And some pictures at the end :)
Written by Brock:
"Since it's a question on so many of your minds and some of you have even been bold enough to ask, I'll just go ahead and say it: as far as we know, the new baby is Normal. The word "normal" is a funny thing. Some people really get offended by it, as though there never could be any such thing and any suggestion otherwise is to set up unjustified, unfair classes of people--have and havenots of the worst possible kind. But, as any parent of a special needs kid who has sat down with countless doctors, therapists and teachers to review skills progress can tell you, there most definitely is a Normal. There are even charts breaking down child development into the most minute of detail. Ask Erin at exactly which month a child should be able to scoop food with a spoon and I'll bet she could tell you off the top of her head. Bear in mind, this is not knowledge she actually wants. It's a consequence of having a special needs child. One of many. Another consequence of having a child like Campbell is that you do not enter into the journey to the birth of your next child lightly. There's a reason Cami will be nearly six-years-old when Violet Nicole Heasley is born. (Yes, we're having another girl and that's her name. Don't steal it.) It takes a long time for special needs parents to process the new paradigm of their lives and weigh the risk of the new child not being Normal against the blessing of having her. Or, maybe it just took us a long time to figure this out. Either way, here we are, now, at this time. After lots of tears and struggle. None of this is to say that we are not grateful for Cami and what she has brought into our lives. Here's the thing about Cami: she's better than you. Cami doesn't sin. Cami is obedient. Cami is always happy, always has a smile and loves everyone. If you smell bad, Cami will hug you. If you yell at her, she will forgive you. Instantly. Cami is perfect. And there's something wrong with Cami. She's not Normal. Erin and I are Normal (possibly I less so), but we are not perfect. The first three years of Cami's life were some of the worst times we have ever experienced. The uncertainty, the worry, the disappointments when Cami did not meet her goals were, at times, more than we thought we could bear. We never had a diagnosis; never knew what was wrong with her. We desperately wanted to do everything we could to "make her right," but were always halted by the fact that we didn't really know what was wrong. We still don't. Erin and I are as strong a team as any I've ever seen, but the divorce rate among special needs parents is much, much higher than the average. And I absolutely know why. The change that occurred in our lives after those first three years was slow and gradual. It started with backing off from the idea that God would make it all better right now. Instead, we started to accept what was happening and not think about the future. At all. We also started loving Cami for exactly who she is, and, save for those few inevitable reminders when someone says something thoughtlessly or a child we guess to be about the same age as Cami comes bounding by calling out for "Mommy," we don't think of her as anything but normal. Normal and perfect. Everyone wants to know, but hardly anyone actually asks, "Are you afraid the next one will be like Cami?" Well, heck yes we are. As big a blessing as Cami is in our lives, we sure don't want to go through all this again. Maybe that's selfish. I know of parents out there who purposefully adopt children with special needs. Kudos to them, but we don't have that in us. This life Erin and I and Elora and Cami have together is tough stuff. Rewarding, but tough. Ask Erin and she'll tell you there's a lot about Cami's first year that she can't remember. That was the hardest year. We hold the experiences of that beginning time very close to us, something only to be talked about in the most reverent and safe of moments. It is not fodder for hallway discussion and the satisfying of curiosity. When people ask us about our next child and whether there is anything wrong with her, that gets right to the heart of our deepest fears and takes us right back to our most difficult times. A time that is so intensely personal and private. It's a mystery to us why anyone would think we'd want to be reminded about it in passing. I think people, even our friends and family, are well-intentioned but often bolder than they should be when it comes to a situation like ours. There are times and seasons when it is wholly appropriate to speak of our most sacred and special times, those times when the Lord has tested us and blessed us. And then there are other times when celebration is in order, when all is hope and excitement. That's the time we're in right now. Whatever else happens after February 18th, this is our time to be joyful with an eye toward the great blessing that a third child will bring into our lives. We hope that you can all join with us in that. Thank your for all of your support and well-wishes."
Last week Den and I took Cami to the pumpkin patch.
Just Den and I, and our little Cam Cam.
We barely made it back in time before her school started.
All morning we had been peering into her mouth to see her first missing tooth.
She would not let us take a look.
So as I told her teacher my disappointment, she said,
"Just tell her you want to see her missing tooth and she will show you."
Why didn't we think of that?
So I said, "Cami can I see your missing tooth?"
She very proudly opened her mouth!