The difference it makes

June 3rd, 2011

First off…I’ve been holding off writing here, hoping that we’d have an update about our USCIS approval, but…

Nope!  No news at all!  Many of you know that an important letter needs to be written by an important person for our Immigrations officer, and that the information in that letter needs to satisfy her.  I just put a call in to this Unnamed Important Person to find out where he is in the letter-writing process, and I will let you know what we find out when he returns our call.  While we wait, we know that God has the power to move hearts and change minds. So we hope in His mercy and keep on asking, seeking, knocking.

In the meantime!  My older children have urged me to please write about last Saturday!  The fifth annual Big Families and Friends picnic!  A gorgeous day spent in a pleasant spot with many, many beautiful families!  One of the biggest days of our family’s year!

Big families and their friends turned out in record numbers for this year’s picnic.  We enjoyed meeting new folks and seeing familiar faces.  We also missed some of you we had hoped to see, and hope that we have an opportunity to get together with you before the next school year begins.  We hope that each family who came was able to connect with someone and be refreshed and blessed in their high calling!

I wish we had gotten more pictures, but I admit that I didn’t try very hard!  Part of the reason for this is that I don’t like to make people nervous, and cameras have a way of doing that!  Part of the reason is that the time just flew by!  I was loath to cut any conversations short just to take some pictures!  Maybe one of you would like to be the designated photographer for next year’s picnic?  We would gratefully accept your offer!

<I have a special request for a friend!  Any of you bring the bite-sized chicken with parmesan and bread crumbs?  Could you let me know?  She is hoping to get the recipe.  Thank you!>

This year God sent a special gift of encouragement to me.  I wasn’t aware that I needed it, but He gave it anyway!

Among the families who attended, there was one who came to visit us last summer during an intensely challenging time.  Their youngest daughter is nine years old and has Down syndrome.  We were stunned and impressed with the character and skills of this child.  She was one of the first to go on my “Hope for the Future” list!  She can read very well, spell, play the game “Apples to Apples,” and play the piano, among other accomplishments.

Every time that she was in my line of vision last Saturday, I could not keep my eyes off of her.  I watched her run with the other children, climb, slide, throw frisbees, swing on the swings, and run some more.  She hardly stopped all day long!

And I remembered what I already knew, but had forgotten.

As you know, Verity has physical delays, due mostly to the low muscle tone associated with her Down syndrome.  She will most likely not learn to crawl until she is between 12 and 18 months, or walk until she is between 2 and 3 years old. Because of her extra challenges, she needs physical therapy.  We keep her needs on our minds and work hard with her every day.  Not primarily because we want to her to gain skills faster, but because we want to prevent her from forming poor, compensatory habits of moving that will be very difficult if not impossible to break later on.  We don’t simply want her to move, we require her to move correctly so that she forms the right habits from the start.  Her physical therapist says that it is working; all the hard work is obvious to her when she sees the ways that Verity is willing to move her body.

But on Saturday I realized that in all this thought and work, I had forgotten the big picture.

This time is temporary.

Verity will not need physical therapy forever.

She will get there.

She already has almost a year under her belt.  Her official therapy didn’t begin until she was over two months old, but I started from birth giving her lots of tummy time, making sure her knees were always kept in line with her hips, giving input to her proprioceptors, and so on.  How quickly this year has rushed past!

One year down.  Before we know it, she will be there.

She will be able to run and jump and slide and ride bike and climb trees and, well, do anything she needs to be able to do.  Without therapy, and without thought.  Just like the sweet girl my eyes were glued to on Saturday.

And then it hit me.

What if our little friend had spent her nine years lying in a bed?

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2 Responses to “The difference it makes”

  1. Suvilla says:

    Very thought-provoking. That last sentence.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. MommyScott (christina) says:

    Thank you again for another encouraging and thought provoking post Susanna.  :)

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