I always wanted to be a mother. When I was a kid, I played with dolls and had tea parties, like most girls did, but it wasn't until later that I learned I had a natural nurturing quality in me. I've always sort of had a calm temperament, and everyone has always said I am so much like my mom. She passed away at a very young age from breast cancer, she was the most beautiful woman, inside and out. I only had her for 5 years, but I feel like I know her so much more, because of all the stories I've been told. I want to become more like her; she seemed to be the perfect sister, mother and wife. She is another one of my angels, and she has a perfect little granddaughter with her now.
It was Ethan that made me a mother though. And my was I ever blessed. I went through hard times when he was an infant, as everyone does, they are growing and changing everyday, and not sleeping when you want them to, and once you think you have a new routine down, it changes the next day. But with every change you are learning more about yourself which shapes your role as a parent, and as a person. Ethan taught me to slow down, he taught me to be calm and patient. Having a child showed me the enduring love and strength you could have. I'm beyond blessed to have him, he is always so happy, and so smiley.
Ethan was diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay early on. It really isn't a diagnosis, it's more of a label for children with several delays and medical issues that are unexplainable. It has been really tough on our family, with weekly, monthly, yearly appointments with therapists, doctors, and specialists. Most people don't even know the severity, most people wouldn't even ask, most people think he just has walking and language delays, and most people think he will be okay. I think and know he will be okay, not only because I have hope, but because I will accept whatever it is that he will become and grow into, and that I will help shape that in the best way I can. By attending every appointment, and by making decisions about him and his care, so that he gets the best possible chance for his future. Some people want to deny it, claiming that he is okay, because they think he will grow out of it, but they're not living and breathing his experience with me. People often are most concerned with his language delays, because isn't talking the most important thing, and the only way to communicate? Not really sure I'd agree with that, because there are many ways to communicate, and he uses a lot of them. They talk about other children they knew that didn't talk until they were 4, 5, 6 or whatever. Well, one thing I've learned is that you can't compare children at any age or ability. Ethan won't talk when he is 4 (which is this May), he may not even be talking normally when he is 5 either, and I'm okay with that. Ethan is already talking, he talks a lot actually, we just don't usually understand it all. But we still communicate so much. Aside from a host of other issues, and he has lots, Ethan has oral motor issues, which means he has a hard time using the muscles in his mouth appropriately, which make it hard to eat and speak. He is eating much better, and has learned how to chew (something we had to teach him), but he is trying so hard to speak, he just can't form the sounds we are making.
In my eyes, Ethan is perfect, he may be severely behind, but that just means I have to slow down even more, and I love it. People always say their children grow up and change so quickly, well thankfully Ethan spends a lot of time in each developmental phase that I really get to enjoy it.
Ethan and Isabel were both my dreams come true. And I am living through their eyes each day.