Monday, February 27, 2012






My heavenly Father has walked with me through the waters and through the fire, and is now restoring to me the years that the locust has eaten.

My God has dealt wondrously with me.  He has filled my quiver with three precious blessings. He has hemmed Wesley in, behind and before, with two brothers to love and protect him.

My Shepherd has restored my soul.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever! (Ps. 23:6)

“Be glad, O children of Zion,
and rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
he has poured down for you abundant rain,
the early and the latter rain, as before.
The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I am the Lord your God and there is none else.
And my people shall never again be put to shame."
Joel 2:23-27

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Times Are In God's Hands

"Our times are in God's hands; it is well they are so.  Believers are not to expect great wealth, long life, or to be free from trials.  But all will be ordered for the best.  And remark from Job's history, that steadiness of mind and heart under trial, is one of the highest attainments of faith. There is little exercise for faith when all things go well.  But if God raises a storm, permits the enemy to send wave after wave, and seemingly stands aloof from our prayers, then, still to hang on and trust God, when we cannot trace him, this is the patience of the saints.  Blessed Saviour! how sweet it is to look unto thee, the Author and Finisher of faith, in such moments!"

Matthew Henry

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Heart

My dear Liam,

When I look into your beautiful grey eyes as they smile back at me, how is it that my heart can be full of such joy and sorrow at the same time?

You are the most happy and content baby I have ever met.  Your personality is delightful and your smile is charming.  Every time someone picks you up and talks to you, you coo back and bless them with your huge smiles.  You love to interact with others.  Even when you are upset, instead of just crying, you coo in a way that sounds like expressive complaining.

We don't have very many toys out for you, because when they come out your big brother confiscates them.  But I am amazed at how content you are just watching those around you. You will happily "talk" to Zach as he plays with his legos or smile as Daddy wrestles with your big brothers.

When I pull out your jungle gym, you can entertain yourself for what seems like hours just batting at your toys and watching them swing back and forth.  The other day I realized that you had been in your jungle gym for forty-five minutes while I worked with Wesley, you were way overdue for a nap, and you were still happily playing without even a bit of fussing.  How is it that you can be so content for so long?

At every nap time, you complain for two or three minutes at the most and then go right to sleep.  You have been sleeping for eight hours a night since you were five weeks old, which is truly amazing. Then last night you slept for nine hours when Mommy accidentally slept in.  It made me think that you would sleep for longer every night if I didn't have to wake you up so early to get everyone out the door on time every morning.

When I pick you up, my heart is filled with joy that God gave you to me - the third boy I thought I'd never have.

But when I look into your sweet eyes, sorrow also bubbles up in my soul.  I was just telling Daddy the other day that some day you will break my heart.  Every time you smile at me and coo, I remember that Wesley never made eye contact; Wesley never cooed.  When you hold your head up so high and so straight without wobbling, I am reminded of the countless hours we spent working with Wesley so that he could do what you do so effortlessly.  As I cradle you in my arms and feed you, I think of how much I missed not being able to do that with Wesley. Looking over at you while you play in your jungle gym, I remember how disappointed I was that Wesley never played with it.  Because of sensory issues, he hated being on his back, and he never figured out how to swing his arms to bat at the toys.  (Instead he learned how to roll over so he could get out of there!)

As you get older, you will have to forgive me when I praise you for your successes with tears in my eyes.  I hope you will understand.  I love you so much and I will rejoice with you at all of your accomplishments.  But I love your brother too, and your achievements will always be a reminder to me of his limitations.

I pray that over time God will strengthen my heart to handle the struggles that will come my way with grace.  I pray that God will give you a soft heart that understands my pain and my joy.  I often ask God to give you a kind heart toward your big brother so that as you surpass him in your achievements, you do so with gentleness and compassion.

Liam, your name means unwavering protector, and it would be my greatest joy to see you live up to your name, never wavering in your loving protection of your older brother.  I often think, when I look at you, that God gave you to us specifically as a blessing for your big brother.  As you grow up, I pray that you will take your brother by the hand and bring him alongside you, protecting him, caring for him, loving him, and befriending him.  Long after Mommy and Daddy are gone, I pray that he will have you, his resolute guardian, by his side.

