Hey everyone. I wanted to take some time tonight to write and update everyone on how things are going with Caleb and the rest of the family. I pray that this note finds all of you well. I am amazed at how far Caleb has come in the last 2 years. Hard to believe our little Caleb is now 4 years old! Some of you may remember one of the most recent prayer requests that we’ve had for him (a prayer request that we have kept going for over a year now) has revolved around Caleb’s speech and cognitive abilities. For the longest it seemed Caleb was only able to string together about 2 and 3 words at a time. Every now and then he would be able to say maybe a 4 word sentence, but that was about it. And as far as his cognitive abilities were concerned, I will never forget sitting with Metro Schools after they evaluated him and them saying that Caleb registered the lowest on the scale for mental capabilities. They told us then that we had about 3 good years to get his scores up or he would be deemed “mentally challenged,” as far as scoring was concerned, which of course would affect his future education possibilities. That was a year ago.
Caleb’s strides in speech have also been indicative of another success that we have seen in his recovery, and that is his cognitive abilities have improved. His speech has simply shown us that he is more aware of his surroundings, more understanding of norms around him, and more able to properly express himself in his social context. He has gone to a special ed preschool this last year, and his teachers there have all said that being in the classroom has really helped Caleb to mature socially. We’ve seen it too. It’s really hard to explain it, but he just seems to understand more. He responds to certain things, actions, and circumstances more appropriately than he ever used to. No doubt this latter news has really made Tiffany and I very excited, for this has been the very thing that we have prayed for, for so long. We have a long way to go in this area, but some news is very very good news.
As far as Caleb’s physical therapy is concerned, we actually completed it a couple of months ago. Vanderbilt therapists came to us and said that he was essentially age appropriate at this point, and that the only thing we needed to continue to reinforce at this time would be continued balance, something we always work with him on with his therapy routine at home. Having one less therapy a week has been a great relief as well. As for vision, Caleb continues to improve. His vision is dramatically better and every time we go back for more checkups, the reports are always good. Oh, and I almost forgot to report, that list of IEP goals that Caleb was to have for the next 3 years? He has accomplished nearly half of them already and soon we will be reevaluating them to make updates.
Chloe, who is now almost 7 months old, is now starting to get into the crawling position and starting to rock back and forth. Yep, you know what will be next. We’ve had struggles with her health over the last few months, most recently a string of UTI infections. We actually just found out today that she tested positive for a condition that has to do with urine travelling into the her kidneys. It is a potentially dangerous condition, but not with antibiotics. The doctor prescribed Chloe to be on antibiotics for the next year in hopes that her body will change and develop and the condition will work itself out. A year is a long time to wait for something like that, but we are confident that everything will be ok and that she will not need any further treatment.
Tiffany is absolutely the best mom I’ve ever seen. She works hard to provide for the kids as a stay at home mom, and has most recently taken back up her interest in developing a hobby around photography. Her days are filled with chasing the kids around the house, cooking, cleaning, and teaching the kids. I couldn’t ask for a more loving and previous wife. Her faith amazes me at every turn and ever since the accident, I have seen her love for Christ deepen in ways that I have seen in very few others. One of the things that came as an aftereffect of all that happened through our son’s accident, is it afforded us the opportunity to really think deeply about the quality of not only our relationship with God, but also with each other. When you nearly lose one of your children, life has a way of making you put all things under a microscope. Call it God’s Sovereignty or what have you, the result has been that we’ve progressively become more aware of the things that God has been doing in our lives. This, like any process of change, has been difficult. But the fruit on the other side as we’ve both grown into the things God has led us into has been beautiful. God has done nothing but shown his love toward us, as he has Soverignly brought us through so much these past 2 years, and closer to one other.
As for me, I am still putting the finishing touches on the book. It went to the editor for Thomas Nelson and it was sent back to us for some minor revisions, mainly formatting issues, and tense issues. We also need to shave a little more off the word count, which to my surprise has not been that hard to do. My editor joked the other day that writing a book for the first time is like giving birth to a baby. Can’t say I’ve had the experience, but the process sure has been a hard one. Where it stands now is, once I get it back from my grammar and content editor, I will do a final read-through, and then it will go off to Thomas Nelson for their full review. I expect all that to happen within the next month. There is already talk of another book that may come after this one, one I would write…how’s this for a title…A Faith That Moves Mountains?
I continue to do graphic design and web design from home, as well as build my mobile marketing business. Things have been tough financially for us recently and as such, we are in the process of making lots of decisions. One decision may have me going back into the healthcare industry while I continue to work on my business. My heart of course is in ministry, and I pray daily that a door will open for me to serve in that capacity. I continue to speak as a guest speaker at times, in different congregations. I created a “tent making ministry” of sorts, called Fellowship Mobile, a spin off business from my mobile marketing company. It’s a text and mobile website application that churches can use to send out mass alerts, updates, prayer requests, etc. and use as a way to reach out to the community. My idea was to get at least 50 clients (churches) to sign up, which would create enough income for me to be able to serve a congregation for free—kind of a play on Paul’s philosophy in the New Testament–and a personal dream I’ve always had. Still debating on trying this idea.
All that aside, as a family we continue to grow and learn the many lessons that God continues to unfold in front of us. We have learned so much and continue to learn on a daily basis. We’ve been blessed with wonderful family and friends and a wonderful community of believers that we have now become a part of at the Smith Springs Church of Christ. We’re also blessed to continue to be surrounded by so many wonderful Facebook friends, who even to this day still ask and check up on Caleb. Your love and prayers are nothing short of awesome.
So as is custom, I would like to ask for a prayer request. First for all the little boys and girls who’s requests we post on Caleb’s Facebook often, and also finally for Caleb’s continued progress in Speech and his cognitive abilities.
Thank you all.