And there are so many other things going on!
Kiley is a Young Rider at a huge Dressage barn (think the horse things you saw in the Olympics - yep, that is what she is training to do and be). It is the most amazing opportunity, one we did not seek out, one we weren't even aware existed. We never dreamed that our oldest daughter would be living four hours away, managing all her cares and all (she is well capable and has been for quite some time), and that we would all be thriving. I will admit to many days spent fighting tears - she has been my constant companion her entire life (she was the original child who still have the umbilical cord fully attached) , but to hear of her joy, her progress, her growth, and to be part of it, even from sort of afar, it is so amazing. She has been there four weeks now, and we think she may be able to come home for a few days in a couple weeks. Thank goodness for the internet and phones! I don't know how my mom did it when I left home!!!! Also, thank goodness Kiley has always been our driven child, advanced in her schooling, and able to direct her own path and studies. This is a full internship, academically and all, and she is doing well. But still, to this mama's heart it is hard. Great, but hard. Not what I had planned quite so soon. But the joy in her voice makes it all worth it.
Zeri is healing from his fracture really well, he is now totally off of crutches, although he really has to limit how much standing and walking (and certainly impact) he gets. He continues with physical therapy, but is healing well and should make a full recovery. God is good!!!
Ben and Solly are loving middle school soccer (and I am grateful that Alex's car is fixed so he can help me with some of the running!!), and learning to manage their time more independently. Good growth times.
Faith and Tsion are both blossoming in different ways. It is so nice to see the sisterly closeness they have, and at times their need to be independent from each other - the four that are almost the same age (Ben, Solly, Tsion and Faith) revel at times in the uniqueness of their situation - how many other families have four kids in the same grade and nearly the same age??? LOL!
Aman is our entertainer - some days, and apparently has been teaching Azeb some of his dance moves, as she is sometimes very happy to demonstrate to everyone's great delight!
Speaking of Azeb - she had her first visit to the Down Syndrome Clinic at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee. Steve and I realized that we have made at least 35 visits there in the last nine years as that is also where Kiley and Aman receive their diabetes follow up appointments. There was a heart murmur noted that will be fully assessed with a sedated EKG - probably the only way to get any kind of ready on our active little whirlwind. Bloodwork was taken for testing for other things that she might be more prone to, but no real concerns were noted. We are blessed that the doctor there has an adult child with Downs and has also adopted two children internationally at young ages, so is very familiar with the myriad of issues we deal with. And his assistant also has an adult child with DS! It was a very helpful visit - for me this is a journey beyond being the professional treating a child with DS and now being the parent (but you never quite shut off the professional portion - so says my hubby who tells me that Azeb receives constant speech therapy - and he is right!).
Kahsu is spunky, and still the diva. She is now up to 19 pounds, has outgrown one size of shoes, but is still our little peanut. She delights in being a two year old in every sense of the word and then seeing how far she can wrapper her big siblings around her little finger! Whew, some days!
Steve and I are finding that we are beginning to get our feet back under us again. This is a common part of the transition when you adopt a child - everything changes, and for quite a while you are just getting through each day. Not in a bad way, though sometimes that is the case also. And then one day, you realize that some things are easier and feel more normal. Or rather feel more like a "new" normal. It is a time when we have to make sure we always have each other's back and keep supporting each other. It is about giving 200%, because that is what is needed. Some days you are in the eye of the hurricane and some days you are in the midst of the wind. But you can never, ever, even for a moment look away from your partner - you need each other, you must watch for each other's needs. Because what the family needs is so intense, and no one really quite understands. And so you put on the face that everyone expects, and just get on with what needs to be done. We have found that very few can relate, and sometimes it can be very lonely and isolating. But we also know that it will smooth over, it will come around, and the intensity will subside. The new normal will get worked into the tapestry.
So, here is to weaving the tapestry! It is a picture only God could create and I just pray we each do the parts we are called to do!
"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11