All in all, the past four to five months since my last post have been relatively quiet. I've come to cherish the quiet times in life--those times when normal, familiar, status quo borders on monotony. While quiet means that there is no thrilling news to share, neither are there earth shattering circumstances.
The holiday season came and went with very little ado. We stayed close to home, enjoying time together and keeping it ever so simple.
Earlier this month, after Moise started back to school but before the college kids started their spring semester, our family (with the exception of Moise and Grant) spent a lovely, warm week in Florida. While the trip was very enjoyable, Moise seems to struggle more with separation as he grows. It's difficult to truly relax knowing he's shedding tears and failing to understand where we are and why we've left him. It begs the question "is traveling really worth it?" We're a couple weeks home and I'm still contemplating the answer.
This month we're enjoying our usual winter birthday marathon. Grant, Jade and Brock all celebrated birthdays and Moise turned 16, a fact that I can scarcely wrap my brain around. We didn't hand the car keys over to him, which brought an unexpected sense of sadness, a longing for the way my mind thinks things ought to be. His birthday brought memories of our very early days with him, the days when we agonized over the decision to adopt him. So many people seemed intent on making sure we knew that he wouldn't remain a cute, cuddly infant forever. One day he'd be big and it wasn't going to be much fun. It would be hard. We were constantly asked the question, "What will you do? How will you manage when he's 8? 12? 16?" We didn't have answers then. We had virtually no idea. We were scared and overwhelmed by the many unknowns that lay before us. Back then we did it the only way we knew how... one day, one moment at a time. And here we are. He's 16 and, at nearly 140 lbs, he's passed me up in size. I have no explanation but somehow I still manage to lift him. It's been hard, really hard. We're still doing it the only way we know how.... one day, one moment at time. What we failed to take into account back then was how much he would grow us. Sixteen years ago, parenting a 16 year old disabled son would have been impossible for us but God has used these years to prepare us for today. He has given His grace moment by moment.
In other Moise news, the saga of his eyes continues. In November he had a second valve placed in his "good" eye to relieve the pressure that was robbing the little vision he had left. Last week he had an exam under anesthesia, which revealed that the pressure is down and he is able to see light. We are thankful and cautiously optimistic, knowing full well that this may just be a temporary fix. The eye exam did not bring good news for the left eye. In the doctor's words "the left eye does not look good. It's very unhealthy, as blind eyes tend to be." The left eye is virtually useless to him and we will spend the next months evaluating what is the best course of action regarding it. Moise has adapted to his vision loss and, with a lot of hard work and creativity, he's learning to read braille. He has a hard time feeling the tiny raised dots of typical braille so we have modified it to better meet his
needs. He's a wonder.
Kruz has absolutely blossomed over the past several months. In October, a whole new world of exploration opened up to him and he began walking independently. His fine motor skills are still severely delayed but with a lot of perseverance and hard work we are seeing baby steps of achievement. On the self feeding front, he continues to try my patience but, while he still doesn't handle a spoon well, he's mastered the pincer grasp and finger feeding. His oral motor skills have also dramatically improved and he is now eating pretty much anything we eat. I don't feel even a hint of sadness at leaving behind blending, pureeing and fork mashing. He has a few words but, overall, his speech is not showing much progress. Next month he will have a second set of tubes put in his ears to ensure that there is no fluid reducing his hearing and, ultimately, his speech. He's pure joy.
The months away from social media and the quietness of the last year have given me a lot of time to think and ponder life, with all it's twists and turns. I appreciate the lack of comparison that comes without social media. I've found much peace and contentment in the quiet and I thank my God for it, knowing full well that life will bring many more challenges. Today, in this moment, I'm loving the way Moise teaches me, the way Kruz adores me, the way my older children love on our two eternal children. I treasure Sunday evenings, when all the kids, and sometimes a few others, come home for dinner. I love watching my older children spread their wings into adulthood, the way they learn, the way the change. I am humbled by the bond that laughter and tears have formed in this family and that God has taught us that His grace is sufficient for each moment. I love that these are my people .
God is good, all the time