We have seen such a magnificent change in Malachi this week with his awareness. It is like a cloud has been lifted from his little brain and his processing speed and reaction time have been great. We can see a change in his eyes as well and he has been so eager to look at things and people. I am not quite sure what the change is, but we are loving it!
We have been taking advantage of the moment by pushing him as much as possible with his toys and his talking. While he has many favorite toys at the moment, one of his favorites is a shape sorter. He can’t pick up the shapes but if I place them into his hand he will hold on to them tightly and lift them into the air. If I guide him to the correct slot and start it in, he can independently let go of the shape which is a huge improvement. He is also interacting with some other toys better than ever, and seems to love his new independence.
Malachi requires help with virtually every action and facet of his life. Even playing requires extensive support as you have to hold the toys in a place that he can reach easily. He has a few toys that connect to a switch, and when he is in the mood he can play with that independently while I do the dishes. He is also very motivated by verbal reinforcement and loves to make us happy, so even if he is playing with a toy independently you have to verbally praise him each time he activates it! But it is so refreshing to see the three year old boy inside him playing with toys and knocking things on the ground to hear them go “boom”.
We added a new swing in Malachi’s therapy room this week and it has been a big hit! He clings to the ropes for dear life and gets super silly on the swing. I snapped a few pictures for you to see his enthusiasm.
Therapies were much more successful this week, and he was so excited to be back on his horse. This week was also our first Kindermusik class for the new semester! We took a break for summer so Malachi was thrilled to be back with his buddies. The teacher he has is always willing to accommodate Malachi and even sanitizes and separates his instruments before class begins.We are very blessed by people willing to go the extra mile.
Speaking of extra special people- we have been overwhelmed with generosity over the past few weeks. Sometimes it is the small things, like some sisters from our youth group that brought me a vanilla coke on one of my rough days with Malachi’s sickness…and yes, I cried over a vanilla coke in the mailbox. Or surprise casseroles from church friends on nights when Jake and I coached soccer until 8pm without supper. And there are big blessings, like one of our very sweet blog followers that graciously is now sending us diapers for Malachi. It is so incredibly humbling and inspires us to pay it forward as much as possible.
Malachi’s sleeping schedule is still very chaotic, waking up for hours each night. I tried to explain last week about him sleeping in the bed with Jake and I and how Malachi does not respect personal space haha. I managed to sneak out of bed and snap a picture for you. This boy is like a magnet that is drawn as close as possible to me, regardless of where he starts in the bed. The sliver to the right of him is my “comfy” spot haha! And that little, sweet crooked foot…
So all in all, things are going pretty well for us. Malachi is growing and gaining weight after his rough patch with sickness, and is even tolerating trying new foods. This week he thoroughly enjoyed some mac and cheese sauce, cheesy potato soup, and a few other random tastes. Progress is happening.
This coming week is packed full of therapies, appointments, soccer games, church meetings, and other responsibilities, but we are thrilled that Malachi is stable enough to take on this chaos. Never did we imagine that we would be able to “live life” and care for our boy.
This morning in Sunday School we studied the story of Job. I have always clung to this story as a great example of handling tragedy, and you can’t help but feel that his trials were overboard. Yet in all of it, he did not sin.
I think as Christians we often cling to the idea that life should be easy for us. After all, we love God and try our best to obey His commands. Don’t we deserve an easy life? But the Bible is full of reminders that the Christian life is actually a complicated. The Bible talks about the vinekeeper (God) pruning the vine (Christians) so that they will bear more fruit. Trials are meant to build our faith and strengthen our relationship with God.
It was around this time last year that I found out I was pregnant, and I remember being so excited- even thinking about the ways in which I could share the news with you! It was such a joyful time. Throughout Malachi’s rough start I never had feelings of anger towards God. Instead it was pure thankfulness that He was saving and protecting my son.
But after miscarrying last year, my anger flared. I just couldn’t understand why God would give a blessing and immediately take it away. It made me furious at Him. I looked at all we had been through and thought to myself that we “deserved” a healthy pregnancy. But the truth is, as painful as the experience was, this has been a perfect example of being pruned by God. Oh my how the pruning pained my heart, but in the end I am able to see fruits because of it.
I am sure that there will be more trials in our life with Malachi. Some of them may be minor bumps while others may take us way off course. My prayer is that God will give us strength and clarity of mind to withstand any storm that may come our way. And as a child of God, I am so incredibly thankful to have an Anchor in the storm. I pray that you are able to have that peace during the trials of your life.
Jake, Leah, and Malachi