Saturday, August 19, 2006
The millennium.
New Frontiers and all that.
Well for most of the world the year 2000 was pretty much like 1999.
For us it was A Brave New World.
The first 2 months of the new year my world was an explosion of change and my son, well he was just exploding. He gained a pound a week for 16 weeks. He went from boney to skinny to lean to mean to chubby and well, down right fat. And sweat. And drool. Almost every picture of him during those first 6 months he is shiny with perspiration and a big wet lake of drool on his shirt. I felt like I should have been wearing a raincoat when in close proximity of him. But like all mothers, none of his bodily fluids bothered me. I think there must be a gene yet to be discovered in all mothers that makes us immune to such. Our doctor told is all was well, just his metabolism was in overdrive. The combination of plentiful food and intense catch up growth, my little blue eyed engine that could was in overdrive. It would all soon level out and it did, when he was about 2. Meanwhile, I was really getting to like this stay at home stuff. I tried not to think about the end of my furlough that was coming up in Feb., right after Riley had his first birthday. I had a good day care lined up and I had made the decision to change shifts at the hospital to better suit our family and lessen Riley's time in daycare. I was going into a 7on/7off 11am-9pm slot. The week started on Wed and ended on Tuesday. So I took Riley to day care at 10:30am and this gave us some morning time then Dad picked him up at 5pm. 3 days of this and then he had the weekends with Dad, then back to day care for Mon. and Tues. then 7 days home with me.This worked out great and gave him and Daddy some amazing bonding time. The weekends also gave Dad 10 straight hours of being on Riley duty for two days in a row. Dad gained a whole new appreciation of Mom's 3 months off . It was really 3 months ON!
March,April, May,June, July, August all speed by.
Riley reached his milestones, some right on time, some a little slow. He was only belly crawling until he was 18 months old and then on Aug.18, stood up and literally ran across the den.In the last 7 years we have seen this all or nothing approach to the world from him many times. He was talking ,slept great. Really an easy child.
All was fine until late August when Dad picked him up from daycare and saw a large child sized bite on the back of his neck.
The phrase "All Hell Broke Loose" would be an understatement.
That night my husband issued the only ultimatum he has ever uttered to me.
"Tomorrow turn in your notice at work"
That night was probably the only time in 24 years of marriage I have ever ,without comment or input, followed the "Obey" part of the marriage ceremony.
The next day I handed in my resignation and for the next two weeks I worked out my time, my mother and sister kept Riley.
I had been an at home Mom ,then a working Mom. I had spent time on both sides of the fence. For my husband and I and especially for my son, this was the absolutely best decision. It did not come without sacrifice or some tight financial moments. But it was always the right choice. Our grass was greener at home.
And 6 years and another adoption and daughter later, it remains one of the best things I have done for them.
I do think that God lead us to that decision because he must have known what the future would soon reveal for Riley and how much he would need my extra time and attention.
We were blissfully unaware that Riley's speech and some quirks were early indications of language delay and sensory integration dysfunction. I was not one of those competitive Moms, I was quite content to let Riley move at his own pace. I think when you have a child that had such a rough start in life and was probably closer to dying than living at one time, you tend to be so grateful that he is just there, you magnify how far he has come and you tend to skim over the areas where he is behind, I mean look how far behind the start line he was at the beginning. That he was still in the race was deserving of a medal.
Also our country and the world had been through 9/11. Shall I mention that 9/11 was also the day that we received the call from our agency that they had referral for us in Russia. At the exact moment the second plane was crashing into the WTC, my phone was ringing.
Joy, terror, excitement, fear, anticipation, trepidation all rolled up into one, me. We left 11 days later to meet our daugter ,then returned 7 weeks after that to bring her home. We were gone for 20 days and Riley stayed behind with my sister, Mom and my niece. Once home, like most Americans, we gathered our family around us and gave thanks and began to really appreciate the small simple moments of our life.
That is until you get the note from the Preschool Speech Screening test that said in so many words,
"RUN, don't walk to your nearest elementary school and their Early Intervention Speech Therapist."
Some Moms might have cried, some may have gotten a second opinion, some may have not done anything.
I RAN to the closest elementary school with my screaming 3 year old son who wanted nothing to do with it.
Should I mention by now I also had a 14 month old daughter that had been with us for a mere 2 months at this time, in tow.
Here is where the second chapter of our life begins.
I hope that this will be a tribute to everyone who came to work each day at this school and has helped us in the last 4 years and the many years to come because while
a woman I will never meet in Russia brought him to life ,
while my husband and I gave him a life,
But there is a group of people who are giving him a future, more than just employees just doing their job at SES.
The journey has been hard, heartbreaking, physically demanding, emotionally taxing and even frightening.
It has also been joyous, surprising,funny and endlessly rewarding and ever hopeful.
They are angels, heroines, life savers and they have given my son the wings to soar and solid ground to stand on.
It truly has and does take a VILLAGE.


Blogger Andrew said...

That reminds me of some of the challenges we have faced as parents (and I'm sure other readers will do the same). It seems there are challenges at every age, and it's always a judgment call on the best way to proceed.
To Love, Honor and Dismay

Blogger MMrussianadoption said...

You and your husband fought for your son and I bet now he is doing beautifully. Coming from an educational background, it was so smart of you not to deny there was a problem, but instead, to get your child the care and help he needed. The quicker they get the help, the better off they are (the quicker it is resolved). I see all too frequently, parents refusing to listen, but all they are doing is hurting the child. The screeners and educators only have the child's best interest at heart. Most parents see it as a reflection on them or that it has a stigma attached. Good for you!

Blogger thinking_insane said...

i like the title!!

Blogger Maximus said...

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Blogger auers5 said...

I am the author of a forthcoming book "Parenting a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder: A Family Guide to Supporting Your Sensory-Sensitive Child" (New Harbinger, 2006 by Christopher R. Auer, MA with Susan L. Blumberg, Ph.D.) Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is the current term for Sensory Integration. The book includes an overview of SPD, and ways to support the family as a whole, including siblngs, marriage, and fathers. More information can be found on my website - Feel free to contact me with any questions. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter written by my wife (occupational therapist) and I.

Wishing you the best,


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