Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Reflecting on turning 4

It has been MONTHS since I have update via the blog.  You have Facebook to thank for that.  I find it is easier to just put Sadie updates out on Facebook...but, I have so much to say about Sadie turning 4.

I  have been thinking lots lately about Sadie's birthmom.  We know nothing really about her, so we can only assume by what we do know.

It was 4 years ago on this day that at 34 weeks pregnant, she walked into a hospital and had a saline abortion administered to end the life of the baby girl with Hydrocephalus she was carrying.  It was 4 years ago today that God miraculously intervened.

In the past, when thinking about this, I use to have so much anger about the abortion act itself.  Being a mom, I just can not understand anyone ending the life of an unborn child.  Being extremely PRO-LIFE, to take the life of another....a voiceless child...seemed nothing short of barbaric. Asking the questions about Sadie's brain injury, vision loss, hearing loss, Cerebral Palsy....were those the result of the abortion...is pointless, but for some reason seems to be one that MANY people ask.  To us it's like the chicken and the egg.  Doesn't matter which was first.

More recently, looking at Sadie in my arms, I've started to wonder what she looks like...Sadie's birthmom.  She must have been beautiful.  I picture her with fine features, curly eye lashes, dark expressive eyes, small hands and just a radiant, light up her entire face, smile....like my Sadie's.

Thinking about Sadie's birth story, we have to conclude that her birthmom must have had access to money, as she DID Have an ultrasound, that diagnosed her Hydrocephalus.  In addition...the fact that she went INTO the hospital to have the abortion, verses trying to abort on her own, cements the facts to us, that she must come from a family that has financial resources.

But then, thinking further into that theory, no amount of money would have ever given them the resources to properly care for Sadie in Ghana.  Her life there would be one more than likely full of pain, malnutrition, illness and certain early death.

Those thoughts now have me thinking that maybe the choice to abort Sadie was not selfish...but in her mind....the only OPTION.  Maybe she knew that her life would be one of suffering, and as a mom, I could not bare watching my child live a LIFE of suffering.

Today I am asking for prayers....pray for Sadie's birthmom to feel forgiveness if she needs to be forgiven.  To feel the love we give to her daughter....on down to her.  To feel Christ's love for her. To know PEACE that her daughter is well.  She may not even know that Sadie has survived, and not only survived, but is THRIVING.  Pray she feels an abundance of peace on this day!

This birthday has been incredibly difficult.  Today is just a pool of emotions for me personally.  I have been dreading this day really for quite some time.

Four. The year I stopped looking at all my other kids as "toddlers".  The year they REALLY became independent.  My other kids were potty trained and on their way to pre-school.  I could carry on real conversations with them.  They all started playing sports and just really started being "busy".

Four looks very different for Sadie.  It's hard not to think about the milestones that have been missed, the ones that will never be and be fearful for what the future holds.  As she gets bigger I worry about how we will snuggle her.  She loves her snuggles.  How will we continue to lift/carry her?  We can't get insurance to cover a chair for her now...what roadblocks will we face down the road?  How much longer can we live in this house?  Where will we go?  When do we make the inevitable move?  I feel like when it comes to her shunt it's not a question of IF it will fail again...but WHEN will it fail again and our family will go thru the hell of living apart for weeks?

I have been struggling with her birthday party.  She can't eat cake or icecream.  She doesn't open presents.  I can honestly say, I don't think she knows when she is even given a gift.  I don't know what to buy for her, so I don't know what to suggest to grandparents.  I don't know how to celebrate "4" with her, so I have not planned any celebration.  Saying that outloud is HARD.  Every child deserves a birthday and to be recognized!  So, not only am I struggling with grief of having a child turning 4...who developmentally is NOT turning 4...but also guilt for not acknowledging that she is turning 4. 

I have learned that having a child with special needs is a life time of grieving "stages"....this is one...and grieving is OK! The pain is HARD and REAL.

Of course Sadie's story is truly one of BEAUTY from ASHES.  Even so, the exhaustion is real, the fear is real, the pain is real.

So there you have it! The BRUTAL  honesty of Sadie turning 4.

