one thing remains

March 3, 2013 heart defect, Kam 5 Comments

Well, February came and went like a flash, didn’t it? And I don’t know about you, or what the neck of the woods you call home feels like today…but my neck and my woods feel COLD!

So, Hello March! This mama is soooo happy to see you. Because March means spring is just around the corner and with spring comes some of my favorite kind of stuff.

Easter. He is risen, He is risen indeed!

Spring Break. Can I get a “holla” from all of the mamas out there!

And the end of the school year.

All of these make me happy, happy, happy.

The talk of new dresses and daffodils blooming and flip flops lining shelves where there  were just knee high boots…gets a lady beside herself with spring fever. But I can’t get all excited just yet. We still have  52 days of school left {but who’s counting, right?},  another month before spring break and Easter is yet a few weeks away.

And my resolve to finish strong is taking a hit. Mostly because homeschooling a son through kindergarten is HARD.

Add to that scenario, that said son was adopted internationally after having spent three years in an institution and one who was NOT speaking his own language at the time we came for him.

I distinctly remember sitting in the orphanage in September of ’09, listening to his pediatrician {super nice orphanage with a pedi on staff!} tell us that Joel’s special needs were nearly completely resolved. That though we began the process for a sick little boy with RAD {Reactive Airway Disorder} because of  premature birth at 29 weeks, NEC {Necrolizing EnteroColitis with ileal peforation, ileosotomy}& PDA {Patent Ductus Arteriosis}…he would be considered non-special needs if he were to be put on the list for adoption that day.

And had that been the case, he wouldn’t have been available for us to adopt because of that fact.


She went on to say that Joel had one remaining special need…lack of language. He wasn’t speaking at all.

We kinda glossed over that fact to be perfectly honest. I mean, who cares? So he can’t talk yet! Big deal, right?


Big, big deal.

Because though our beautiful boy was doing wonderfully medically speaking, his language deficiencies would prove to be an ongoing daily struggle.

Three and a half years.

We’ve been home three and a half years and every single day, we work and work and work on speech and language issues. He’s been in speech  therapy for 2 years {it took me nearly a year to get him qualified for help…grrrr}.

Teaching him to read has been exhausting and as frustrating as anything I’ve ever attempted to do. We have a unique school situation…we private school two days a week and home school the remaining three. It’s not a co-op…we don’t choose certain outside classes for our kids to take. They are taught every subject by degreed teachers each week for 2 days and then I facilitate the carrying out of their daily assignments {given by their teachers} on the other three days. But as you can imagine, kindergarten is a lot more “hands on” than say, my 7th grader is.

Honestly, some days, I feel like throwing in the towel. I’m discouraged and beaten it seems. And others, he reads like he’s been doing it perfectly for years.  I’ve called his teacher sobbing…and called his daddy elated with the day’s progress. I’ve prayed, cried, laughed and had to walk away. I’ve nearly called the public school to see if a 5 day week program would be better for him, though I know between the four of us {his teacher, me, his reading instructor {2 days a week} and his speech therapist {also 2 days a week},  he is getting a fantastic education and is doing so much better than he was a few months ago.

I’ve listened as his God honoring, precious teacher told me that when we have a bad morning, to just love him, to pour into his heart and to not let it get to me. Because it’s kindergarten. Not life and death. Wise, wise is this woman. Still, it’s easier to say than to do.

And at this point, I’m not sure if he or I are going to make it! Lol.

Make it to 1st grade, that is.

The jury is still out on what’s best for Joel. He is showing good improvement and making steady progress, just not as much as we would like to see. And he’s an “old” kindergartener…having turned 6 just after school started. So next year, if he repeats, he will be a 7 year old kindergartener. Again.

I’ve had to repent of my pride and my fear of failure. I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s not my fault…and it’s most assuredly not Joel’s. He tries soooo hard. He doesn’t have a learning disability that anyone suspects. It’s not that he’s lazy or doesn’t want to try. It’s not that we aren’t providing adequate help to him.

It all comes down to language.

And sometimes, that just takes a long time to sort through and figure out. In the meantime, our Joel is happy as can be, healthy as can be, and handsome as can be. So we give God glory for the work he’s done in Joel physically and emotionally.

Only one thing remains. Substantial speech deficits. And  praise God, it’s not life and death. But it is certainly life as we know it.




5 responses to “one thing remains”

  1. Carla says:

    I hear you and completely understand. Our little one has speech issues to (apraxia of speech). Her teachers wanted to hold her back in kinder but we decided not to. Now she is struggling in frist grade and as she struggles so do I. She gets resource for 2 hours 4x a week with speech therapy 2x a week for just 1/2 hour. I’ve asked for more speech but there just isn’t enough time in the speech teachers schedule. We have now enrolled her at Sylvan Learning and will have our first meeting on Monday to go over how she has done the past month. She is learning, just at her own pace. We are struggling with letting her stay in first grade or go on to 2nd….its a very difficult decision!!!

    Hugs to you!

  2. Roberta says:

    Your beautiful post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you 🙂

  3. Donna Dear says:

    I am right there with you. Our daughter is in speech 2x a week and is helping her fill in the gaps. Despite having suffered a stroke at an early age, she is learning to read. I am thankful we are homeschooling where she is not being defined by what grade she is in and not pressured and to go at her on pace.

  4. Amy says:

    We, too, have a kinder girl with speech/language issues. She is getting all the help she can possibly get, but…
    We are already considering retaining her in kinder for 1 more year. She is making huge strides, which is great, but we don’t want her to be debilitated the rest of her academic career because she just wasn’t ready for 1st grade. We’ll see. While we wait, we pray.
    Thanking God for the beauty that is our daughter,

  5. Leslie says:

    All I can say is I understand. I have two first graders, both 7, and the reading is tough. I also am totally convinced some of their struggles relate to their early language struggles. Well, they both are fighting for sounds, but our son didn’t speak at 5 when we adopted him. Had he ever? I don’t know, but he and DD both have had to fight for every sound. Nothing has come naturally, and it seems reading is that way too. But, but, but they are now saying C-V-C words every time with ease! And I’m doing the happy dance.

    As for what to do, I have a 13YO 6th grader, so you know were I stand! Do what is best for YOUR child. 🙂

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