Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Strong Enough

Bei with one of his very favorite people, John.  People would be shocked to find this 50+ year old man hiding in closets and playing hiding and go seek for hours with his little buddy. 

Those of you who have followed my journey understand how challenging these past two years have been.   The first year with Kai was physically exhausting because of his inability to hold himself up and my exhaustion was compounded by the fact that he screamed inconsolably every single night and couldn't sleep.   Additionally, we were still identifying his medical needs.   As Kai's mobility improved in the second year I faced new challenges.   Trying to get the right services for him so that he can have a language.  Here was this bright little boy who was diagnosed with bilateral hearing impairment and he was virtually locked in from a communication standpoint.   Kai not only has oral motor delay which makes speaking hard, but he has ataxia which makes sign language even the more difficult.   This past year I have spent most of my time trying to get the right services for Kai through the school district.  It has been a battle to say the least.  I won't get into all the details in this post but I did think at one point it would be resolved in a court of law.  

Through all of the trials and tribulations of the past two years there came times when I thought this is bigger than myself and I can't do it on my own.   It was at those times, that I felt humbled before God and knew that this is His show and I am just an instrument for him to use.   There was a song that played on the radio that resonated with me this past year.   I wanted to share it with you because I think it speaks to so many different situations and different needs.  I hope you enjoy it.

With all that said, I would not change one minute or one day of these past years.  I have learned so much about love, life, people, and God.    Most importantly I have learned that my life is not about me, it is about serving others so that I can bring Glory to God.   It has all been so rewarding and worth every arse kicking I got...and I got alot these past 2 years!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Gift

The most important gift that a father gives a child is his name, his last name.   That name is handed down from generation to generation and for many a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the building of the reputation of that name.   That name carries with it, the weight of many years of experiences, decisions and actions of the father.    How a man lives his life has a huge impact on his child’s self-esteem and self-worth.   How many times have we heard “that child is one of the Smith’s children” and we instantly make a determination, good or bad, about the child based on the reputation of the family name.   A case in point, last year we watched Arnold Schwarzneggar's public fall from grace.   There had been rumors for years that he was a womanizer but now we learned that he not only had an affair with their house keeper but had a child with her.   His teenage son’s immediate reaction was that he wanted to change his last name,there was no longer honor in his father’s name.   When we take the role of fatherhood for granted and don’t give it the respect it deserves, there is no longer honor and integrity in giving our children their father’s last name.   Every child deserves to hold their head up high with pride in their voice and to announce their last name.   I want my son’s to be proud to be a K (due to privacy, not writing our last name) because their daddy lives with honor, integrity along with a moral compass.   Our last name is something that I teach the boys to be proud of.   I often use our last name to instill pride in them “We are the K’s and we belong together.”   “You two are K brothers forever”.   “We are K’s and we don’t behave like that." 

I am fortunate Dan is a great father but then again he was raised by a man that lived his life by the important virtues of family, community and God.   Dan’s dad, Bob, built a legacy for his children that they can all be proud of and hold their heads up high.   He gifted to them a reputation that is now important for them to carry forward for their children.  The legacy that I see Dan passing down to the boys is one of hard work and family.  Dan is usually out the door before the rest of us are out of bed and he gets home in the evening.     No matter how tired he is he always makes time to play with the boys.   Bei is CRAZY for his dad.   He usually starts asking about Dan about 3:00 p.m, saying he misses him and then makes me call him at least twice.  Dan is wonderful about taking his calls and is patient with him.  To be honest, I think it makes Dan giddy that Bei loves him so much.  Then when Dan walks through the door you better be out of the boy’s way because there is a mad dash to get the first hug from dad.    The weekends are usually family time.   If we aren’t at the cabin, we are doing project work because it is in Dan’s blood to always be working.    Our kids will grow up knowing how to do a lot of different stuff because of Dan.    Bei has already used a lot of tools, like a hammer, saw, drill press, power- nailer, staple gun with Dan safely and patiently helping him along the way.    I am grateful that my boys have such a wonderful dad, who will pass on an important gift which is a good reputation by the way that he lives his life. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kai Speaking

Dan and Bei playing with a really cool rocket that used baking soda and vinegar to launch itself

Below is a link to a video that Kai's school created for Mothers Day.   Kai is about the 8th child or 1 minute and 21 seconds into it.  Kai Kai Sweetie Pie struggles with his expressive language.  It is incredibly hard for him to talk because of his oral motor delay.   We believe that he has oral motor delay because he layed in a crib for 14 months with a bottle in his mouth.   The only food that he was on for 14 months was rice milk.   The strength of his tongue and muscles around his mouth are not full developed.   Two weeks ago he began sipping through a straw, which is a huge milestone for his oral motor strengthing.  Our little guy continues to make incredible strides. 

The majority of the children that attend Northern Voices have cochlear implants which means they are considered profoundly deaf.   Kai is not a candidate for cochlear implants because his hearing is in the moderate to severe range.  You will notice a wide spectrum of how well children speak.   There are so many different factors to a childs expressive success.   Enjoy the video.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


 Have you ever wondered what Ataxia looks like?   I caught some images on my camera that highlight Kai's coordination and balance issues.