When you are told that your daughter may not be able to see - that is a scary feeling. I know I dedicated an entire post just to that reality - and how we felt God leading us to accept her referral anyway. SO today was absolutely a God-moment for us - A moment where we saw God smiling on Jada. (Let me put a disclaimer in here - even in the midst of very disappointing news - God would still be blessing us - but today was just a brief glimpse of a positive in a long string of asking God what He would have us do.)
We took Jada for her eye appointment today in Sioux Falls - a pediatric opthalmologist. He was fabulous - and, I must say, so was Jada. She sat on my lap and let him shine his light all over in her eyes, and then he said, "She is sitting so well, let's try this bigger machine." She plopped her little chin and hands up on the chin bar and sat like a trooper - never even budging. So our doctor said, "WOW - she is doing better than most adults - I am going to do the drops, numb her eyes, and do the glaucoma check." He did just that and Jada just sat again. She let him look, prod, and do all he needed to do and just sat and took it all in. I was just so impressed with her. But what was even more impressive was what he told us:
*She does have some iris on both eyes - that is VERY positive.
*That means she does not have complete Aniridia.
*She has both lenses. (our family doctor thought she may not - although he was not sure)
*Her retinas look GREAT.
*There is no scarring in her eyes - they are clear and look wonderful!
*She has not dealt with glaucoma to this point - that he can tell - that is positive.
*SHE MAY BE HELPED BY GLASSES!!!!
He wrote us up a prescription and we will take it to get her new glasses. Of course, with a little one, it is hard to tell what her vision actually is, but what we can tell is that she can see - maybe not GREAT, but she has some vision - that is good. (We knew this as well - but we didn't know how amazing it would be that she may be helped by glasses!) We were told that with Aniridia, she would probably not be able to be helped by glasses - so we were blown away. Yep, her little glasses may be Coke-bottle thick, but I am thrilled for her - thrilled that something may change the way she sees.
He also said that even her demeanor about life is positive. Many children with visual impairments cower, are afraid, and just plain would rather stay secluded. NOT JADA - this girl LOVES life and wants to experience it all - and usually ON HER OWN! (That is not ALWAYS good, however, when she WON'T hold my hand in the store!!!) He said she has learned how to function in spite of her eyes and that is key. His last words were - take her home and just LOVE on her.
We were thrilled beyond words - it was far more than we thought possible. God amazes us! And let us just tell you what else is happening this week in Jada's World! (It's like Elmo's world because her favorite word is "tickle, tickle"!!)
*She said "Jada" and "up"
*She signs A LOT - "please", "more", "thank you" - she uses her signing often!
*She can point to her eyes, nose, and mouth when we ask her
*She learned how to use her legs to pedal her trike
*She is running with much more agility
*She is "taking to Chloe" - praise the LORD!! She is finding more and more she likes about her sister and for that we are grateful!
*She falls asleep with less than 5 minutes' crying! (This coming down from almost an hour at the start!)
*She now shows us what we call the "chicken dance" when she has to go #2 - sorry if that's too much information - but any parent knows what a nightmare that is when you can't figure out WHEN they need to go!!!
*She hugs - she squeezes - our girl is learning how to hang on tight! :)
*She kisses on the cheek - thank you Chloe for teaching her that one!
*She is touching the dog now instead of screaming when she comes near. Jada doesn't LOVE her, but she will tolerate!
And my favorite: She hears the phone ring and calls "MAMA"!!! (Atta girl - you know who talks on that phone!!) Ok - she points to my laptop and calls "MAMA" too - sad, but true!
Do we have other questions about her development?? Yes! As an educator myself, some things about how far she is behind where a 3 year old should be - can be scary, but I just feel like with a lot of attention and love she will learn - We are making progress - each day shows us that! I remember how fast Chloe progressed and I pray the same for Jada. In the meantime, we will just LOVE on her - ALL of us!!
We pray that these glasses will make a huge difference for her vision - but I was thinking today too - even if they don't - maybe they won't change a thing - maybe her vision will deteriorate - maybe she will be blind someday. It doesn't change a thing for us - we went in knowing all those possibilities - we expected them, to be honest - but that doesn't make me want to be her "Mama" any less. Each of my children are a special blessing and Jada is NO exception - God shows me that everyday. I mean, really, wouldn't everyone love to wake up each morning and be greeted by "Woo-Woo!!" (Our travelmates will know EXACTLY what I am saying - it was, and continues to be, Jada's favorite term - it holds a special spot in my heart!)