Isabelle is undergoing some testing.
More testing, really.
Since arriving home in 2005, our sweet girl has endured more testing than, well… than any 6 year old should.
Isabelle’s special need was a minor heart defect. But her delays, of an unknown origin and of an unknown severity, have continued beyond what could be attributed to her initial special need or the effects of institutionalization.
And if we want to help bolster her strengths, and fill in the gaps where she has weaknesses, we need the testing.
Like it or not.
And I do. not. like. it.
In fact, I vigorously dislike it.
It is wearying.
It is heart wrenching.
Because, my girl is so much more than check boxes.
And numbers on a scale.
To sit, face to face, with a neurologist, a psychologist, a teacher or a therapist, and have them tell you where your child falls short?
Seriously, seriously sucks.
I have cried at every IEP meeting.
At every parent-teacher conference.
At pretty much everything pertaining to Isabelle and ‘testing’.
And it’s really not because Isabelle is delayed. I know she is. I know she might not ever even catch up. And, in my heart, I’m fairly certain I’ve come to terms with that.
But still, the tears. To have a child that struggles, to whom most ‘things’ do not come easily, is to have your heart forever raw.
When the news is bad? It simply hurts to hear her reduced to a bunch of words. A number on a scale. And that she is struggling to learn? Oh my. Honestly, it’s like daggers. Even though – every time – I think I am prepared to hear it, I cry.
And when the news is good? Well, how can I not cry tears of pure joy to know she is achieving new things? It is not possible see any accomplishment, big or small, without reflecting on her beginnings. Just makes me bawl like a big ol’ baby.
I think God pricked my heart a bit harder when He placed Isabelle into our family. He knew I would need to dig deeply to parent her well. I’d need to give her more of everything I have to give: love, energy, understanding, patience, acceptance, encouragement and protection. And to do that, He knew I’d have to love her fiercely.
So, until they can capture in their ‘testing’ the way she radiates pure joy, or tackles life with reckless abandon, or has overcome obstacles unimaginable – I’ll just have to travel with lots and lots of kleenex.
We love you so, Isabelle. Just the way He made you.
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” – Psalm 139:14