Monday, December 8, 2008

Hope


There are days when I look at Hope and I thank God she is walking and talking. I thank God she is doing as well as she is. Then I have days when I look at Hope and I see the problems she has with her left hand. I see her leg brace staring at me in the face. I see her left eye crooked...and I cry. I knew she would have a disability. I read all the reports and I understood everything. I knew Hope had a stroke before or at birth. I was (and am) ok with that. None of us had any idea what the future would hold for her. We just knew that she may not be "normal". Whatever normal is anyway. Some days when I hold her and we play patty cake, I realize that she *can't* play patty cake. Her left hand won't turn that way. she can give a high five with her right, but not the left. She walks with a limpy gait. She swings her arms. It's cute watching a toddler do these things. She's tiny and looks like she's just learning to walk. But people comment on how tiny and cute she is and ask her age. We say "She's 2 and a half" and then people look at us funny. Yes, she is two and a half. not a year, or 18 months and she's been walking for over a year now. Yes, she has CP. Then people end up saying "oh...I'm sorry". Please don't be sorry that my baby girl has CP. She doesn't know any different and her limpy gait is all she knows. Her brace is just another thing to take off at the most inconvenient times. The fact that she can't supinate doesn't mean two cheerios to her. You ask her how old she is and tap your chest then hold up two fingers and she says, very very quietly, "I'm....................(long pause)..............2. She follows through with her own 'signs' of tapping her chest and holding up her hand because she can't hold up two fingers yet.

I'm learning that it's ok to not be able to supinate. It's ok to have a limpy gait. It's ok to lift your arms for balance, I find myself doing it too, especially in the snow and ice. It's ok to use some sign language and some talking to get your point across. It's ok to need a brace that has fun velcro to pull on. It's ok to be two and a half and brighten every room you walk into, just by smiling.

And boy oh boy, the Hope hugs and sticky, wet kisses are the best in the world.

I wasn't sure, when I was asked to take Hope, if I could handle her special needs. I can take an behaviorally challenged child in the world, but CP? It's all new to me and I'm not sure I know what to do. But I'm so grateful for saying yes. Hope has brightened our world far more than she may ever realize. Every one who meets Hope never forgets her.
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