I love watching our youngest two children play together. Gideon has decided that Maliah exists to be his buddy. He brings her a toy truck and they race through the kitchen, chasing each other in circles around the island. They play Ring Around the Rosie or swing on the hanging bar in Maliah’s room together. Sometimes she’s content to follow him around; sometimes she’ll grab him by the hand and lead him to whatever it is she wants to do. But she engages with him on a regular basis, and that’s a pretty big step for Maliah.
We’ve done a lot of things to help her social and intellectual development since we adopted her. She goes to preschool where she has a dedicated worker; she sees an early intervention worker, a speech therapist… the list is long. But sometimes I think the best thing we did for her is have another kid.
Gideon is her biggest advocate and her closest friend. And of course, to him she’s just his sister. He’s little enough that he doesn’t find it unusual that she can only hear when she’s wearing electronic equipment on her head. He’s an empathetic little guy and he’s always trying to get her to come along and play. They still fight, of course, but they entertain each other a lot too. And she pays more attention to him than most other people.
We never would have planned it this way. Gideon was a surprise. There’s no way we logically would have decided, “Hey, we’re about to adopt a kid with special needs. Why not have another baby too? The more the merrier!”
There are plenty of moments when having four kids so close together is challenging. And exhausting. But I wouldn’t change a thing. When I look at the impact our youngest has on our daughter, I know this is all for the best. Turns out God knows what he’s doing, even if his plans seem crazy to us sometimes.