After a whirl-wind Summer of Camp, more camp, youth group trips, and family vacation, it’s Fall. And we are finally back-in-the-swing of things! The boys had the note-worthy experiences of a first full week at Summer camp for Quinn and first time ever to a sleep-away Summer camp for Albin. They did great! Lydia enjoyed the fun of family camp, and family vacations complete with her first trip to the Pacific Ocean. She also enjoyed the peace of Northwoods lake-culture and some wonderful boat rides. Their was ice-cream and sunshine and aside from a few stitches after jumping on the bed and bumping her head, it was a wonderful Summer.
The big accomplishment of the Summer for Miss Lydia was in learning to talk. I use the word ‘talk’ loosely, bc Lars and I have become very good interpreters. But the reality is that Lydia is talking. She is expressing her thoughts, ideas and needs through speech. Her first full sentence was at the end of the Spring when she turned to me, after washing her hands and said, “Mommy, buy more soap please.”I was so excited I thought, YES! Yes I will, I will go buy more soap right now! She even had the word please in there! Hallelujah, she’s speaking and she’s polite! 😉
As Spring turned to Summer Lydia’s words kept coming. She was gaining confidence to try new words everyday. And it was just happening! Which leads me to believe that her time-frame for speech really is about a year delayed. She speaks very much like most two year olds do. She has a cognitive understanding of a three year old, but the expressive ability of a two year old. And to this I say, wow! Thank you Lord for surgery and speech therapists and her very talkative brothers! Lars and I are confident that with two more years of preschool and speech services she will be up to speed with other Kindergartners when it’s time. And then comes the continued work on enunciation. This will take time.
Another development that happened this Summer is that Lydia began singing. She began sustaining sounds long enough to work them into a song. She sings her own rendition of ‘Twinkle-twinkle’ and ‘Trust and Obey’ and a song she calls, “Jesus, Bible Tells Me So”. 🙂 A few months ago, she didn’t have the vocal strength to attempt these things, but now she’s attempting songs every day. And it’s so much fun! She even attempted our Swedish bedtime hymn, ‘Children of the Heavenly Father’ a few nights ago. Precious.
As her speech develops so does her personality. Lydia continues to be a wonderfully cuddly-tornado of a child. (That made perfect sense to our whole family). But she has also learned to express her compassionate little heart, asking every day, unsolicited, if she could “call Papa to see if his arm-booboo was all better.” (Dad had a major shoulder injury this Summer at the beach) She amazes us with her independent little spirit, putting on coat, shoes, backpack all by herself, often without being asked. Climbing in her carseat and buckling herself, combing her hair, picking out her clothes and dressing herself. She is very much in the “I do it all by myself” phase, which I think for her, may just be her stage…forever. This is who she is. A truly independent spirit, who still wants to be cuddled.
Lydia is particularly attached to me at the moment and while its a bit much at times, I can only pretend I don’t totally love it. Because I do. It’s what I prayed for. I often tell Lars, that when I look at Lydia, noticing all her unique features so different from mine: the shape of her mouth, her deep brown eyes, her beautifully tanned skin, I still have the gut feeling that I somehow birthed her. A silly thought, yet I truly feel that level of connection and attachment with her. Words fail to express it, but the feeling is so real. I wonder if other adoptive mothers feel this way. It’s strange but beautiful. And then to think this is the connection, the attachment God feels with me, his adopted child. It blows my mind and humbles me. I am continually overwhelmed that my relationship with Lydia, has somehow given me an inside look into who I am to my heavenly Father. How he treasures me. How real his love is.
So we are back-in-the-swing and the school year is underway. Another year of learning and playing and growing. And a year and a half later, with two surgeries complete and our family fully adjusted to life with three children, it all feels normal. I’m praising God for normal right now. We’ve done waiting, and hoping and excited and scared and adjusting and now normal just feels really, really good.