dolls and help my bake a cake. I want her to talk my ear off in the backseat and tell me what a cat says. I want her to learn her ABCs and sing made up songs to me before nap time. Oh these are just some smalls dreams I want. I know she is progressing daily, and for every baby step we just cannot believe it. As long as she is moving forward we know there is hope that one day she could do all these things.

What I would say for any parent of young children out there is that I know the days are long. I know you are tired and maybe even burnt out. I know toddlers are crazy! I know you have amazing days and then you have some horrible days. But please don’t take these days for granted. Be thankful for them being toddlers. Be thankful they are learning how to be little people and how this big world works. Protect them, love them and be patient with them. Soak in every silly song, every kiss for a boo-boo, and the sound of those little feet running towards you. They grow so fast and they need you more than ever right now. And if you happen to know a parent of a special needs child, or just see one out and about please do not offer the pity stare. Just say hey like you would any other mom. Tell them their child is beautiful and get your child to wave at them. You will make that parent’s day I assure you. All a special needs parent wants is the same thing you want – someone to stop and give us a smile and say hey I notice all you’re doing and you’re rocking it!

And to all mom’s that is what I leave you with – you are rocking it! Keep going moms! Drink your coffee, take a shower, do whatever you need to do for you and then love those babies with all your heart. We are in this together, and together we can do this thing called life. So find some mom friends and encourage some mom friends and love some mom friends this week. We need each other!

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HOME

Home is where the heart is.

Home is where I am with you.

Home is where your story begins.

It’s good to be home.

There is no place like home.

Home Sweet Home

There are hundreds of different quotes about home when you search on Google or Pinterest. It’s hard to pick just one. There’s a sign on Etsy I’ve been wanting to buy for our office that reads, “It’s so good to be home.” Home: it means so many things to so many different people. If you surveyed a hundred people and asked them what home was to them you might get a hundred different answers. Some answers would be positive and some would be negative depending on their history and what experiences they have gone through.

I have been blessed to grow up in a good home. My mom and dad raised me in a home of love and support. My dad worked and my mom stayed home with my brother and myself. The thing I remember most about growing up is family dinners (we always sat around the table together to eat the dinner my mom fixed is every night) and Friday nights we always went out. It was usually something simple like eating at a family restaurant and playing putt putt or going bowling. But I still remember those evenings out all these years later.

I moved out of my parents’ house after I graduated high school and lived on campus at my college for 5 years. 3.5 of those years were spent in the girls’ dorm and 1.5 of those years were spent married to my college sweet heart. For the first 4 months of our marriage we actually lived in the girls’ dorm because I was the resident director. It was out little joke that my husband got married and moved in with 60 girls. But the apartment was completely separated from the girls’ rooms and the only thing Jordan shared with the residents was the front door.

Then my husband and I moved down to an in campus apartment and continued to work at our alma mater for a year before having our baby girl. We then transitioned to a mobile home owned by my grandparents until we could find a more permanent residence. This permanent residence ended up being my husband’s childhood home. His mother was remarried in September of last year and we moved into her house in October. We were wanting to move to the area anyways so the timing could not be more perfect and we did not even have to house hunt. It was a blessing for us for sure!

So now we have been in this home for right at a year now and it made me think about home. Not a house where we live but home. I asked Jordan what he thinks home is and he said wherever you and Abigail are. It made me think of Lilo and Stitch when Stitch says, “Ohana, Ohana means family and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” My family is my home. We may move every year to a new home, but if I’m with my family then I am home.

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Moments after getting to the apartment from the hospital with our newborn baby. We were home and a family of three!!

I like making my house pretty. I love waking the aisles of Hobby Lobby and dreaming on Pinterest about what projects to do next. I already have plans for every room of the house and whether we ever get to them or not I will keep dreaming about redecorating. I also enjoy a clean home. No, my home will never be spotless. It will always be a bit cluttered with way too many things and the table will always have yesterday’s mail on it, but I like knowing the house is clean. Like bathrooms are wiped down, floors have been vacuumed and mopped. It feels good to live in a clean house. And while I spend a lot of time each week cleaning, doing laundry and decluttering my house it still isn’t home unless my family is there. I am very much a home body and so is my husband. On any given evening or weekend we will be home watching tv while Abigail wiggles around on the floor. And I am glad we like being home together.

Home is a hard thing to define. It is not about the physically house you live in and how nice or not so nice it is. We lived in an old trailer for a year filled with roaches and water leaks, but we still called it home because that’s where my family was. I am thankful to have a nice house now, but no matter where God leads us as long as my husband is with me I will be home! I would say kids too but hopefully one day we will be empty nesters and our children will make homes of their own with their spouses.

