Friday, January 20, 2012

A joyful lesson

I have learned SO much about my children from others.  I was at Analiese's IEP meeting the other day and her speech therapist shared something with me.  At first I felt sad but the more I thought about it the happier I became.

Analiese was part of the 3rd grade chorus at school this fall.  She loved EVERY minute of it!!  For their Christmas performance Analiese really, yes REALLY, stole the show!  She was so very animated and full of expression, it was obvious that she loved singing!

I can't tell you how nervous I was when Analiese brought home the flyer about chorus.  At her other school the kids had to audition  to be a part of the chorus.  With Analiese's cleft her singing is not the clearest and I dreaded her being rejected.

As it turned out, her new school accepted ANYONE who wanted to be a part of the chorus!  I can't say enough about the music teacher.  She is one in a million!

Anyway, Analiese never missed a class and I am sure, even though I never was told, she gave 100% during the practices.

But, I digress.  During the IEP we were all commenting on how Analiese's speech issues do not deter her.  We all agreed that she is the most well adjusted, social child we know.  The speech therapist shared that the music teacher came to her and commented that she was so impressed that Analiese came to chorus and acted like she didn't have any speech issues.  Analiese sang her heart out and gave it all that she had.

Like I said, my first reaction was one of sadness.  It's not like I've been in denial about Analiese's speech issues but well, it's hard to put into words.  I guess I really didn't want to admit that Analiese COULD be held back because of her speech.

But, the more I thought about it, the prouder I became!  We have ALWAYS supported Analiese in her love of singing and song writing.  We have been blessed (and cursed) with performances after performances.

What I realized is that my little girl won't let a small thing like a cleft palate or speech issue deter her from enjoying her dream!!!  Not for the first time, I realized what a strong individual Analiese is.  God has truly blessed her with strength!

Analiese came from one of the worst beginnings I could ever imagine.  At two weeks she found herself at an orphanage that did not have heat or running water.  She shared a crib with 3 other children.  During the winter they all wore heavy snowsuits to bed so they could keep warm.  She had to use a "pot" to go to the bathroom in because they did not have working toilets.  I could go on and on.  But I won't because Analiese had SO much more than she did not have.

She had the love of the director and the wonderful Aunties who took care of the children in the orphanage.  Analiese is who she is in part because of those wonderful women who loved her in her first years.  They gave her the foundation for the rock-solid self esteem she has!

I know that God has a great plan for my youngest daughter.  She brings sunshine and love to EVERYONE!  It doesn't matter that she has a cleft-palate---it actually makes a positive difference that she is so challenged!

If you are one of the lucky, blessed, that have met Analiese you know exactly what I am writing about.  If you haven't had the fortune to meet her, I hope that one day your paths will cross.  You will be happier once she touches your life.

I guarantee it!

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