Saturday, August 14, 2010

Finding Her Voice

I have been doing flashcards with Hope all summer. We do flashcards in the morning when she wakes, again after lunch, and a third time before bed. When we began making "cards" a real routine, Hope initially enjoyed the lone attention from me, but wasn't too interested in the cards. However, recently, she began to make real attempts to say the words on the cards along with me. This morning, she attempted to say ALL the words. I ran to get my camera, but when I returned, she was "all done" with "cards". Check out a few seconds that I taped to hear her assert herself:

I don't know if you could tell, but when I asked if she was finished with the cards, she turned her head from me and said "no cards" (sounds more like "bah ardss").... I know you could plainly hear "done" and "eat"...but also, when I asked her if she wanted a drink, she tried to express "no" to that as well (sounds more like "naaa"). Hope is not much of a drinker; she'd prefer eating to drinking any time and was stating her preference beautifully.

We have waited to hear Hopey's voice for nearly five years. Through the process, God has taught us about patience and grace. While most on-lookers have seen a little girl throwing herself onto the floor in Target in a rage, I have seen a little girl wanting to tell her momma that she wants to go look at the Elmo toys but can't make her mouth say the words. At times, spectators probably didn't understand why I would drop to the floor beside her in the middle of the store to calmly say: "I know you want to tell me something, so let's go through the store and find what you want to show me" before gathering her up into my arms and carrying her to find the aisle that sells all stuff "Sesame Street". Perhaps I have been called an over-indulgent mom who needs to discipline her child. I don't care. We have persevered and words are coming. Hope is finding her voice. Pretty soon, I can be a mom who hears Hopey tell me what she wants, and I can choose to say "sure honey" or "not right now".... the anticipation is nearly more than I can handle!

I am reminded of the words of Isaiah: "Those who wait upon the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary."

There are two paths in life, and we are all on one of them. The journey is long and difficult, and when life lessons teach us patience and grace, as an added bonus, we gain new strength. This momma could take on a giant today!

Love to all who love my Hope!


  1. You are a wonderful, kind and big hearted Mommy and don't let anyone tell you anything different. Hugs and what progress miss Hopey is making. Go Hope.

  2. Melanie- I have been out of touch with your blog, but I LOVE this one!! I am so happy I was able to see the video and read your comments. Hope and I went over 'the cards' on Thursday at school, and although I didn't get any spontaneous or imitative responses, she 'stayed right with me' as we went through them. She was very intently focused on my modeling--and now I'm thinking perhaps she was just so stunned by a different voice saying all those words that were previously just shared with your voice. Brenda A. said I was to keep the box in the speech room to use with Hope, but now I'm wondering if you want them returned each day so the 2 of you can continue with your drills, too? We can keep them in her backpack if you'd like. Just let me know. Her final sounds in words are really coming on strong!