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My husband and I waited over two years to adopt a baby. Maria was born on November 2, 2010. We were at the hospital when she was born and were able to hold her, even before her first bath. We couldn’t believe how blessed we were. The second we saw her we knew she was always meant to be our daughter.
At six months Maria wasn’t sitting on her own. I had concerns and took her to the pediatrician who then referred us to a neurologist. He suspected Maria had Cerebral Palsy and we started physical and occupational therapy right away. We weren’t sure Maria would ever be able to walk, but she is the most determined little girl. She worked so hard. She finally started crawling at a year and eventually was using a little walker at age two. Around two and a half she began walking on her own. It was a miracle. To this day we don’t take one step for granted. At age four she can even ride a bike with training wheels. When she got her bike she would go outside and practice. She didn’t want us to help, but she would get so frustrated and start crying when she couldn’t pedal. In true Maria fashion, after a week, she was riding it all by herself. We are so proud and inspired by her tenaciousness and feisty spirit.
At this time, Maria’s biggest challenge is speech. She has been diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech and Dysarthria, making it very difficult for her to learn to talk. Maria is very bright and learns sign language quickly. Recently, her school has given her an iPad to use with the Proloquo 2 Go app. She is learning how to use this device to help her communicate. We would love to have an iPad with this app at home so she could continue to learn to use it for communication. Maria has good eye-hand coordination is able to select the buttons with accuracy. She is a great candidate for this type of communication device due to her ability to memorize where the buttons are located.
My husband and I have so much hope for Maria. We are confident that she will continue to amaze us with new accomplishments. Maria brings joy to everyone she meets through her incredible smile, laugh and loving personality. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share Maria’s story. : Maria’s Mom.