Someone suggested today that I spend a quiet evening at home...have each child speak words to her about what they love about her and telling her how special she is.  Give her the gift of love, voice and touch...all the things her senses can take in.  Certainly not the parties we are accustom to, but one that Sadie will enjoy.

Outside of turning 4, The Princess is doing quite well.  She has been struggling with a nasty virus that she just cannot kick.  Her seizures were increased for a bit, but with a med dosage change, we seem to have those under control.  Outside of that she is doing amazing at school and reaching her goals!  Her personality continues to make us laugh.  She is doing awesome at standing and really showing interest in moving/walking...all assisted, of course.  That progress makes my heart burst.  But she can be a stinker and when we want her to stand...but she doesn't...she will drop her entire body like a 32lb. sack of potatoes....and laugh.  She is a Daddy's girl all the way.  He can get  a response from her like nobody else.

For those who have committed us to prayer, we are so thankful.  Please don't stop.  This path is LONG.  Living with special needs is a Marathon and we need our cheerleaders every step of the way.

Happy Birthday to my SWEET MIRACULOUS LIFE CHANGER.  We love you more than you could ever imagine.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Celebrating Kobe and everything UNKNOWN!

Today is a day of CELEBRATION!!

Kobe turns 11!! If you are a person who acknowledges "Golden Birthdays"...then this would be his.

We don't so much get into that, but Kobe does think it is pretty awesome that he is 11 on the 11th today!

What a an amazing blessing it has been to be his mom...I know most moms say this about their children...but really, truly, deeply I am so thankful God chose US to be his parents!

This time of year is significant not just for Kobe's birthday, but in 3 days from today, we also acknowledge Kobe's "Gotcha Day"...the day he came to live his life with us. In 3 days we celebrate Kobe being in our family for 10 years!!

I want to share some of Kobe's story with you today.

Let's first start with adoption, since Kobe was our first adoption. We (both Nick and I) always knew adoption was in our future. It was made clear to us that God intended for us to adopt sooner verses later (which was our plan).

Throughout this journey of adoption, God was nearly at times audible in His direction and making His plan clear.  Even more so when we first learned about Kobe.

A fundraiser was being held for our adoption, a garage sale. It was the last day of the sale and it was a dreary rainy day. I ended up leaving half way into the day with Ryleigh as well as my friends children and brought them to our house for lunch and naps. Well, needless to say, lunch was barely fed and naps were skipped.

If you are affiliated with Bethany Christian Services, you know about their LifeLines Magazine. It normally is published and mailed out every quarter. I love getting this...I still do to this day! I love reading about the children that have come home, equally as much as reading about the children waiting for their forever families to find them. They would write up a little blurb about waiting children...ones with special needs. Bethany referred to them as "Children of Promise".

Pulling into my house, I grabbed the mail and was surprised to see a LifeLines Magazine in my mailbox. "Weird", I thought to myself. I recalled just getting one the month previous.

 I had learned later that this was a special edition due to the large amount of waiting children with special needs.  This edition ONLY had children waiting for their FOREVER FAMILIES.

Carefully reading about each, not one grabbed my heart...until I turned to the very last page and saw him.  "Elliot".  No, Elliot was not his name, nor was it ever.  It was just a name that Bethany used to make him more "identifiable" should anyone inquire.


When I saw him...I KNEW.  I just KNEW!  If you have adopted children...you know exactly what I am talking about.  I immediately called our caseworker and confirmed; yes..he was from Korea, yes...he was still available.  When learning more about him in conversation with our caseworker, we learned that Kobe was born at 32 weeks and has a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy.  Despite learning of his "diagnosis", I never once wavered at my first thought....MY SON!  MY SON! 

How perfect was God's plan that day...the day He brought the rain, that led me home, to a special edition LifeLines...to MY SON.  His sweet sweet Perfect Plan.

Kobe came with many unknowns.  We could not know how significant or severe his Cerebral Palsy would be...certainly not until we got him home...or maybe for years down the road.  What we knew back then was that we could offer him the world in medical care and love to make him the best Kobe God intended him to be.

Upon arriving home, Kobe was given an MRI and our doctor was very careful in his wording.  Kobe has abnormalities to his brain, consistent with those who have CP...but has zero CP tendencies.  Perfectly healthy, age appropriate, on target boy.

