A week ago, Tim and I were sitting next to each other on the couch. Post : dinner, bath, and bedtime for kids. As we sat in complete exhaustion of tag teaming 3 wild children and putting them to bed, we were staring at the ceiling.
I said, "Do you realize we are a week away from hitting the 60 day mark with Z moving in?"
Tim, "No way."
"Yeah.... I know."
We both were thinking the exact same thing. We feel like he has been with us forever. For years. We have already been through so much. Accomplished so much. Had so many experiences, moments, battle of wills, and lessons.
How is it mathematically possible he has been here only 60 days?
You don't know what you really have in you until you are put to the test with a child.
A sweet and innocent child.
But, a dark and scary past.
A bright and hopeful future.
But, a dim past full of holes.
Still more questions that answers.
But, more hope than the reality of circumstances.
Seeing past, for real, what is being un-earthed in this boy.
Tim has said it well several times, "We are extracting out the normal child that is in Z. It is in there. It is hard to find. But, we have seen it and will bring it out."
In September when we met Z, there was minimal communication. I think the only things we heard him say that entire month was, "Spongebob Squarepants." He would repeat anything you would ask him (echolalia). Still, upon meeting him, he would make long eye contact with us. He was so at home with us. We were so at home with him. We knew he was ours. And, I think he knew we were his.
Z has lived in an isolating silent little world. I think because he really had no true peers to ever have relationships with, he lived in fear from his past, and no real constant care giver or "person" in the picture over some huge developmental years.
After months of asking him questions, working on communication, teaching him what a conversation is, but mostly building a safe environment for him to want to communicate.
We had a milestone today. Its like he knew it was the 60 day mark and we needed it.
We had a correct, appropriate, memory driven, self generated thought and conversation at dinner.
Each night at dinner, we have a question we ask every night. Every night. The kids don't let us forget. It was a family tradition of Tim's that was passed down to us 10 years ago when we got married. Even as a family of 2, Tim would ask me every night. The standing question, "What was the best thing that happened to you today?"
So, nightly since Z has been with us, he would mainly sit silent. After a month of it, he would start responding with something silly. Like, "I like pizza" or "Where's Holly?" (our dog) or "Red lights are for cars".
A few weeks ago, he started answering, but was making stuff up or repeating something he had heard. Like "I went on the swings today" when I knew he hadn't or "I went to the park today" and we had not gone.
Well tonight. Yes, tonight. Z shocked us all.
It got to his turn. Would you know that little stinker looked at us dead in the eye and said,
"Well.... I had goldfish for snack. Then, I had tag class and went to Ms Colesons room and played with legos."
After Tim and I picked ourselves up off the floor, I asked him, "Well what did you build with the legos?"
He said, "I built red lights and army men."
I immediately sent his teacher an email to see if any of the above information had actually even happened.
It did. It all did.
We had a breakthrough. A 60 day nightly breakthrough.
And it was so awesome.
That is one of the many breakthroughs we are having with him.
When Z first moved in, I tried to "create all these moments" with him and David and Mackenzie. I would plan and orchestrate activities, moments, and ideas for them.
No one was feeling it. It wasn't organic.
I knew I needed to back off and just let it happen. So I prayed that.
And prayed that really believing that the prayers of the righteous avail much.
And a couple of weeks ago, David grabbed Mackenzie's hand and went up to Z and said, "Come on guys, lets go play mail man." They followed him and it was cute. They had a mailbox on our playhouse where they would drive up on a bike or ride on toy and deliver mail. It opened in the back an they all took turns mailing each other something. It was the most beautiful thing to watch. They laughed. They played. Z talked to them and they understood every word he said.
It is those sweet, rich, meaningful moments that really get you through the pit.
The pit you have had to go in and retrieve your child. They are stuck in a pit and you have to pull them out.
We are not out of the pit or by any means out of the woods, but we are seeing light.
A bright, glaring, glorious light.
And it keeps everything in you pressing on.
To God be the continual glory for saving this boys life!!!
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