My next weekly recap is going to be full of new developments, but the most noteworthy of them all is that Geri spoke her first word. I keep saying it's her first English word, but the reality is that it's her first word ever. That's right, at almost 4 years old she was completely without speech in the orphanage. She "uttered random syllables," as they describe it in her medical profile, and that was it.
It was this piece of information that led our pediatrician to warn us that she may be mentally retarded. He said it would probably be mild, but he couldn't come up with any other reason why she wouldn't be speaking at all. He said that the environment just didn't explain it. The orphanage, from our description, sounded like a very good facility and she was being fed adequately so it sounded like a nice enough place. If she wasn't speaking yet, something must be wrong with her. That was his reasoning, and I can see why he arrived at that conclusion.
This blows it all out of the water. In 12 days with us she has accomplished what they couldn't do with her in almost 4 years. Why? I could speculate all day, but I won't. I don't want to appear ungrateful to the facility that kept her alive for us. It's hard to guess at the reasons without seeming to blame them, and that's not a road I want to toddle off down.
I, for one, have decided that it's God's good will. He wanted us, her parents, to be there for all her firsts. Her first word, her first steps, all those things that you write down in the baby book and treasure in your heart. Those firsts are going to be ours, a part of our family history, instead of part of some shadowy past that we can't fully access or understand. I'm grateful for them. God has given us something beautiful, and in the process we get to witness miraculous improvements in our beautiful girl.