Today Kobe is an amazing student, a phenomenal athlete, a loyal friend, a deeply loving son and brother, but most importantly a committed Child of God.  We have always said we will never be surprised if Kobe grows up to be a pastor.  His love and knowledge of Jesus and his Heavenly Father is one we should all want to have.

Kobe has told us many times that he has three moms.  He has his birth mom, his foster mom and of course, me.  He also has three dads...he has his birth father, his dad (Nick) and his Heavenly Father.

So this time of year we love to celebrate Kobe!!  We love to celebrate the years of his LIFE that his birth mom so unselfishly gave to US!!  We will always be thankful!!

So, why now did I feel the need to share all of this back story with you?

I know MANY of you that read this have adoption in your hearts.  I have shared our journey with Sadie and all of the crazy unknowns we have with her (and will continue to have) but how God has been so faithful to us in all ways.  And you know now that Kobe too came full of question marks.  But even then, God never left us.  Our journey to Kobe and our life after is one full of amazing blessings, despite all of the unknowns he had.

Yesterday I was contacted by our caseworker on this very special girl.  For a moment we were considering.   We are open to growing our family, however, not at the cost of compromising Sadie's care.  This sweet unborn child (with lots of unknowns) would need more than what we could give at this time with Sadie.  But, as a good friend of mine put it this morning "CHURCH!  This IS where the rubber meets the road".  We are called to care for, love, nurture, provide for this baby.  I can talk scary unknowns with you until I am blue in the face.  I live it.  every.single.day.  But, I can tell you more miracles, amazement, awesomeness, love, provision..... 

Please read, please pray, please do!  This is an urgent case!

http://us5.campaign-archive.com/?u=f14884e6c88d4b68239654ec5&id=10480ef3cf&fb_action_ids=10201471165474024&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B236427096515929%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Sunday, September 22, 2013

thank·ful [thangk-fuhl]

thank·ful

[thangk-fuhl]

adjective
feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative.

Finding the correct way to say Thank You is generally difficult for me.  Quite often I want to re-pay someone to show my thankfulness.  Other times I want to come up with some insane words to convey the depth of my emotions.
 
But, finding a way to say Thank You to an entire COMMUNITY I am finding difficult.  I am struggling to keep up with Thank You cards.  We kept a list going and I was good at staying on top of it...for a bit....Then the list got longer, and longer and I found myself getting further and further behind. 
 
For those who don't follow on Facebook, Sadie had an incredible journey starting in July (July 24th to be exact) of us going into ER for what I had thought (or maybe just hoped) would be a virus, to finding quickly that her shunt had failed.  It over drained her ventricles causing a collapse in her brain.  We were inpatient for 2 weeks and a day with bilateral drains for subderal hematomas and then a shunt revision.  We were discharged and went to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital for an week of intense Physical, Occupational and Speech.  6 short hours after returning home from Mary Free Bed, we found ourselves back in ER with Sadie having a 104 temperature.  Her shunt had become infected.  The course of treatment was having her shunt externalized and IV antibiotics.  Once the infection cleared, she had a new shunt from top to bottom put in.  After another 3 weeks and 5 days in ICU, we were home!  That was 7 weeks of hospitalization.
 
Today Sadie is better than ever!!  She is back to doling out her smiles and spreading the joy that only she can.
 
Just another testimony to the miracle God created her to be.  What a blessing.  She is such an inspiration to us.
 
So, heavy on my heart are the long over due Thank Yous I really want to get to, but just cannot begin to cover everyone, as it was an entire community that carried us.  From our family and friends to church, school, people I have met only on facebook , our immediate community we live in and those surrounding.
 
Our other children were loved on and cared for, meals were brought, gift cards given, prayers said, songs sang, bible verses read, vigils held, blankets made, lawn mowed, weeds pulled, house cleaned, laundry washed, practices made, lessons given, visits made, flowers sent, balloons recieved, even tuition assisted.  Many of these acts of unbelievable kindness were done by anonymous people and people we do not even know.  For each and every single one, we can only say, THANK YOU.
 
Romans 1; 8 "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for ALL of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world."

We pray that each of you know just what a blessing you are to our family.  We are so very thankful.

