We have had a busy week with our first trip to Glenwood Springs to begin the long and arduous process of working with Kenny's cleft issues. We had a much more pleasant experience with the dentist this second time around, although fear was still very evident. We are seeing a specialist group 2 1/2 hours away from home because they were recommended by Children's Hospital in Denver as being the best to work with Kenny, and they were not lying. These guys were awesome! A combined pediatric practice with orthodontia and dentistry together, and they were the kindest and most understanding I have yet met. We are in the beginning stages of getting the appliance to spread Kenny's top palate to prepare him for surgery to hopefully close the hole for good.
I had one of those momentary "teary mom" experiences this morning while driving the boys to school. We have a new Veggie Tales CD which features songs of the 70's, and everyone has their favorite song that we have to listen to. Matthew loves "Car Wash", Joshie is "In The Jungle" and Kenny's...Kenny's is "We are Family". Yea, he sings it at the top of his lungs, more often than not getting the words wrong, but singing the refrain correctly every time with a huge smile spread from ear to ear. As I glanced in the rear view mirror I couldn't help but think that I was so grateful that God has allowed Kenny to experience what a family's love is, and that he too seems to cherish this new life of his. He really is a very special little boy, one with an abundance of joy and kindness, and over and over again I am reminded of how fear could have kept us from making one of th best moves of our lives in deciding to bring him into our home.
Yesterday I had a teacher stop me in the hallway and tell me she saw Kenny do something that really touched her. On the playground there was a fight starting when a bigger boy was picking on a much younger and smaller little girl. She said she watched from afar as Kenny marched over there and put himself in betwen everyone and asked them to please not fight, to leave the younger girl along and to go play. He then took the younger girl aside and started playing with her and her friends, making sure they were safe. He didn't hit or push to get the bigger boys to stop, he handled it appropriately, and through the telling of this story I began to see why he is receiving hugs daily from 4 or 5 girls as he leaves class every day.
We have had a special gift of time offered from a close friend to help Kenny catch up. One afternoon a week a friend who is an ESL teacher by day is going to work with Kenny on some basics in language and reading, and after our first session this week she said she had never worked with a child who was more fun to teach. He is enthusiastic about everything and very much wants to please. This will help Kenny so much and keeps me from being thrust into "teacher" role while we are still working on "mommy" role.
A busy weekend is ahead of us with a party to look forward to, soccer, church cleanup...and the good Lord only knows what other little quirks and adventures!