I want my home to be a place of peace and rest. I want my family to want to come home because it is a shelter from the crazy world. I want them to be able to find contentment at home. I want our home to be a place of love – unconditional and sacrificial love. I want our family to grow, not only in number but spiritually and emotionally as well. I want us to be unified and open with each other. I want this home to be welcoming to others – to anyone who steps over our threshold to feel relaxed and welcomed in our home. I want this home to be filled with laugher and memories. I want our home to be led by Jesus first and then I want us to follow Him whole heartedly. I want Jordan and I to grow in love and wisdom as we raise our children in this house. And I want our children to want to come home and know they are loved in this home.

Home is…

A little girl’s laughter after being tickled by her Daddy.

A kiss goodbye as a husband leaves for work.

A gentle look from a mother as her child plays on the floor.

A child’s curiosity over some new object she found.

A husband relaxing on the couch.

A wife calling everyone to the dinner table.

A family snuggle to end the day.

A home is…

That stain on the carpet from a child kicking over your drink.

Running around in your underwear as you get everyone ready.

Burning the toast because you got distracted playing.

Having too much on the to do list but still choosing to play or nap with the baby.

Making up with your husband after telling him to pick up after himself for the 100th time.

Quiet evenings with your spouse when the baby goes down to sleep.

When the tiredness sets in because it’s midnight and that baby won’t go to sleep.

Changing countless diapers and keeping up with poops.

Home is a thousand little moments that make life perfect.

Life isn’t always great and happy and lovely every single moment. I get tired, frustrated and worried, but with my family beside me I know we will face all life holds together. My family is my safe spot. They are my home sweet home.

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How Abigail Learns

We began occupational and physical therapy when Abigail was just 5 months old. At that point we had no idea what we were in for. We had no idea how our journey would proceed. We simply knew we had a little baby girl who the doctors were telling us was way behind in muscle tone. Abigail was our normal and still is. We had no idea a five month old shouldn’t be doing these things. Thankfully we had some great therapists who helped us learn what we should be doing with Abigail to help strengthen her little muscles.

Abigail has always been progressing forward but at the slowest rate you could ever imagine. The last time we went to see our neurologist she asked how Abigail had been doing. I was so excited to tell her about all of Abigail’s progress in the months we hadn’t seen her. But putting it in words seemed so dismal. “Well she can kinda roll over now and she is making more noises.” It just didn’t sound that impressive, but if she could just live with Abigail for a few days you can see her huge strides of improvement. But to strangers Abigail is still a two year old who can’t sit, stand, walk or talk.

So how does Abigail learn? How does she get stronger? Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. We have been doing the same things with her from the beginning it feels like. Sometimes things click right away. It only took her a couple of times to learn how to fist bump and wave bye-bye. Teaching her a new sign for sign language usually only takes a few times as well. Now she does not correlate that the eat sign means she is hungry, but if you ask her if she wants to eat she does the right sign so we are getting there. But feeding herself has taken 18 months. We have tried everything, and then one day out of the blue last week she just picked up her goldfish and ate it perfectly by herself. I am not sure why she catches on to some things instantly and other things she still does not get even though we have been working with her for months.

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Either way, we have to be intentional with Abigail. And slow. You cannot ask Abigail to do something and then walk away because she did not do it. Chances are she will do it as you turn your back. Her processing time is slow. So it takes her a minute to wave bye when you tell her to. You just have to give her a chance to listen and process what you said. I like this about Abigail because it has taught me slow down. I am a rush, rush, rush kind of person. Having Abigail has taught me to pause now and then.

Abigail is a smart cookie. I think my husband put it best. Abigail is more and less than meets the eye. Let me explain. When a stranger first looks at Abigail he or she probably thinks she is a normal child. Then I tell them that she has special needs and cannot sit, walk, talk, etc. So then Abigail becomes a special needs child who cannot do anything in their minds. But she is so much more than her disabilities. Sure she cannot sit up on her own, but if you ask her to dance, point, find her belly, or laugh she can follow your instructions perfectly. She understands what people around her are saying, and I swear she can sense people’s emotions. She definitely knows when Mama is leaving and her physical therapists has told me multiple times what an amazing little sense of humor she has. Abigail is pretty fun to get to know and everyone who has spent more than 10 minutes with her just loves her!

Abigail’s processing time may be slower than others, she may not be able to physically compete with another toddler her age, and she cannot communicate with words, but everyday she is learning and growing in her own way. At five months old Abigail barely even cared about the environment around her. She could care less about toys or food or anything really. But to see where she is today, even from where she was a year ago is amazing. She loves her toys and gets so excited when her therapists brings out her big bag of them now. She is ‘talking’ up a storm and is wiggling everywhere. Her head circumference is in the 94 percent tile (her weight is only in the 10th) and we always joke about her huge head. But maybe it is just holding all those smart brains up there. I love watching her learn and I cannot wait to teach her more!

