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Ethan is adventure personified. He is funny. He is deliberate and decisive. He is silly. He is so smart. He is so many things that make my heart burst. Where I left off on my last post, I take back up now to tell the story of this incredible kid I could not be more proud of. 

Since Lauren had been diagnosed with a language delay, we were more aware of what was going on with Ethan much quicker than we were with Lauren. Shaking some of our rookie newness off, it was clear to us by Ethan’s second birthday that he was behind on speech related developmental milestones so we talked with our pediatrician again. If you don’t have a pediatrician you love, go find one. I can testify to the importance of having a pediatrician who loves your kids enough to go above and beyond to help them. You need someone who wants to partner with you in doing what is best for your kids, but also someone who deeply cares about them. I could never thank Dr. White enough for being an advocate and partner in their successes. 

We talked to her about Ethan’s lack of speech. One thing she said was that him having constant ear infections and fluid were probably a big part of his delay because those things keep you from hearing well, and you can’t acquire language if you can’t clearly hear what’s being said around you. That makes perfect sense. She told us about Infant Toddler Services (ITS), and recommended them as a resource to get a speech therapist to come to our home to work with Ethan. She gave us the information and ITS gave us Amy. Amy is…

I can’t begin to think of adequate words. She cares so deeply about our babies. She is all in. She helps me learn how to help Ethan. She wants to see Ethan develop and succeed. She is for him and his wins. Since she started helping us, Ethan had started and continued to make huge developmental gains. Every day he says new words. 

I can’t stress what is was like to wait for him to able to ask for a drink. I can’t express what it meant hearing him say “I love you” for the first time. He has had to work so hard at those things. He is incredible, and I am so proud. 

As he approaches turning three he will “age out” of ITS services and will transition into a preschool classroom just like Lauren did. I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity for him to be a part of the same preschool program Lauren took part in. He will have an amazing team, and he will have his own story to tell. I know one day he’ll be able to tell it because of the people that are in his life now and who will be soon. 

This year we started gymnastics again at Lauren’s request. I won’t pretend that there wasn’t a deep sense of fear underneath my excitement about her wanting to try something new. This year has been incredible for her in this and every area. She now can understand not just that something is going on around her but that there are things being communicated to her that she can process and communicate back. This is huge. This is where life has changed for us.

There are parents who get annoyed by their child’s talking all the time or going on and on about the same things. To them I would say, soak up every word because you have no idea what a blessing each one is in the place of uncommunicated needs and wants where silence lingers. 

We watch Ethan gain new words and now multiple word phrases each day. He is such a formidable opponent to the challenge that he’s been given at two and a half that seeing him conquer whatever lies ahead is going to be great to watch. 

Today we are in such a different place than we were two years ago or one year ago or one day ago. It hasn’t been easy getting here, and there is more work ahead. We are so committed to doing whatever it takes that I know my babies will continue to grow and thrive. 

Next post I’ll talk about the battleground of my own heart in this. 

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