In one year so much has changed. This time last year, Rory and Alfie were both still babies; still cuddly and chubby with fat rolls to die for.
Now, they are little boys; boisterous, mischievous and always looking for an adventure.
But it is not only Rory and Alfie who have changed, our entire family has changed!
I completed my degree and started my training contract to be a solicitor, Zak and I became engaged and we started the search for our forever home.
Though we haven’t found it yet, it is an exciting journey to be on.
What is more exciting is watching our boys grow up.
Whilst watching Rory develop and grow, we never thought we’d see Alfie progress much further.
From his diagnosis, all of the experts were nothing but negative. All they could say is what Alfie will never do.
Yet one year on and he has defied their expectations already, he is becoming stronger physically and mentally.
He is learning to crawl and can walk with the help of his walking frame, his cheeky and sassy nature shines through more and more each day.
He is testing boundaries, the same as any other two-year-old and learning about his likes and dislikes.
In January 2018, Alfie got his cochlear implants and over the past 6-months, his use of them and understanding of language has developed massively.
He turns to the sounds he enjoys, is startled by the sounds he doesn’t expect and has even started to ignore people when he cannot be bothered to listen.
For parents of hearing children, your child ignoring you and rolling your eyes when they are bored of listening to you is normal, sometimes even expected.
It is a part of development and growing up. But for parents of a child with hearing loss, it is exciting and amazing when you realise your child is choosing to ignore you.
For many, this will make no sense- why would someone enjoy being ignored, especially by their child?
But with cochlear implants, sounds are not distinguished, it is not possible to focus on one sound as all sounds are picked up, whether Alfie wants to hear them or not.
So, for Alfie to hear us and choose not to respond is amazing. Sometimes you see him smile and look away, taking delight in being able to choose not to respond.
And for Alfie that is incredible.
To be able to choose what he wants to do and doesn’t want to do, what he likes, and dislikes was something that was always uncertain for Alfie.
Due to the nature of his disability, it wasn’t known if he would be mentally and intellectually able to make choices because we didn’t know if his cerebral palsy would affect that part of his brain.
So, to see him make conscious decisions and understand what is going on around him bring us indescribable joy and happiness.
He truly is unstoppable, and we will always be there to support him and Rory in everything they want to do.
His diagnosis does not and will not define him