 
 
 

Friday, June 7, 2013

An Opportunity for YOU to help

There are times that I write blog entries and leave it sit in "draft" form while I think and pray at times over what I wrote.  Seldom do I just type and hit "publish".  I have been sitting on parts of this blog entry, wondering what was appropriate to share...maybe more importantly WHEN would it be appropriate to share.  So, I feel now is the right time.

Written a few weeks ago:

So the purpose of reviving this blog months ago was to update people on Sadie as well as journal our days of raising a child with special needs. The good...the bad....the scary and the blessings!

This blog has given me the opportunity to share the struggles, our fears and our celebrations with so many! It has also brought people into our lives with similar stories, which is very encouraging to us! It has also allowed me to successfully advocate for some pretty special kids in Ghana waiting for their forever families to find them.

It has been an outlet for me working thru some feelings, emotions and stressful situations (better than therapy). It has been a source crazy support from people literally around the world.

It has come at a cost of some negative feedback, but what is put down here is nothing but truth. It is my opinion that if you don't like what is written here, choose not to read it.

After Sadie came home, we felt certain that she is the child that completed our family. The kids would ask if we thought we would ever adopt again or WHEN we would adopt again. My answer at first was a quick "NO WAY. We are good! Our family is COMPLETE"!

As time passed the question would come up from the kids and I would find myself saying "We never say no to God. If God is directing us towards adopting again, we can't say no...but I pray every day that He things we are good". Ryleigh's response "Well, then I will pray that we aren't done and ask Him to tell you to adopt again!"

Going back to my time in Ghana in November, I have said that that trip was life changing and I know I blogged about parts of that. It was healing for me, personally, on so many levels. I believe that trip also healed my heart and softened it a bit to the notion of adopting again.

A few months ago we were given the awesome opportunity to pursue the adoption of a sweet sweet girl in Ghana. She had some "special needs", however, now that we have Sadie, we look at special needs in a very different light. Her "special needs" actually were correctable and we were in l-o-v-e. Wheels were in motion and forms were completed and homestudy update was underway.

There were some hurdles along the way as we got things rolling. However, we prayed about each one and God made the path clear. Sadly, about a month or so ago we got word that an MRI confirmed that her "condition" was actually much worse than what they had initially thought. The choice to stop the process of this adoption was agonizing. Devastating really. If you have adopted or were ever matched with a child, you know the pain I am talking about. We are thankful that we had made the decision early on to keep this adoption on the "down low" until we got to a certain point in the process. Our kids didn't even know. They know about her, but think she is a child we have committed to praying for...not knowing that we were praying for her as if she was ours.

We DO believe that God opened up this relationship with ourselves and this special girl for a purpose, and now we know why.  We are to continue to advocate for her, but in a different way than we had first thought.

We learned recently that this sweet girl has a diagnosis of Myelomeningocele.

  • Spina bifida occulta, a condition in which the bones of the spine do not close but the spinal cord and meninges remain in place and skin usually covers the defect.
  • Meningoceles, a condition where the tissue covering the spinal cord sticks out of the spinal defect but the spinal cord remains in place.

  • In the United States, most children born with this would require surgery as early as within the first 24-48 hours of birth.  If not, extreme precautions are taken in caring for the child to not increase the risks associated with this condition, even as far as meningitis or other spinal infections.

    This sweet girl was found in her village with people all around her...naked.  She had wounds so deep in her skin and so infected that months later she is still taken to a clinic DAILY for dressing changes. How her condition was not worse, or infected to the point of causing death is a pure miracle.

    Her birth mother had passed days before she was found and no one in her family was willing/able to take on her care.  Praise God for putting the people in place to bring her to House of Mercy.

    Here is a picture of on the day the found her and one taken just this past April.

    Me, writing TODAY!

    So, here is how you can help.

    She needs surgery.  Soon.  The cost for this is $5,000 USD.  It is the decision of House of Mercy to not move forward with surgery until all funds have been raised.

    There are two ways you can give!  Give now by clicking the paypal button on the top right of this screen and making a secure donation online.


