My third son Joshua is 22 months old. He was adopted at 8 days old. We met him in the hospital, he had been born premature at 29 weeks. He also has a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis. All those factors added up mean he has some developmental delays. We realized that he wasn’t hitting his developmental milestones about a year ago this time. He was 10 months, and not yet sitting up. We called in the specialists and they started Physical Therapy with him. He has done very well with it and recently graduated from PT. From one year ago, when he wasn’t even sitting up, he is now running and climbing and doing all the things an almost 2-year-old does. He just needed a little push. This past summer we realized that he had some sensory issues, he doesn’t like loud noises and certain textures. We started Occupational therapy and in 6 months he has made so much progress. He just needed a little push.
Now, at 22 months he is not talking. He says two words “more” and “doggie”. We have started Speech therapy in the last month and today we went to have his hearing checked. Although they didn’t get to complete the test, since I had both Joshy and Elijah with me and they started freaking out together, the preliminary findings are that he can hear. So, why isn’t he talking? I don’t really know, but my guess is that he just needs a little push.
Joshua is the type of kid that would be happy to just do the same thing everyday and never change. He is not intrinsically motivated to grow and do new things. He is a “whatever” kind of kid. Fortunately for him, he has a mommy who will not let him get away with “whatever”. I have realized that he needs to be pushed to grow and do better. God realized this too and that’s one of the many reasons He gave Joshua a little brother who is 11 months behind him and very motivated to do more stuff. Joshua is content to let me feed him baby food, in fact, he will bring me containers of Elijah’s baby food to feed him. Elijah on the other hand, will not tolerate being fed and will grab the spoon from your hand and feed himself. That is just who he is. He is a great motivator for Joshua. God does not make mistakes, and even situations that seem crazy, like having two kids 11 months apart, God knows what He is doing.
So, I just want to publically apologize to Joshua for what is about to occur in his life. Now that I know he can hear, it’s time for some mommy pushing. He is going to hate me for this, but he will be better for it. I push because, if I don’t, who else will? I push because I know there are things he can do better, he just needs to try. I push because the world may look at him and say, ‘oh, he has special needs, that is all he can do’, I do not believe that, I know better. He can do more, he just needs to be pushed. I push because I was once a baby born into substance abuse and had challenges with learning disabilities, but my mother gave me a home and pushed me because she knew that while the world may have seen me as just a crack baby, there was more there if she just pushed me to be everything I could be. Never underestimate meager beginnings, it’s what you do with the in-betweens that matters in the end.