First, I have recently been reminded of the amount of faithful brothers and sisters in Christ who pray for our family (and Bella specifically), Josh and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The prayers are felt so vividly, I cannot put it into words.
Second, I just read the last post I wrote and realized I needed to update you on Bella's progress. She is almost recovered completely from her period of regression, to God be the glory. After many, many tough days and nights, we fought and prayed through her struggles and came out stronger (with a few extra grey hairs to boot). She has now adjusted to the presence of her sister (she's still distant but mildly interested), she has also stopped the incessant screaming sessions and all-nighters! We changed a few things at school to make her less frustrated, added some new supplements through Dr. Sears (which I will fill you in on later), and started essential oils (more to come on this too...wow, impressed to say the least).
Third, and here's my hippie story:
So Bella gets therapy 4 days a week for 2.5 hours each session in home. Applied Behavioral Therapy is hard work for kids with autism as it stretches them to "be present" at all times listening to their therapist and interacting with their surroundings (which at times can be excruciatingly hard). Each session we start Bella off with a walk to the park to help her unwind and meet her stimulus needs. She often cries when therapy starts and I hurt for her because she essentially spends her entire day until 5:30 doing some sort of autism therapy or school:( So, as a mom... I hurt for her and feel, at times, that I may be pushing her too hard. Here's where it gets hippie...
...about mid January we were walking and a butterfly followed Bella for about four minutes down the path to the park. I helped point it out to her and silently marveled at the way it bounced beautifully and carelessly through the air around her. I noted the sweet moment and thanked the Lord for giving it to us. Then the next week, it happened again on our way. Then again, and again, and again... as if this butterfly was waiting for the very moment my sweet daughter would walk by to follow her. Then, yesterday as Bella was having a tough tantrum and I was exhausted from the day with her precious teething sister, it came directly to our home. I was pushing Bella on the swing and it flew by my face, almost hitting me! I stopped and was filled with this strange sense of God's grace in my life. I suddenly realized that this butterfly meant so much to me (hippie or crazy not sure) --- I closed my eyes and it was as if God was showing me that Bella is much like this delicate creature. Think about it, butterflies don't start off flying. There is a detailed and somewhat strenuous process that they go through as caterpillars to become the beautiful creatures that result:
"One day, the caterpillar stops eating, hangs upside down from a twig or leaf and spins itself a silky cocoon or molts into a shiny chrysalis. Within its protective casing, the caterpillar radically transforms its body, eventually emerging as a butterfly"
I laughed when I read "spins itself" because Bella does her fair share of spinning :) I literally almost cried as the butterfly flew by my face because I needed that reminder so desperately. That God created Bella and is continually molding her into the person he has planned her to be. She is shamelessly gorgeous, I know. But, her little heart is precious too! She works so hard to learn and strive and I thank God for the beautiful reminders he keeps sending me. It's in the little things, I pray the eyes of my heart are always open to finding them.
Peace, Love, and Butterflies.