I think I’ve stopped counting the months since Jack’s been home. I occasionally think about how far he’s come. Monthly updates seem to slip from my mind. Maybe it’s because he just going right along with our daily schedule. Maybe it’s because he progress is a little less shocking and apparent. I really need to stop and remember his development just to record it for him but also because his doctor wants to see it. For some reason, the record seems to be easiest to preserve here. I’ve also had several people ask about Jack recently. So here goes…
May 1st marked Jack’s seventh month in our home. Just like when I brought babies home from the hospital in some ways it seems like years ago that we were in China and in some ways it seems like we just stepped off the plane. I remember Ray saying when Bria was about six months old that it was hard to remember just having two. Right now it’s hard to remember Jack not being here. Don’t get me wrong, yesterday when he was having a hard time remembering to ask to go to the bathroom I vividly remembered a time when I didn’t have to follow everyone to the bathroom every time and every trip to the potty didn’t involve a shower. Most of the time it seems like he’s always been here. Counting to four when you’re at a store or going for a walk seems like the normal thing to do.
Jack was never called in for his speech evaluation. He has been at number 12 on the list for quite some time. I’ve let go of my aggravation, decided God’s plan is better than mine and speech therapy in Hawaii is going to be awesome. Jack jabbers all the time now. Sometimes I can pick out pieces, like when he’s trying to sing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” or his counting. Most of the time is sounds like babbling. It usually ends with either Okay or Amen! He says, “I love you!” to everyone he sees about 1000 times a day. I always wonder if he has any idea what it means. He tries to ask for things now which is new. He just started saying, “You want some milk!” I think he might be in fourth grade before he truly understands proper pronoun use. He counts to ten, sometimes higher. Sometimes he still says, “1, 2, 9, 10!” I’ll take whatever I can get. Here’s Jack practicing his counting. For a long time now Jack has been picking out letters and naming them correctly 90% of the time. In fact, he’s been saying the letters in his name for months. He never fails to amaze me with stuff like that because he still doesn’t call someone by name but he recognizes the letter Q.
Things don’t scare him quite so badly anymore. His first Easter egg hunt included a major meltdown of terror over the plastic eggs. Right now, I can tell some things that are new make him seriously nervous but if he sees one of the girls using whatever it is, he’ll try. Except bubble wrap. Bubble wrap is the enemy. It drives him nuts that his sisters want to pop it. He is not really afraid of Tucker anymore. In fact he stares at him a lot, he’ll rub him and hug him and occasionally kiss him. He still doesn’t like to turn around and see Tucker unexpectedly though. You can see him get mad for a second then he calms down and moves the other way, sometimes petting Tucker.
Jack’s eating is awesome. He eats almost everything now and a little too well. He’s over weight for his height. Mashed potatoes are his nemesis. We have always made the kids try things even if they didn’t like them. Jack knows he doesn’t like mashed potatoes and has started refusing them with a no. It aggravates me and makes me happy all at the same time. I mean really, how can you not like mashed potatoes? He had a fit… a roll around on the sidewalk kicking and screaming fit in China because Ray tried to give him ice cream. Good times. Now, he would eat a whole container in one sitting if we let him.
The gross motor skills are great. He jumps. He runs. He has even taught himself to do flips. He builds intricate designs with his legos. If Arleigh builds something for him he easily replicates it with his own blocks. I am constantly amazed at both his gross and fine motor skill development. He’s still a little clumsy and occasionally walks into walls, but this was the kid who couldn’t chew or walk across a room when we met him. Now he’s on a scooter, chasing Bria and doing almost everything Bria does.
In case you didn’t see the 423 posts about Jack’s eyes… they are still a little messed up. No brain damage and he can see is the good news but we are ready to get a new doctor so he can have surgery in Hawaii. Surgery also means a good bit of time spent out of the water so that won’t be a fun couple of weeks. Surgery will involve moving his muscles so that he can get better control. It’s supposed to be easy if you have a cooperative child. Jack… not so cooperative when it comes to doctors. I know it will happen when God wants it to happen. I can see Jack trusting us more and more so I’m sure he’ll eventually trust a doctor.
Days like this, when I stop and record all the changes that Jack is making I’m reminded of all those little boys in that room in China. All those boys that just need food and a family. My heart breaks for them. I’m so happy that God blessed us with Jack so that we can watch him grow and change into exactly who God wants him to be.