In his book “Parenting From The Inside Out” Dr. Daniel Siegel discusses how, in some ways, adoptive parents become their children’s biological parents by way of nurture. Our experiences form our perceptions, our perceptions form our experiences – all changing the mapping of our brain.
Nurture changes the very shape, the very inner workings, of our brain.
The question is not nurture vs. nature. Because the answer is both – they cannot be separated – they are all one in the same. A beautiful fingerprint in our creation – we are created for relationship.
Last May we had Tootaw assessed by the school district because we, her therapist, and the doctor had serious concerns regarding her development and cognitive abilities. We know that both FAS and sensory processing disorder play a role in what we have seen – and we were really concerned.
The assessment returned with global concerns. She was given a formal testing to assess where she was and what services to put into place. At that time she scored a 33% on the cognitive exam, 35% on social, and 40% on adaptive. So, services started.
The services that the school district provided were nothing spectacular. We’ve seen the occupational therapist a whopping two times since we started, and the teachers didn’t do anything we weren’t already doing at home. But, I stepped it up at home and got a lot more intentional with our time. We ramped up the nurture. I started making sure that we had significantly more sensory activities daily. And, most significantly, I started a homeschool preschool program with the girls starting in August.
Sometime in September, the teachers that we were seeing began talking about what a difference they were seeing in her – and we were seeing it too!
Recalling information she had learned – even letters and letter sounds!
Being able to follow three step requests.
Understanding cause and effect.
Things that did. not. happen. before.
So in November we decided to re-evaluate her to see where she was.
It was amazing.
Incredible. So much healing.
Healing that came from felt safety and nurture. Changing the mapping of the brain.
Are there still issues? Yes. We deal with sensory processing issues every day. But we are learning to work with them. Are there still things that will be difficult? Yes.
But what amazing provision God gives in the miracle of nurture.
And only more evidence that we are created to need each other. To love each other and sharpen each other to our full potential for his glory.