Kara recently asked how Mighty Joe is doing. I have to tell you that anytime a reader whom I've not met in real life asks me about Mighty Joe, it makes me deeply grateful and emotional at the same time. The way the online community cared for our family and prayed for Joe all that time his life hung in the balance still nurtures me to this day.
Joe is definitely developmentally delayed. He behaves much more like a two-year-old than the almost-four-year-old that he is. He gets as mad as a hornet when he’s “wronged” by his older brother Christian, grabbing things from him and yelling, “No, brubber!” He often needs the comfort of his “ba ba” (blanket), and he isn’t potty-trained.
We had a neurodevelopmental assessment last Friday, and it was an encouraging visit. The specialist has a desktop filled with fascinating little toys, which Joe greedily grabs and loves playing with while he’s there. But he’s up and down from my lap, tries to climb onto the windowsill, and he gets annoyed quickly at the tasks she asks him to perform so that she can see how he’s doing. These visits exhaust me, the 41-year-old mom.
His speech is coming along nicely. When we began speech therapy, we had many concerns. He wasn’t trying to form sentences, and he said things in little groupings of words. He would say, “I-ge-dow”, meaning, “I get down”, but it wasn’t as if he was putting those three words together. “I-ge-dow” was one complete thought of mushed-together words that he didn’t know were supposed to be separate. We could really understand only about 30% of what he was trying to say, but now we are understanding more like 70%. I still have moments during the day when I just cock my head and say, “I’m sorry, buddy, but I can’t understand what you’re saying. Try again?”
Practicing "oooooo" with his beloved speech therapist
Joe is perfect. He is not any more or any less than God has intended for him to be, and we will continue to do all we can for him, fully knowing that he brings delight to the heart of God and so very much joy and grace to our own family. Our prayer is, as for every child in our home, that Mighty Joe walks with God and brings Him glory. If God grants him that, He will have granted him everything!