Family Life, Trusting God

How Did We Get Here?

The King’s Speech Raises Awareness of Language...

Let me back up and give you some history. After two years of a blessed marriage, God gave us another wonderful blessing: our son, Gabriel. Life was quite a whirlwind as two inexperienced parents try to figure out how to care for this little one. Gabriel’s first couple of years were quite normal. For the most part, he was a mellow kid. I remember when he was 1 year old, I was sitting at a party and talking to a friend for a couple of hours, and he just stayed very still on my lap, quietly observing what was around him. He didn’t squirm at all or complain. At only 18 months old, he already welcomed a new baby sister, Tamara.

Gabriel hit all the typical milestones so we had no reason to worry … until his doctor began to ask about his speech development. “Is he saying sentences? Two-word sentences? Three-word sentences?” Not really. More like one word sentences mixed with a lot of baby talk sounds and gibberish. He was two and a half. He’s a late bloomer, we thought, give it some time. We held off on getting him evaluated by a speech pathologist even after the strong encouragement from his pediatrician. By the time he was three, we could tell something was not quite right. Behavioral problems increased partly due to the difficulty in communication. We finally had him evaluated, and he was diagnosed with Mixed Expressive/Receptive Language Disorder. Basically, that means, compared to other children his age, he has significant delays in what he is able to say (expressive) and what he is able to understand (receptive). At 3 1/2 years old, he began working with a speech therapist once a week. This continued on until he was 5 years old. Then, we had a decision to make. Where would he go to school? His speech therapist and doctors all encouraged us to put him in our local public school. “Immerse him” was a phrase we heard over and over again. We prayed and sought the Lord for wisdom. Gabriel has had some classroom experience in our church Sunday School. And, although he had amazing teachers, who really tried to work with him, we knew he just did not thrive in a classroom setting. My husband had volunteered in his class for some time, and he observed that, for the most part, Gabriel was in his own world. We already knew what would happen if we enrolled him in our public school’s Kindergarten class.

After much prayer and counsel, we decided that I would homeschool Gabriel. We are so blessed to have many friends from church who are also homeschooling and many have been doing it for years. I had to deal with some nerves as is typical with most first-time homeschooling moms, but it was exciting to plan for our school year ahead. It has been a challenging endeavor, but we are convinced that our son will thrive better in the home than in a classroom of 30 kids.

Fast forward to today and here I am, now with two more little blessings, Chase and Eric. Homeschooling has been more challenging than ever, with more children to attend to but also because of Gabriel’s special needs. I know that Gabriel’s needs are not as severe as others, but they do require a measure of patience, love, understanding, strength, and grace that I often feel deficient in …. until the Lord brings me to my senses and shows me the ocean of patience, love, understanding, strength, and grace that belong to Him.

(Photo credit: University of Maryland Press Release)

Note: Some names on this site have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

11 thoughts on “How Did We Get Here?”

  1. When i read your story, i saw myself in many of the situations because i had to go through what your son went through. I don’t have a problem with speech, but my cognitive ability took a serious hit when i had my seizure, which is the messing up of the brain signals to make you think of different things that i “should”

  2. Your story is clearly a story of total dependence on God, what a blessed position you are in (even if the flesh doesn’t agree at times! :)), and what a rich harvest shall you reap for Him as He is glorified through you.
    May He give you more grace in abundance to walk out the path He has chosen for you, a path chosen with love and for your best, so that you would prosper.
    Bless you all…Sharon x

  3. It may sound odd, but as a wife whose husband is deep into Alzheimer’s, I can SO relate to your journey. You sound like a woman whose strength must come from the Lord, as none of us has the strength to do your job without his help. I am glad to subscribe to your blog and look forward to knowing you better. In turn, I hope you visit my blog (a new address for me) and if you have a mind to, subscribe. Blessings, Claudia
    (my former website is

  4. So glad you chose to homeschool. Maybe YHWH gave Gabriel his speech problem just so you would. I have just finished 15 years of homeschooling 3 children, most as a sole parent. My youngest (born) finished last year. His name is also Gabriel. My middle son had learning problems. He’s now a jackaroo and loves it. For the first 8 years or so I had to recommit every day. But I always knew it was Father’s ONLY will for us. So I just committed to getting them all through. Imagine, you and nobody else are teaching your children to: read, write, do maths, find out about the world, everything that strangers are teaching other people’s children. You know what they are doing and learning every minute. The sense of achievement at the end is unbelievable. I’ll pray for you. Debra

    1. Thank you so much! Days can be difficult, but I do believe, with all my heart, that The Lord is good, His plans are good, and He has allowed everything to happen for His higher purposes.

  5. Since you had found my blog I thought I would come visit yours. I’m glad I did, and glad we found each other. I homeschool and one of mine is special needs, too. I can relate to what you’ve written about. May God keep on blessing all that you do with your family and your blog. betty jo,

  6. Bless your heart. You certainly have your hands full. Years ago I homeschooled 3 kids, one with ADD and the other one with ADHD, of course we didn’t really know much about those disorders then. It certainly was a challenge at times.

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