Many of you remember her as "Aubree" from the Reece's Rainbow website. We fondly call her Lyra which means music, and if you know our family, you know that her name is very appropriate.
When we first began to pray about adopting Lyra, all we knew was she had a diagnosis of Arthrogryposis and "moderate mental delays"; however, a video we saw of her made us wonder if there wasn't something more going on. She seemed to have some spasticity in her limbs and difficulty talking especially when excited. We were also privileged to see a videoed interview of her asking about what she wanted in a family, what her likes and dislikes where, her favorite color etc. In this interview, the interpreter, someone who knows and loves her, said she was much smarter than her speech would indicate. Since brining her home, we agree.
Lyra has been learning very quickly and although she still has a difficult time articulating her words, she is picking up English quickly as well as American Sign Language. The later she uses when she's unable to get a word out, like "thirsty". Although she never had the privilege of going to school until she came home, she loves school, participates well and is picking up everything very quickly. Unfortunately though her lack of education, special needs and that she is already 15 makes the possibility of her catching up to her peers bleak. However! It can be done.
Lyra has until the age of 21 to graduate with a diploma from the public school system. That gives her 6.5 years to complete 13 years of schooling. We have decided that this year she will stay in the special needs class and we will work on language immersion and early education. Next year it is our goal to mainstream her in a classroom of her peers. Somehow, someway, we can do this. Right now her education plan states she will receive a "certificate" which means she would not graduate, and then go on to classes for adults with special needs. Jode and I feel she is able to graduate, given the chance, and go on to college. She deserves this opportunity.
So wherever you are around the world reading this blog, please say a pray for her, and us, and all those in the education system who will rally behind her to make this happen. We know she has a "long row to hoe" as we say here in the South, but we serve a Mighty God for whom nothing is impossible.
Thank you for your prayers!