Thursday, April 30, 2009

Changes


So, Scott is starting a new job next week. It's a completely new role and he was with his current company for 10 years, so it's going to be a big change for him. It will probably be big for all of us, since we've gotten used to his current schedule and the fact that he's able to come home with little notice if we really need him. He'll have a bit more of a commute on some days now and he'll probably be working a lot of hours at first so that he can ramp up. Still, he won't have to work on Saturdays anymore and he won't be getting 2 AM emergency calls when a server is down. I think it's a good trade-off.


And, of course, it won't be long until the kids are out of school. That will be interesting. I've got to get them signed up for some summer activities or I just might go out of my mind with all three of them home all day! Noah will have summer school for one month of summer break. He has made some great progress since he started at his new school in October, but he's still at the level of a 2 or 3-year-old and more learning opportunities can only help.


Now that Noah's been home for over a year, we're facing the reality that he may not ever catch up to his peers. It's such a hard balance - I don't want to underestimate him and therefore undermine his chances at that quintessential "normal" life. But, I also want to be realistic and adjust my expectations accordingly - He may never go to the same school as Jaden and Danielle. He might not learn to read (right now, he can't identify his letters or even say his ABC's). He might be a lot more dependent on us than we had originally imagined. If he is going to participate in any activities, they will most likely need to be geared toward kids with special needs.


These are all things that I think about, wonder about. I imagine him as a 6-year-old, a 10-year-old, a 12-year-old. What will his life be like? We just don't know. If your child has Down's Syndrome, you have a frame of reference - you have some idea of what to expect. Noah looks "normal". He hasn't been diagnosed with anything but sensory processing disorder and now most likely ADHD. I don't know what to expect - I just know that he's not learning as quickly as a 4 and a half year-old should.


When it comes to his speech, sometimes people say, "Oh, but he's still learning English." But, I know that this isn't the case. I read the stories of the other moms of kids adopted from COTP - other kids who were adopted at about the same time or later - kids who are about the same age as Noah. They all talk about how their children speak perfect English (they were exposed to quite a bit of English in the orphanage). They quote their kids and I think "There's no way Noah could say something like that."


So, in my gut, I think I've come to the conclusion that Noah will never be an average kid. If I'm being very honest with myself, I knew it when I met him at just 1 year old. I knew then that something was different about him. That it wasn't deafness, but something else. I just couldn't put a name to it (I still can't) - I thought maybe autism - I didn't know, but I knew that it was something, even when his caretakers insisted that he was developing normally. Over the years, while we waited for Noah to come home and we got reports on him, they always seemed to be so normal. There was never any indication that he wasn't just like all the other kids. No one seemed worried about his development. I started to convince myself that maybe Noah wouldn't have any issues at all. Maybe he would be a completely average boy. And then he came home and he was delayed, not just a little, but a lot. I still told myself that he could catch up once he had the proper learning environment - the proper stimulation, but there was always a nagging feeling. Again, the feeling that something, that all elusive something, was off. And, here I am, a year later, wondering if my instincts were right all along. Wondering if, in those few days that I shared with my little 1-year-old boy, I could see something that the people who took care of him on a daily basis couldn't. They had too much else going on. A mother's instinct? I don't know.


What I do know is that God meant for Noah to be a part of our family. And that no matter what Noah may or may not accomplish in the future, he deserves love and security and the chance for the very best future possible for him. So, that's what I have to focus on. That's all I can give.

3 comments:

ManyBlessings said...

Just praying for you. That's all I wanted to say.
dawn:)

mama bear said...

I know what you mean about unknowns. While we went into our adoption of S. knowing he has special needs, we still have a lot of unknowns about how his condition will effect him in the future. I know God brought him into our family and He has a plan.

I will keep you, your family, and Noah in our prayers. I hope that the job changes go well too!

Momto14 said...

Email me your address and I will mail the book to you. :)
Blessings,
Sarah
sisters3designs@aol.com