Beautiful Life

Hey child up and go; A big world is out there waiting for us to live in every day. Outside you will find, there is love all around you; Takes you, makes you wanna' say; That it's a beautiful life and it's a beautiful world and it's a beautiful time to be here, to be here, to be here. -Fisher

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


The word can't defined this child for two and a half years.  I believe, just based on what I got when she was placed in my arms, that she heard that word, or some semblance of it, more often than not.  You can't walk, you can't run, you can't do it, you can't learn, you can't understand.....

The 30 month old handed to me, was a developmental 10 month old.  That's a huge deficit, even for an orphan and especially for one living in foster care for 24 for those 30 months.

She never uttered a word to us in her native tongue.  According to her foster mom, she only knew about ten words anyway.  They had tried to teach her.....but, she couldn't learn it. They had to tried to teach her songs and counting, but she couldn't learn that either. 

I confess, I'm not without blame.  I too have spoken in haste to tell her she can't do something.  But, she is patient with me.  She simply looks on and says, "Mama, can I try?" And the truth is, there are some things she can't {yet} do. But only some. 

And yet, that word.......the word can't,  has not found it's way into her vocabulary!

If anything, I think her beginnings have made her fighter.  She's out to prove that she can do anything you can do! 

She doesn't know how to swim.
She wouldn't put her face in the water three weeks ago.
She has to wear braces and shoes in order to walk around the pool.
And she doesn't {yet} have the upper body strength needed to keep herself above water and compensate for the low muscle tone in her legs.

But the idea that she can't be on the swim team has not occurred to her!

Thankfully, it didn't occur to our coach either!

Claire joined the swim team in early May.
She has since stopped wearing the Ducky.
And, will put her face all the way in the water.

She works with Coaches Brad, Shelby, Emily and Patrick.

But coach Jason, who also wore leg braces as a child, has taken a personal interest in her.
He talks to her and encourages her every time he sees her.
He thinks she is brave and has made it his mission to make sure she sets
 and reaches a swimming goal this season.
He'd like to see her swim the 25 meter backstroke or freestyle.
Without her Ducky.

Can't is not in his vocabulary either. 

God is good to make sure that she is surrounded by people who do not know that word!
Is it harder for a child with special needs to participate?
Thank God for people willing to make adjustments so she CAN!
Because neither she nor I care if she swims the 25 meter anything this year,
it's just the shear fact that she got to try!

The joy that she can if she wants too!


Michelle said...

pool, no ducky & face in the water??? WOOHOO!!!! WTG CLAIRE!!!! that sure is a big change from the child who hated baths when she got here!!!!!! BIG HUGS from michelle & casey

The Source said...

Hurray for Claire! Never, ever, ever believe "can't!" You have so much potential in you! God is an awesome God, He can take you where ever He needs you to go! So proud of you.

Sally-Girl! said...

Never thought about Bryson wearing his braces to swim. I have to carry him to the pool. What a great idea!!! Thanks for sharing as "I can't"is not in his vocab either!! He is getting new braces next week. We can use his old ones for swimming this summer!!!

you made me even happier on our TA day!!!!

wingepr said...

I just love your little Claire, she is such an inspiration to me. You are a wonderful mother and God has truly blessed you both! I look forward to watching your little princess continue to grow and thrive.

Christine said...

Chelsea this is so amazing! Go Claire Go! You and your family are such an inspiration to me!

Annie said...

Way to go, Claire!! I have one that doens't know that word either, unless she wants to know that word!! LOL!!

Claire is just amazing!!!