I've been told that graduate school is a bit like a black hole- you go in and disappear...except that you come back out. Eventually.
This semester was definitely a lot more work than the previous two, but at least I'm now going at a rate that will lead to completion in less than six years (six years...shudder). I figure that if I really push myself, I might be ready for my final semester by this time next year. And that sounds just heavenly.
I have to keep telling myself that all of this hard work will eventually pay off. Hopefully.
But, that's enough about school. It's Christmas! Let's talk about something that is way more fun.
Yesterday I went to a Christmas carol sing at Rachel's school, which is also where I went to elementary school. It was a lot of fun to attend the event as a parent. Everything was just too cute, and I kind of felt like I was in a Hallmark Christmas movie. The kids had their pajamas on, the school was decorated for Christmas, and the gym was filled with parents and grandparents and teachers that I haven't seen in years. It was fantastic!
Afterwards, we hugged Rachel good-bye and took Ryan in for another appointment. This time he was assessed for a sensory sensitivity. We haven't gotten the final results back yet, but it appears that he most likely has something called Sensory Processing Disorder (which isn't an official disorder according to the DSM-5, but, I believe, most experts expect that it will be included in the next update).
SPD means that Ryan's sensory processing doesn't work like other kids' systems. Sometimes his senses are overstimulated and he totally freaks out; other times his senses are dulled and he completely misses things. A lot of kids with CAS (Childhood Apraxia of Speech) are also diagnosed with SPD or similar disorders, so this wasn't a complete surprise to us. But, that doesn't make it any easier.
Now we've got an even longer road ahead of us, filled with regular occupational therapy appointments (in addition to all of his speech treatments), training for us and his other caregivers and teachers, and lots and Lots and LOTS of patience. I cannot imagine what it's like to be in Ryan's tiny little body, and it kills me that he can't tell us himself.
After waiting for over three years, Ryan finally said, "I love you" a few weeks ago (although, it sounded more like I uv oo, but we knew what he meant). He was copying Rachel when he said it, but it was beautiful. And it made all of our efforts worth it.
Last week we made the difficult decision to sell our land. We love the location and the lot is absolutely beautiful, but we realized that this particular spot is not right for us. We have a few other opportunities that we're chasing, but as of today we are not exactly certain where our new home will finally be built. That's disappointing because we had planned to start looking for a builder after the holidays, and having to put the process off for at least another year is really discouraging.
We have our entire house designed...right down to the color of the kitchen cabinet knobs. I'm ready to build. Now. I don't ever remember praying for patience (I believe my exact words were, "I pray for peace"), but it seems as though God is dishing out plenty of opportunities to develop my abilities in that specific area of my life.
So, that's us right now. We're just doing our thing and living our lives like everyone else is also doing.
But... I could use a tad less drama. And a new house.