The other day Kerri was talking to her godmother Tammie on the phone. They had a pretty long conversation, and when Kerri handed the phone back to me, Tammie was in tears. They were tears of joy. Tammie could actually understand everything Kerri said. And that was a big first, since I would usually have to translate after their brief conversations.
And then I had to sit down, because it finally hit me. It has become so normal to live with Kerri's speech problems, that we don't ever think of the magnitude of the changes she has gone through. I realized it has been a very long time since I had to translate, or ask her to use a different word(s), or point out what she is trying to say or describe it. As a matter of fact, I can't remember the last time I did any of those things.
I also thought about how we have adapted to her auditory processing issues. Hubby no longer gets frustrated when Kerri seems to be ignoring him. We now automatically do certain things to get her attention, and ensure her comprehension. It seems that this is now normal to us too, now that we understand the why and the how. As normal as her other medical issues, that might be scary to some.
And then I took a look at our beautiful daughter: at how tall she has grown, how she has changed this past year. And I am reminded that no matter what challenge has been placed before us, we have overcome - or are in the process. Things that would have seemed overwhelming to me had they been on a "special needs" adoption medical report, don't even phase me now. And how grateful I am that Kerri was not listed as special needs, or we would not have this amazing, talented, funny, beautiful daughter today. I am ashamed I never even considered adopting a special needs child - but forever grateful for Kerri.
Life with Kerri is a journey of love.