Tell me what it is you want to do with your one wild and precious life? -mary oliver

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This I See

When I was four, my mother took me to the doctor for an eye exam.  Afterwards, the doctor informed her that I was severely near-sighted and would need glasses.  My mother cried the entire ride home.  She had worn glasses most of her life and didn't want that stigma on her four year old child.
 In her words, "Devastated."

This was circa 1975 and the technology was not as advanced, so my lenses looked like coke bottles, and continued until high school when I was given contacts.  I don't remember that early glasses time, but the way I looked at the world changed.  I could see.  The colors, details, and shapes. 

 My father's time to choke up came later when I said, "Dad, did you know the grass is green and so are trees?"  It gripped him because he didn't know I couldn't see.
Fast forward many years.  A few weeks ago, I took Sarah for her eye exam.  My utopia was in full bloom with my rose-colored spectacles because she had sailed through her other medical workups with only some ear issues.  Another appointment and then we'll be finished with her post-adoption workup. 

 So when the doctor informed me that Sarah was very far-sighted and her eyes were working very hard to focus, my heart plummeted.  I was thrown for a loop, socked in the stomach.  Similar to my mother's reaction.   I didn't cry, but was silent the entire way home.  It's not the wearing of glasses, but the fact that I didn't know she was having trouble seeing.  I didn't know she was struggling.  I didn't know, and feel I've failed her.  (Irrational, I know.  But, I'm a mom.)
Andy wasn't at all surprised.  "Shelly, I see glasses on kids with Ds all the time.  I was expecting a prescription for glasses for her and our other kids soon enough."  Again, I live in my "glass is half-full, utopia."
But, now she can see and they add to her spunky personality.  And her lenses are thinner than mine ever were.  The miracles of new technology.  Her flat, button-shaped nose isn't enough to hold them up, so it'll be a challenge to keep them on.  Any suggestions?

We're working a few hours at a time, and soon she'll be wearing the finger-smudged specs full-time.
 I wonder what she would have said (if she had her words) the first time she put them on.  What does she see differently?
Andy went to her IEP meeting yesterday, and there was one transportation issue that was our only concern.  Before the meeting, we were notified that Sarah could attend the school Addy and Austin attend or another school in the same district.  Our hearts and prayers were praying for the first option all week long.

When I walked into the door after school, Andy said, "You are not going to like what I'm going to tell you."  Then, I knew.  She would be attending the other school.  He shared with me the entire process, how everyone at the table wanted her to attend her home school, but the transportation routes are complicated and we need her to be picked up at her daycare.  So, the other option it is. 

I wallowed for an evening.  Wondering, why?  This school is our family.  We skyped into classrooms while in Ukraine.  They followed our process.  Staff and teachers alike knew of our Sarah.  When she walked through their doors after she was home, there were tears.  Tears to see the miracle she is.  She was home.  Even the kids' classmates know of Sarah, and give her shout-outs in the hallways.  Our home and family, and we wanted Sarah to be a part of that preschool.

 But, today I know she is to shine her light in a new place.  Her daycare has seen what a miracle she is and what she can do.  Every day, she receives shout-outs as she walks the halls to her room.  She is loved.

And she will be loved in her new school.  Tomorrow, she begins the next chapter in her story.

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. Keep your chin up, Mom! There are lots of bumps in this journey of life. Sarah's light will shine bright no matter where she attends school!

  2. specs 4 us ( are the lenses i've seen are used with our kids :)

    she will shine wherever she goes, and see this as an opportunity to shine in a new place, with new people, changing minds and hearts! more people will be reached through Sarah in this new place!


  3. this is so hard.
    i hope y'all had a good day today!
    and btw, i had a hard time when i found out ben will eventually need glasses too.
    i don't know why, but i went through the same emotions as you did.
    big hugs to you shelly!

  4. When Corbin was about 2 we he got glasses. He is very near sighted, so much that he didn't know that there were leaves on trees, or that the
    Moon existed! Just think about all of the new discoveries that Sarah will find now.

  5. Hello!
    I was connected to your blog via Reece's Rainbow and this is my first comment. I have a friend with Down Syndrome who wears glasses, she and her family quickly became frustrated on keeping them up on her nose.

    I found this company, and it has made all the difference!

    I hope this helps!
    God Bless,
    Sarah B.