BillIzzyIt has been said that we should develop an “attitude of gratitude.”  I honestly strive to follow this counsel, and as part of that effort would like to share something that is both humbling and incredibly exciting.

Challenges and triumphs have been experienced by my two youngest daughters who were both adopted and have special needs. When we adopted Isabelle we were aware of certain physical issues (which interestingly enough have proven to this point to be non-issues), but we had no idea the extent of the emotional and neurological damage resulting from 18 months of neglect in her orphanage.

When Isabelle was about four, we realized that, although she could walk and run pretty much like other children her age, for some reason she could not step off of a curb without one of us holding her hand.  From there we identified other behaviors that prompted us to seek help from medical professionals to diagnose and treat these symptoms.

Progress has been slow and heart-wrenching, both for Isabelle and for us as her parents.  We’ve shed tears on many occasions as Izzy has realized that although she looks physically like any other child, she can’t do what “all the other kids” can do.  We’ve enrolled her in activities at which we’ve known she would struggle  just to give her an opportunity to participate.  Many of these activities provide their own form of physical therapy so we’ve continued despite the lack of significant progress.

Then, earlier this week, I was puttering around the house when Isabelle asked me to come outside while she jumped on our trampoline.  As soon as I joined her, I got the usual “watch this,” which was followed by a complete bouncing flip … landing upright.  I could hardly believe what I was seeing.  To be sure it wasn’t a fluke, I told her to do it again … and again … and again.  Each flip included a successful landing.

I couldn’t find Diann fast enough.  All we could do is shake our heads and acknowledge what is nothing short of a miracle … and I thank God for that miracle.

There’s still a long way to go, but this is more than a milestone.  It’s a breakthrough.  Miracles happen, my friends.  My daughter is living proof.