Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Her age ? Well that's a little complicated.

Maggie's age is a little complicated and here's why.  We know for sure her birthday is right, that's not what I am talking about. She has several ages that have to do with being adopted, her hearing age, her emotional age and her cognitive age.

She received her BAHA hearing aid in August 2010.  So, that makes her hearing age about ten months old.  Meaning she would be expected to talk like a ten month old because she has only been hearing that long. Maggie's communication is beyond ten months for sure.   

She has a  growing list of words she can say and she can communicate with sign language very well. 
The picture above was taken on the day she got her BAHA and she was so happy to hear !!!

We adopted Maggie when she was fourteen months old, but she was more like an infant.  So really, it was like she was one day old when we adopted her.  Her life experience up to that point consisted  of a crib, bottles and a walker. She was not in foster care and it was obvious she was never stimulated or held. So, emotionally and in some ways physically, Maggie started out with delays. But, she is catching up amazingly in both areas. 

Then ,there is the fact that Maggie can not talk like most children her age - two and a half.  She signs great, but we know no children or adults that sign.  Which makes communication with others a little frustrating for her and makes her seem much younger than she really is.

And then there's her cognitive age, which is where it should be - at two and a half years old.  Maggie understands everything we say.  She knows most of her letters, numbers, shapes and colors.  She can spell hat, draw some great circles and dance her heart out.  She is a very normal two year old most of the time.

Which makes things interesting because a lot of people don't expect Maggie to be so smart.  They think since she has hearing loss and has trouble talking she must be  dumb. 

Ever heard the expression " deaf and dumb" ?

I think the first time I heard that was when I read about Helen Keller.  And she was so far from being dumb ! 

People also want to compare Maggie to their children that are the same age. But, you can't compare her to a normal two year old that was brought up in the United States with doting parents, normal hearing and normal life experiences.  You just can't !!! 

Then, sometimes Maggie seems much older than two.  She has great common sense, loves to organize and clean up, and she follows directions very well. 

She has a trait many call "an old soul". She has a deep understanding of things and seems to be level headed ( except when she is hungry and tired).

Maggie is such a gift. She has an amazing spirit of determination. Sometimes, I just watch her play and am so sad that her China parents will never know how perfect she is and how she just lights up a room with her presence. 

Maggie's age may be confusing and her past is still a mystery to me. But, I believe and know that God has a big plan for Maggie's life.
 I can't wait to see what it is !

"Today I know that memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.  I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do."

Corrie ten Boom from The Hiding Place


Mama Hen said...

Oh, I love the last picture! And I love the quote at the end. She looks so happy and I can tell from the pictures she is flourishing in your home.

Ginny said...

Great post and I love the quote at the end.

Christina said...

Amen, sister! You couldn't have said it better! I's hard for people who have US born children with "normal" upbringing to understand what it's like for our kids. They are catching up and Maggie is so beautiful! Love the piggies!!!

Julie said...

People really do not get it. My husband had talked with someone who actually thought the orphanage had taken our son (and the other children)on field trips. Go figure!

Beautiful pictures!

By God's Design said...

Love this post! Such a great explanation of the many ages of Maggie. It is so hard for others to grasp what it's like for our children ... what they've been through and what it means developmentally. Maggie is adorable, as always!

Lisa A : Izabella said...

Such a sweet post! I was just chatting with another mom yesterday about many of the things you say in this post--and we are in complete agreement--you can not compare our adopted children to other children their age--and you can't treat them exactly the same either. Their needs are not worse or better--just different and to treat them the same would not be doing right by them and honoring who they are and where they come from.

AND you will never know--or maybe you will--how that last quote from The Hiding Place (I read that book and it's an amazing book--but you can't put it down once you start) means to me. Izabella and I had a very emotional conversation a few days ago about her memories from China--this quote is just what I prayed for. Thank you-deeply.

And last but not least in the least--Maggie has accomplished so much in the arms of your families love. She is a beauty--inside and out! Blessing abound!

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3
We have a daughter !!!!!!
Maggie Caroline was born Oct. 29, 2008.
She is in the SWI of Gaozhou City,China.
Guangdong Province)