Four years ago, we first began to learn who you would be.
We used to think a lot more about what you would be able to do. And we still think about that, and it is important.
But you have helped to teach us that who you are is much more important than what you can do.
Who are you now, in February of 2014?
You are the sweetest, softest little lady with the sweetest, softest little voice.
You can be stubborn, but you are always sweet-stubborn, never ugly-stubborn.
You are smarter, more discriminating, and more opinionated than I ever guessed you would be, but you display these qualities in a quiet and understated manner.
You are bashful, not a performer. It takes time and effort to get to know you, but those who do are rewarded richly by your peaceful and affectionate spirit.
You love to help with little household tasks.
You are generally cheerful, unless we wake you up before you’re ready, or unless you have been jolted by a sudden, loud noise. You don’t do anything loudly except cry, and then–wow!–you can be just as loud as the noise that scared you!
You can be unexpectedly original and funny! You came up with your very own silly toddler quirks just like your older brothers and sisters did.
You take joy in learning from me as I take joy in teaching you. When I give you my undivided attention, you open up and bloom like a little flower. I’m so excited to begin to teach you to read in the next few years.
You are gentle and sensitive and have never deliberately hurt another person.
You are patient, never demanding.
You can be re-directed more readily than when you were younger, and are gradually gaining self-control.
From the very first day, you have needed lots of encouragement to stay engaged and keep working hard. Right now, that is still your biggest special need.
But now that your brother Tommy is home, it seems to us like you don’t even have a disability. We wouldn’t have a handicapped parking placard if you were our only child with a diagnosis.
I had no idea four years ago how my heart would swell with pride in your accomplishments.
I didn’t know that being with you would be so indescribably restful, restorative, nourishing, and energizing. For me, going without Verity-time is like neglecting an opportunity to read from a favorite book, chat with a good friend, eat a special treat, or take a nap. I have learned that you are one of the best gifts God gave me to help me do my harder work with pleasure.
You are so easy to love.
Love flows from you and into me until I am full beyond description with a huge, fierce love. You give me far more than I have ever given you.
Never would I have guessed how your life in our family would help to grow my heart, exponentially.
Four years ago, I knew you would be a blessing, because God said children are a blessing and I took Him at His word. But I was picturing the kind of blessing we accept from the hand of God even when it’s hard. A blessing “in spite of,” not a blessing “because of.”
Your Down syndrome has not stolen anything from you that is more valuable than what you possess in abundance.
You, little daughter, are one of the most unmitigated joys of my life.
A priceless gift from my Father, who loves to give His children the very best.
Your privileged and thankful mama
We recently spent ten refreshing days in the large and comfy cabin owned by another local adoptive family.
It was the first time I felt like we genuinely NEEDED a vacation.
Despite a smashed rear bumper due to sliding off the unplowed driveway and a stomach bug that made its way through the family, we received the precious gift of rest.
Waiting for Mama to put the camera down and read to us!
Snow and more snow fell this week, and even more back home. The power was out in our home neighborhood for three days.
No heat, no running water. Tommy’s feeding pump, running for fourteen hours of the day and night. The stomach bug.
A neighbor friend who knew we were away told us later that she prayed and prayed that our pipes wouldn’t freeze. And they didn’t.
The mercy of God.
Nice big sister~
A stack of books isn’t a nicety, it’s a necessity!
Little Doodle suffered the stomach virus quietly.
While she was recovering, I practiced a little wedding hair.
Verity doesn’t understand what Auntie means, but she does understand being a mama, so that’s what she role-plays, oh so tenderly.
…and hello to the busy world of home, picking up right where we left off, with meetings and emails and details flying in many directions in the process of starting Tommy and Katie in full time school, Tommy with a full time door-to-door nurse.
As you can see, we came home to snow. And then it snowed again, and then again. Maybe again? I’ve lost count! In this season of life, we have decided it’s the most prudent thing to take as many snow days as we need. <smile>
Joe offered to pay Joshua’s auto insurance this month if he keeps our property shoveled out. Joshua gladly took him up on his offer.
Verity wanted to be in on the action, although she hates the cold.
Maybe she’ll tolerate it better over time?
For now, she’s most content to watch the others from inside her warm house…
…with something hot to drink. Takes after her mama, she does.
She knows she did something naughty!
My beautiful girl…
Who would not want this little one? I love you, dear heart.