There was once a tiny baby girl with a strong and sweet spirit. God brought her, and gave her to me! This daughter has brought me such joy! Adopting her was one of the greatest joys of my life. This sweet baby was handed to me after a three hour long ride with two male caseworkers. When she was handed to me, she looked up, and smiled at me with the biggest, sweetest, toothless smile, as if to say, "I'm finally home, mommy!" She was ten weeks old. For two months of age, this baby girl was very alert! She bonded to me right away, as though she had always known me, and I, her. Noelle, Kyle and Juli thought she was darling, and funny, and she thought they were wonderful, and hilarious! It was a match made in Heaven, for sure.
Skyla had Spina Bifida. She had been given up for adoption at birth, and the lump on her back had not even been removed, because she was expected to die, and they did not find anyone who wanted to adopt her. Well, instead of dying, she lived and thrived, and became a vibrant part of our family! Oh, what a blessing that God sent this daughter to me! I had to take very delicate care of her back until she could have her surgery, because only very thin skin covered the protrusion, and it was vitally important that this skin not break. She could get meningitis then, and brain damage. We succeeded. It was thought that she would have to have a shunt put in after her spinal surgery, but she did not. It was touch and go for about a year, but in the end, she did not need one. Praise God!
Skyla has normal intelligence. Though her legs are paralyzed, she has always been very full of energy, and a child who let nothing get her down. As a toddler, she learned to get in and out of the bathtub, head first, with joy. She learned how to hop, (though painfully slowly,) strapped into a standing brace, with a walker, before she was two. But her legs are also arthogrypotic, so bearing weight on them began to twist and deform her bones. So standing with braces did not turn out to be an option for her. However, as she got older, she could get up, brace herself, and with powerfully strong arms and hands, hoist herself up onto a counter, to get something, or put something away. She could swing easily in and out of her wheelchair. She even learned to get into a swing by herself! Skyla was a go-getter! I still remember how surprised the doctors always were, when she hopped by herself, from the chair, to the examining table! They would always exclaim that a child with Spina Bifida usually cannot do that.
I was so proud of all the things that Skyla could do. And so was she. Only two times did I observe her feeling grief about her disability. One was at three years old, when it seemed to first dawn on her that she was different. She was sitting in her little wheelchair, and she looked up at me, and said "mommy, my feets is seeping!" And so they were. How could I deny it? Her feet appeared to be sleeping. I wanted to cry, and scoop her up and sympathize, but I didn't want to nurture a sad feeling, so I replied cheerfully, "you're right! They sure are, aren't they!" She smiled, and that was that.