Two More Milestones Reached!

Kgakgamatso (“KG”) was ejected from a vehicle when she was ten days old. All of the adults in the vehicle, including her birth mom, were killed in the accident, and KG spent the entire night lying on the ground until the accident was discovered some time the next morning. We brought her home from the hospital when she was two months old, and almost immediately we took her to South Africa for medical evaluations. The pediatric neurologist who examined KG gave a bleak prognosis. “You are looking at school for the blind and every kind of therapy known to man,” she said, “and even then, there is a good chance that she will never walk, talk, or see.”

The Botswana government kindly expedited KG's adoption so that we could take her back to the United States and pursue “every kind of therapy known to man.” From the age of nine months, KG had a full schedule, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, vision therapy, speech therapy, and even, at one point, music therapy. Most children take their motor skills for granted. Sitting up, standing up, walking, skipping, hopping, all are just blips on the screen for them. KG has had to work hard for every skill she's gained. As a result, her “baby book” is like no other. Most parents record standing up, first steps, first words, etc. Those milestones were so long in coming that Mark and I rejoiced in other events. Sucking her thumb was one of the first “normal” things that KG did, and I was quick to record it in her baby book. Six years of hardcore thumb-sucking later, we regret celebrating that event!

When KG threw her first temper tantrum, I cheered and ran to write it in her book. The first time she picked her nose, I yelled “Hurray!!!” and wrote it down. Little by painstakingly little, we were able to add “real” milestones—mostly words, because her vocabulary developed faster than anything else. Finally, when she was four years old, she took her first independent steps. That was a huge event!

One year ago, we took a big step and moved back to Botswana, wondering how our move would affect KG's development. We needn't have worried. She has blossomed like a flower, and recently, at age 6½, she achieved two more huge milestones! One day she stood for four seconds without holding onto anyone or anything. The next day she got up from the floor into a standing position without holding onto anyone or anything. Getting into a standing position without support and standing independently are milestones that are normally reached at 12 to 18 months of age. This means that we waited more than five years to record them in KG's book. After writing my family, I thought about notifying CNN and Fox News, but I decided that the FM News Page is the best place to post this exciting news!