    Or you can mail a check to make a tax deductible donation to West African Mercy Ministries at;

    WAMM
     953 Meadowview Lane
    Mukwonago, WI 53149
    Phone: (262) 347-7172


    Friends, we have seen first hand how amazing it is when a community comes together to care for one another in the Princess Sadie Chariot Fund.  We are praying that we can find 1,000 people who hear her story, see her need and will give $5.00 to help care for her.

    This sweet girls name is CHRISTABLE.  And just like her name CHRIST is ABLE.

    Please contact me if you have ANY questions.  I am very close with the Directors in her care.

    Thank you for caring enough to give to for this girl!!

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    The special life of special needs...

    I have said before just how excited I get for Sadie to come home.

    Crazy excited!  My relationship with Sadie is very different from the other kids.  Not more special, but just different.  I believe it is because she will always depend on me for her care.  She will always need me.  Because of that, I always worry about her. I think that is partly why I look forward to her coming home each day.  Today was no different.

    3:00 was approaching and my count down to 3:10 was underway.

    One thing I look forward is the notes from Sadie's teacher in her folder.  Each morning I will write to Sadie's teachers and share with them anything that happened that evening or morning that may affect her day today.  Each day they write me back letting me know what special things they did or what therapies she had that day.  Today was no different.  The note was this;

    "Sadie did have a good day.  She was vocal today.  I would make a sound and then she would make it back.  Borculo Christian School's band played for us."

    So, of course I was excited to see if Sadie would do some back/forth imitating sound with me!

    And she did....


    video

    .....and I may have teared up a bit. 

    Then I read another note sent home as well.  This one was informing us that a class mate of Sadie's passed away.  And I may have teared up a bit....ok....alot.

    This is reality.

    These children's lives are SO much more fragile than those of my other kids' classmates.  Her life (Sadie's) is that much more delicate than our other kids.  Some of my scariest times are when she has seizures.  Will THIS seizure be the one that could ultimately take her from us?  Oh the winter months!  Fearful that the cold she has may turn into something much worse.  Or scared that the formula, that she at times throws up, she will aspirate on and cause bacterial pneumonia.   My biggest fear....losing her.

    I cannot imagine the grief that this mother is dealing with right now. 

    With Sadie we constantly remember to live for the here and now...we find pure JOY in the baby steps as the one shown to you here....but the frailty of her life and those of her classmates are always close to heart...even closer today.

    Hug your babies tight and always look for the simple things that are miraculous.  Don't take one single moment for granted...and say some prayers for the mom's grieving today.

    Thursday, May 16, 2013

    Update....just to update!

    This post may be coming at you only because I am avoiding the pile of laundry sitting just a few feet away from me.  I lost my motivation for today and think if I am at least doing SOMETHING (like updating the blog) then I am being successful at accomplishing at least one thing today!

    This week marks the first week of all day-every day school for Sadie!

    School has been going so amazingly well for her!  I have noticed that on the days that she was going all day, when she got home we would have the entire evening of alertness and engaging activity with her.  She is very happy when she comes home.  I figure it is her telling us that she is just SO happy to be home...or that she had such a good day, that she is still so happy (choosing to believe the second option). 

    After trying for weeks to maintain the schedule of pulling her out of school to do therapy at Mary Free Bed, I realized it was too much for her.  We tried for three weeks and each week she would just crash in the car to therapy and we could not wake her.  As much as I wanted to finish that process out there, her therapist and I agreed, school was probably the best place for her. 

    The days are quite different with her gone and I am still getting use to that.  I literally count down the minutes to 3:10 (when she gets off the bus).  I get excited at 3:00, as I know she will be home soon.  I miss her terribly!

    Some of you had heard that we recently had a trip to Florida and I will share a bit of that with you.

    We were recently very blessed with an opportunity to go to Disney.  This trip has been months in the planning and we had kept it very quiet for a few reasons.

    This was a "wish trip" for Sadie. This trip was provided to us by an amazing organization in Michigan called the Rainbow Connection.  When we were told that Sadie was eligible for a Wish, we were surprised as we thought wishes were granted to children with terminal illness...However, that is not true.  Wishes are granted to children with life threatening conditions, which Sadie actually has several.  Wishes are granted not just for the child...but for the child's family.