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Five Prayers for My Daughter

Abigail’s future is a blank slate, and our hopes for her probably look different than an average two year old’s parents’ dreams would be. While most parents pray that their toddlers grow up to be influential, honorable citizens we are over here just hoping her legs will one day work and she will walk. But even though we have no idea what Abigail’s future holds for her I still have five specific prayers for her that are constantly running through my head at any given moment. But I especially pray these prayers over her as she sleeps. There is just something special about sleeping children that makes you know that good things will come.

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Announcing we were having a girl – our Christmas present that year!

1.) I pray she is a servant. I know that’s a weird one, but it’s why we named her Abigail Paige. Her name has servant written all over it, and I only pray she lives up (or should I say down?) to her name. There was an Abigail in the Bible. She saved her husband and family by serving David and being humble in the future king’s presence. And Paige literally means ‘one who serves.’ I want Abigail to be a servant in a world that scorns that idea. I want her to seek humility and serve all she comes in contact with. Oh Lord, let her have a servant’s heart.

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Working hard and getting stronger everyday!

2) I pray for physical and emotional strength for Abigail. She is such a motivated little thing and is so strong in her own way. I pray her strength allows her to go a long ways in life. I pray her little body continues to get stronger day by day. Those muscles are our biggest problems and I think they will continue to get stronger as we continue to work with her. But not only physical strength, but Abigail will need emotional strength too. She’s going to have to overcome a lot as she gets older. I’m sure kids will stare at her or even say things to her as she gets older and goes to school. She has the possibility of being in a wheelchair her whole life. That’s prime staring material. And I know as she becomes more and more aware she will realize that kids are running around and playing and she cannot physically keep up with them. Oh she will need lots of prayers for strength and determination as she conquers all these things.

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Even when she looks different than everyone else, she is still beautiful!

3) I also pray that Abigail remembers she is beautiful and perfect just the way God made her. I’m not sure why God made her so weird, and why her body doesn’t work like normal. But she is still perfect and sweet and I pray she doesn’t look at all she can’t do or compare herself to others. She has so much personality and she can do so much but she just has to remember that. I pray Jordan and I always encourage her to be happy in her own skin and that she is beautiful, smart and important just he way she is.

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This is one of those pictures to put in Abigail’s senior yearbook, but look at that happiness!

4) Abigail has always had such a joyful little personality. She is our sunshine because she brightens up the room. Our physical therapist always says she has an amazing sense of humor. And her laughter is contagious. I pray that this joy sticks with her throughout life. So many people lose their joy as life happens around them. Abigail might have a lot against her, but I want her joy to remain.

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Abigail playing with her cousin. Hopefully they will be lifelong friends.

5) The last prayer is a little odd probably but still a very dear prayer to me. I pray for the people in Abigail’s life to be a benefit and support for her. I want to find a doctor that will support us and help us seek the best for Abigail. I want her therapists to continue to love her and help us learn how to help her best. (Thankfully we have been blessed with amazing therapists that have done this so far and I know it will continue!!) I pray that her teachers will help her grow and will be patient with her as they see her potential. I pray for friends to come along in her life and have fun and can socialize with her. I pray these friends can support one another and live each other unconditionally. I pray for Abigail’s best friend to come along and be bosom buddies as Anne of Green Gables would say because everyone needs a bosom buddy.

These are my top five prayers for Abigail. Of course I pray we find answers one day. I pray we find the right school. I even think about Abigail’s future mate, but honestly I don’t know if she will be married right now. She may always be a home body with her mom and dad at this rate. That’s why praying for future things is hard. We just don’t know.

The one thing I don’t think to pray for is healing. I sooo want Abigail to walk one day. I want her to be a normal kid and run around and talk and sing. But there’s nothing wrong with Abigail. She isn’t broken or messed up. Everyday she progresses forward and that’s what I pray for – progress. Quick fixes are not in our future. Could Abigail wake up tomorrow and walk? Yes, that’s a possibility but more likely we will build to that point if she is capable of walking. Abigail’s progress may be slow and frustrating at times. But my goodness, when she learns a new skill it makes you want to get up and do a jig. We celebrate the small victories here and I like that. Yes, we want our daughter to be normal, but I wouldn’t trade this process for the world. Abigail’s disability is not only shaping her into the person she is becoming, it is shaping me into a new person too. So today these are the prayers I pray for Abigail!

What are some prayers that you pray for your children?