One of the greatest gifts I have received this Holiday season is being able to hear SJ talk. Last year she had ZERO words and this year when we walked into my parents house she saw the Christmas tree and said tree and star! she can say snowman (even if it’s just snow, everything is called snowman). She says hot when we are warming up with a hot chocolate or at the fireplace. When she sees the jolly man in the red suit she says Santa- ho ho ho. She says help me when she wants us to open a new toy, and she says all done and sings a simple version of the clean up song after playing (not every time, but the point is she CAN).  The list goes on and I am so grateful and proud of her progress. She works hard and although we’ve hit some bumps in the road, I know better than to take any word for granted.

SJ had her first Christmas pageant this year. I bought her a special dress and a bow that jingled. She loved it and wanted to wear it around the house.


I tried to tell her, and sign to her, that she could wear it later, but she didn’t understand. She cried. She grabbed the dress and screamed MINE! Then she signed Beautiful, beautiful. I felt so bad that I had to take it away and that we are no where near the place in our communication where she could understand “you have to save this dress for your winter program at school”. I know that even a hearing three year old would more than likely still not comply,  but at least they would know why you were taking it away.

When the time came for her to wear the dress I curled her hair and my mom bought her new shoes. She was quite the Christmas princess as she stood on the stage that night.

 Her part was to say “I love you mommy, daddy, Z, baby Ezie”. She didn’t quite get all that out, but she signed daddy and said “ma ma daddy. Deemah. I love you mama” and the reason she said Deemah is because that is her classmates name and she saw Deemah’s mom in the crowd.

The next day at the school’s Christmas party Santa gave her a present.

 SJ unwrapped it to find a simple paper back book called “The Littlest Christmas Star”.

I smiled and was happy for her, but when I read it aloud I realized it was so much more than just a story. It was about a boy that wanted to have a big part in his Christmas play at school, but all of the major roles were taken. His part was to dress up like the Bethlehem star and he only had one little line which was “follow me”. At the end of book it talks about the bright light shining down on him. The crowd cheered, and he knew then, that even though he may have had a small part, he was a BIG star. I would say that book was more than just a gift from Santa to SJ, I think it was also a gift from my heavenly Father to me. Seeing SJ in the winter program could have been a reminder for me of how far behind she is compared to the other kids in her class. She can’t speak as well as her friends and she couldn’t quite muster out the words they had practiced for weeks, but still, that night as she stood up there and spoke into the microphone she was my shining star.

In SJ’s fundraiser letter last year I said “please join us as we help SJ reach her fullest potential and shine on” and so many people came together to help make that happen. In fact, I have a dear friend that wanted to donate, but wasn’t able to at the time. When I saw her over the holiday break she gave us a Christmas card with a generous amount inside to go toward SJ’s school. What she didn’t realize was that it was the EXACT amount that we owe on her tuition from last year. Isn’t God good?  I am so glad SJ gets to go to this school and I’m thrilled to see and hear the progress she is making. I can’t even imagine what she will be saying next Christmas. Shine on my little star. Shine on!