I love you my son.  You are my joy and my delight, and every day I thank God for His kindness in giving you to me.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

First Sentence

Dear Wesley,

Have I ever told you that the sound of your voice is music to my ears?  Whenever you babble and talk to yourself in the mirror, laughing at your own jokes, if you would turn and look, you would see me entering into these moments and smiling with you.  As you've started adding more consonants to your babbling, I often find myself pausing and taking mental pictures, trying to savor and remember these special times. I relish every conversation that you have with yourself, imagining that some day this will translate to similarly enthusiastic conversations with me and your brothers.

The other day I started counting and was surprised to realize that you can verbalize most of the sounds of the alphabet.  You still get stuck on the hard ones (j, l, q, r, v, x, y, z, sh, ch, th), but you've nailed the rest!  I know you get tired of working with me on imitating sounds every day, but when I am consistent, I am finding that remembering the motor plan required to imitate each letter is much easier for you.

I often wish that I could help you more with your struggles with motor planning.  As you watch me intently and then struggle to imitate my sounds, sometimes making a completely different sound and then throwing back your head in frustration, it breaks my heart.  How I wish that speaking wasn't so difficult for you.

A few months ago, Miss Judy started working with you to say "I want..."  At first I wanted to correct her - to remind her that you struggle with the motor plan for most sounds and the motor plan for putting sounds together to make words is almost impossible for you.  How could she possibly think that you could master the motor plan for putting multiple words together?  Instead, I held my tongue and just watched as she worked with you.  She came up with hand motions for you to do to help you remember what sounds to make.  At first you just watched her, but over time you started trying to imitate her.

About a month ago, you started pointing at your eye and opening your mouth when you wanted to say "I" and putting your hand over your mouth to say "want".  No sounds came out of your mouth, but it was a start.  Then about a week later, you started saying "ah" for I and "ah" for want along with doing the hand motions.  You still had to be prompted for each word individually, and sometimes it took several tries for you to get it, but you worked so very hard to learn these words.

Then last week the motor plan finally clicked in your mind.  You started running up to us and saying "ah" while pointing to your eye.  When we said "I", you would then say "wa" while putting your hand over your mouth and wait for us to say "want".  You would then grab our hand and drag us to show us what it was that you wanted.  We kept working on this and you soon realized that when you became upset and I asked you what you wanted, you could now answer my question instead of throwing a fit.  Then you added "ee" to your I and now say a beautiful "ahee" for I.  It is perfect!

This Wednesday you proved my initial assessment of your abilities wrong.  During a therapy session with Miss Marsha, you started yelling because she took away your favorite red stacking cup that you love to carry around while she is here.  She kindly asked you wanted, and you looked her straight in the eye and said "I wa(nt) cu(p)!"  There was no prompting or assistance. You knew what you wanted and you emphatically told her!

Mommy and Miss Marsha looked at each other, saying "Did you hear what I heard?  Did Wesley really just say "I want cup" with no assistance?"  You sure did!  You took that first step and are on your way to those conversations with Mommy that I often dream about.

Now you run around all day long saying "I want" and then dragging me to what it is that you would like to play with or see.  Coming with you to see what you want has become my full time job.  At first I was worried that this was giving you the opportunity to drag me around insisting that I give you whatever you want all day long.  But I am starting to realize that you just love your new ability to communicate with me.  Since this is the only thing you know how to say, you want to say it to me over and over again so that we can talk together.

So yes, Wesley, I will happily walk around with you and talk about what you want.  We can play with your ball-popper and your gears and get out multiple spoons and bowls from the drawers.  We can open doors and then close them again.  We can pull out milk and then put it back in the fridge.  And I will do my best to not complain, because guess what, YOU ARE TALKING!  And I love every word that you say.  I love the radiant joy in your eyes when you run up to me with a smile, point to your eye, and say "ahee wa dat!"  I love how you emphatically pat your chest as you say "dat".  I love holding your little pudgy hand as you drag me off to some new and exciting object that has caught your fancy.

Your voice is beautiful, my son, and it is my joy to talk with you.  I am thankful that you want things and that you want to tell me about it.