Compared to other kids her age who we know from church or the
neighborhood, she's behind on a lot of things. It's hard for us to
know what to make of it. Is she a lot younger than the orphanage says
she is? Was it her early months of malnourishment and immobility? Is
she just genetically slower for now but will catch up? Or will she
never catch up? Are we bad parents? Or are we just being Type A,
pitting our kids against others' in a never-satisfied way?
Of course, many around us have their opinions. Some sound dire words
of caution, while others shrug it all off and say, "No worries." Both
are helpful, but not satisfying. We love our daughter, and we realize
it's hard to impossible to extrapolate a lifetime's happiness from 2
1/2 years of existence on the planet. And we do, on our better days,
remember that what we want most from these early years is that Jada
can be Jada, and not some more evolved version of herself that we are
constantly pushing and fretting her toward. Still, I must confess
it's been hard to be there, and easy instead to worry.