As we celebrate Melody’s birthday we cannot help but reflect on the extraordinary developmental milestones she has achieved. Children with Down syndrome (Trisomy 21) typically sit up, crawl, walk talk, run, play, etc. That is not our baseline for Melody. Children with full Trisomy 18 have significantly more developmental challenges.
Everything Melody does is above and beyond what she “should” be doing. Melody’s physical strength increases weekly, her coordination keeps advancing, her determination is remarkable, and her intellectual capacity is beyond anything we ever would have expected. (She seems to indicate that she knows her colors, numbers, etc.) Best of all she is incredibly engaged and loves being a part of things! She interacts with us in a precious way. Her sweet personality adds rich dynamics to our family.
We are thankful for Melody’s neurodevelopmentalist Linda Kane. We believe the ND approach is truly exceptional for helping children with developmental challenges.
We recently met with Linda by Skype. She was amazed at the progress Melody has made in the last four months, and with good reason! (See video) When I asked her if she thought Melody would ever do certain things (like utilize the English language) she expressed confidence in Melody’s ability to achieve these things eventually. She gave us the following perspective: Think of her as a one year old. She is progressing through healthy developmental phases, just more gradually. As her daddy notes, “She is getting there. She is just taking the scenic route.”
Melody is becoming significantly more curious, which is an extraordinary developmental milestone. Her brother refers to her as “Curious George”. This is no small matter, as Melody’s curiosity motivates her to move. She is fascinated with paper now. This interest has motivated her to develop a key skill. I am pleased to announce that Melody can now ARMY CRAWL!!!
We are grateful beyond words for Nan, Melody’s cranial sacral practitioner, who has helped Melody’s development in amazing ways. Nan has impacted Melody’s life remarkably. There is a direct correlation between Nan’s treatments for Melody and a subsequent positive shift in her development, as well as her health.
It used to take us 9-10 hours a day to feed Melody. She has come a long way from those days! We do work as a team to feed her, however, as there is most certainly time involved. Sometimes when it is time to eat the little lady smiles with her teeth locked and refuses to be fed…that is, until I come along. The girl has her preferences, and sometimes they are not always particularly practical. Perhaps she hasn’t noticed that I do have quite a few demands on my time. I suppose she associates me with eating, cuddling, comfort, reading books, and being showered with love, so I will count it an honor to feed her.
When Melody was younger she didn’t give her daddy the time of day. She didn’t respond to his voice, or even his face. Then as she progressed developmentally, she went through a phase where she decided she kind of liked this guy. 😀 Now she adores him! When he comes home she lights up. She associates him with playtime. When he holds her, she gazes at him with her precious little adoring look. If he looks up to talk to the rest of us, she keeps her eyes fixed on him, whips out her most charming smile, and waits for him to look down at her and give her his undivided attention.
There are many things for which we are rejoicing. So many circumstances are different now. Yet some things remain unchanged. When Melody was born her siblings fell in love with her immediately. That has not changed. They all still adore her! Melody has many “fans”. Yet, by far her most ardent “fans” are her family!
Another unchanging factor is God’s faithfulness in the times of sorrow as well as rejoicing. We are thankful that He is our Strength, our Source of wisdom, the One who directs our steps, and the Author of Life. He alone sustains us in uncertain times. He alone knows the number of Melody’s days (or any of our days for that matter). He alone knew that at one time…
We would celebrate Melody’s weekly birthdays…
then monthly birthdays…
And now YEARS!!! Happy 3rd Birthday, Little Miss Melody!
Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.