(A few thoughts from Nancy…) – The first week of school was challenging. We welcomed new children to the center. One of these comes as a five-year-old with no communication skills. Despite assistive technology, he is not speaking. He knows no sign language. This is one frustrated, aggressive boy who has no concept of rules, cause-and-effect, or appropriate social behavior. If you could have peeked into my Google history, you would find search terms like “wild deaf child”, “was it difficult to teach Helen Keller at first,” (yes, I know this one sounds a bit desperate, but I was desperate!), “behavioral strategies for deaf preschoolers,” etc. I have scratch marks on my arms and have had clumps of hair ripped out. It’s been rough!
As I’ve found myself questioning how we even ended up here and whether it makes a difference, these song lyrics from a Jill Phillips cover came to mind: “Everything matters if anything matters at all. Everything matters, no matter how big, no matter how small…”
This small group of deaf kids that we choose to… that we get to… love and pour into each day MATTER. (Say. Doubt. Pray. Repeat.) Their lives matter to us because they matter to Him. And if we can be patient and love and not give up on a kid that will probably otherwise be deemed impossible, maybe, just maybe, the course of his future can take on a new trajectory.
Good things can take time to grow. While working and waiting and watching for change, we have to take the little successes as gifts. Last week held many moments that felt like failures. So, when I kissed that little boy’s hand on Friday afternoon, and he grabbed mine and kissed it back, it was a gift. A tiny bit of hope for what could be in store.