Friday, June 17, 2011
When Victoria was born with Down syndrome, I was told that many things about her (speech, mental and physical abilities) would be delayed. For a new mother of a special needs child, this was devastating. I wondered how I would cope with seeing Victoria pass the "normal" milestones that typical children master so easily without a hint of her being close to performing those same activities anytime soon.
One thing that continually grieved me was that Victoria had not ever been able to say my name. She had turned 3-years-old in March and had never uttered "Momma." I know Mark felt such joy and pride that Victoria had been able to say "Da Da" shortly after she turned 2-years-old and I was proud for him. But, boy! I longed to hear my little girl call to me when she needed me to meet her needs. I began to wonder how long it would take her to finally say my name. As time passed, I wondered ... "Will she ever be able to say Momma?" I held out hope that her tiny mouth would be able to eventually process the sounds.
I am happy to report that soon after Victoria's 3rd birthday I began hearing what I thought to be her saying "Baah Baah." I wasn't sure if she was really attempting to call to me with that verbalization or not. But, with time I could see that she grew in confidence as she spoke directly to me using those "words." I told Mark, "I think that is her way of saying 'Momma!'"
As every day passes, I know for a fact that Victoria is saying my name. Like when she climbs up on top of the tall stainless garbage can in the pantry and forcefully yells, "Baah Baah" over and over until I come grab whatever snack she is reaching for. Or, when I get out of the car to pump gas into the gas tank and I see her waving heartily at me through the window, yelling, "Baah Baah" to get my attention.
What a joy it is to see Victoria realizing that speech is a powerful way to communicate things she needs or wants! I wondered if I would ever see this day come! I was praying and holding out hope that it would. The God who formed precious Victoria has given her a voice and He is helping her slowly put sounds into a few words that we can now understand. What an awesome process it is to witness!
God has been very gracious to me. He has helped me through every phase of Victoria's life so far, accepting that she'll eventually get where she needs to be. And, when Victoria does meet each milestone, it isn't without hard work on her part and a big celebration on the part of her family!
PS - I've attached a video of Victoria saying "Momma." Enjoy and celebrate with us!