Actually, I have just returned from the land of the sun and grandparents. I took off with Calvin and Turner last week (Elena stayed home with Dad because of school and work). And it was awesome. We went to go visit my parents and just had the best time. Sunshine and grandparents seem to make the world go round. Plus, my Mom is the greatest caregiver of all time so I enjoyed five days without cooking, laundry, cleaning and eating scraps (real meals, you guys!). Pretty much heaven.
It always helps, too, to escape the monotony of routine. And we live on schedules and routine around here. So it was great to shake that up a bit. I was really able to focus on spending time with the little guys. When I have all three, it can be so stressful and chaotic that I don't have time to stop and roll around on the floor with Turner or play golf with Calvin. I did a lot of that last week and it felt really good, really happy.
Things have been tough with Elena lately. She hasn't really been her usual happy self and we've been frustrated and stressed trying to figure out what is going on. Even though she's improved so much on the communication piece, it's still incredibly challenging to communicate with her, or rather have her communicate with us. Having a child with special needs is like a giant puzzle. We are constantly trying different things to see if they work, and trust me, there's always a piece that needs addressing. Rarely do we have the chance to stop and feel like things are "together". There is a constant battle between frustration, guilt and determination, one always replacing the other at different times. Sometimes this happens by the hour, by the minute or by the week. It's consuming. So, when things aren't working just right, it's a scramble to triage what we need to focus on. Then you realize you have two other kids who need you too. It's been exhausting, which made my escape to Arizona all the better.
I'm not hitting the panic button, nor should you. I wouldn't say I'm more frazzled or drowning in children more than usual, but I do feel like we are approaching a crossroads with Elena. We are constantly evaluating what we think is best for her, what her needs are, and how we can best address everything. There is a stirring inside of me that feels like we are on the verge of something with her.
We know that God has proven time and time again that He is able to do more than we could ever imagine, and I know that half the battle is just trusting Him and praying my way through it. I'd like to ask all you prayer warriors out there to join me in praying big for our girl in the next few weeks. We are desperate to have a breakthrough in communication with her. We've been working on it for nearly two years, and to be honest, at times it's felt futile. This is such a big piece of the puzzle. Let's focus in on this and ask big.
I'm so thankful for all of you!