The NICU staff warned us the twins could have delays because of such an early delivery. My ears heard them say this. But my heart and mind did not. Not until a year later.
Emmy reached every milestone with bells and whistles. Jack was slower in reaching those milestones. Much, much slower. At first, I reasoned it was his laid back personality. He was the “less aggressive twin”. He was one of four. I told myself this was normal behavior considering all these factors.
Only it wasn’t normal. And the gap between Emmy and Jack widened. Our pediatrician recommended we call an early intervention program.
After an evaluation, he began developmental and speech therapy. Later we added occupational therapy for his sensory issues. (It’s ok if you’re not sure what “sensory issues” means. I had to google it too.)
Because of his delays, our home experienced a lengthy season of frustration. Jack was frustrated because he couldn’t communicate what he wanted or needed. We were frustrated because he would often cry and meltdown.
In a perfect world I would wrap up this story and tell you everything is fine now. That he caught up and is talking circles around us.
The truth is, the words just haven’t come yet.
His speech goal is to consistently say 10 words. While he has made notable progress in many areas, I can still count his daily words on one hand.
Jack’s silence carried over to my prayer time. I found myself unusually quiet when I went to the Lord on his behalf. Ever felt this way when you try to talk to God? Like you could count your words on one hand? I know I have.
When you try to pray but choke on tears.
When you asked God for something big, but He didn’t answer in the way you hoped. It’s really hard to pray when your mind is full of anger or disappointment.
God is patient. He knows what’s in there.
Even when the words don’t come.
“Lord, even before I say a word, you already know it.”
There have been times in my life I have whispered to the Lord, “I don’t have any words. Can you hear what my heart is saying?” I am confident He does.
Often when Jack is frustrated or upset we hold him close and squeeze to calm him down. He will squish behind us on the couch and loves when we lean back, completely covering him behind us.
Throughout this journey I have often imagined God doing the same for me. Holding me close. Reminding me He’s with me. Letting me squish behind Him to feel protected and understood.
In the past year, Jack has learned to communicate with us. A little bit of sign language, a little bit of pointing and a whole lot of grabbing our hands and dragging us all over the house. We are happy to oblige because pointing is so much better than screaming.
His therapists all agree “it’s in there” and this gives us hope. One day the words will come for our sweet boy.
I’m believing they will come for you too.