    Back in January we met with the Wish Coordinator from Rainbow Connection...we had no expectations and were basically open to what she thought would be best for Sadie's wish.  We had no ideas.  When she presented the Disney idea to us, we first said no.  It was too much and the thought of traveling that far away with Sadie seemed overwhelming to me.  However, the more she spoke about it, and the accommodations that would/could be made for Sadie, the more possible the idea seemed.

    When we were considering this opportunity, our thoughts were on all our kids...how amazing they have been. How amazing they ARE. Our thoughts were on Sadie. She has endured more than any adult should in a life time in her three short years. Our thoughts were on us...just how much we needed a break. Our thoughts were on our FAMILY and an opportunity to spend time away from our everyday "normal" lives...with no influences of family, friends, neighbors, community...just us.

    We were blessed to stay at an amazing organization called Give Kids the World, which is a place that only children with "wishes" could stay.  There was no embarrassment with pulling out Sadie's feeding supplies and tube feeding here where ever/whenever.  There was no heads turning at us when Sadie was making her noises.  There were so so many families there that were just like us.  It wasn't pitying looks or silly/naive/ignorant comments.  We were able to just be.

    We spent a week eating breakfast, lunch and dinner together.  A week of people just loving not only on Sadie, but Ryleigh, Kobe and Nathan too!  A week building a lifetime of happy memories together.  No therapy, no doctors, no AFO's, work...just us.

    As I said in a previous post, I aspire to take more pictures and we have HUNDREDS from this week!!  I will next hopefully be able to actually DO something with them and create a photo album!





     
     
    THIS JUST IN!!!  As I am typing this we FINALLY got the call that Sadie's Wheel Chair has been DELIVERED!! WOOOO HOOOO!!  I should be getting a call SOON from Mary Free Bed to get fitted for her seat and she will be rollin'!
     
    And in other news;  come this fall you may see me rollin' in this!  As all kids are in school, it has left me wondering what I will do now?  A bit ago the school our kids go to (Allendale Christian) was looking to hire a new bus driver.  For those who know me, I have actually said that I aspired to be a bus driver.  But thought it an unattainable dream.  Dreams do come true!  I am taking my driving test next week Thursday (say some prayers please...).  This opportunity was just another answer to prayer for us.  It is hard to figure out "work" with Sadie. I desire to work and our financial situation could also stand the help.  However, it is hard to commit to a 9-5 job, as she does have alot of appointments.  Then we also have to consider summer vacation, Christmas break and spring break daycare issues.  It is too much to expect Ryleigh watch all the kids on her own.  So, this is an opportunity to work (for a place we LOVE) and have the same schedule as my kids and allow me the day time to make all of Sadie's appointments.  WIN-WIN!
     
     
     
    And for more exciting things coming up....We are SUPER OVER THE MOON excited that in June Johnbull and Stacey Omorefe and three of their kids will be coming and staying with us!!  This is our Ghana family!  Johnbull and Stacey are the amazing couple that started and run City of Refuge Ministry in Ghana and said YES to taking care of our precious Sadie from when she left the hospital until we came to take her home.  While they are here, we will be hosting a Feast for Freedom and you will all have the opportunity to be treated to an authentic Ghanaian meal and hear more about their ministry and ways that YOU (yes, Y-O-U) can even get involved!!  More on this to come....
     
    
    

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Birthdays, Braids and MORE!

    Everything has been plunking away as peaceful as can be over the past few weeks.  So enjoying this!

    Here are some big updates;

    First; April 1 was Sadie's 3rd BIRTHDAY!!!  We had a great time of celebrating up north with presents and shared cake and icecream with friends up there.  Sadly, I purchased a candle...but didn't bring it with us and no...not one single picture was taken.  Nothing to document this big occasion.  I feel horrible. I aspire to be better at taking pictures.  Really.

    Second; Sadie got her first set of yarn braids!  I am in LOVE!  Seriously, I never thought she could possibly be any cuter.  I was wrong.  SO ADORABLE!

    A great friend took her for a day during spring break so we could have a day of "big kid fun".  When I dropped off, short hair...when I picked up LONG!  Crazy!  It makes her look SO OLD but I totally love it!  Kobe thinks she looks like Prince Fielder.  I will let you decide!





     
     
    Third; Sadie started school this week!  EEEEEEEEK!  Seriously!  We are so blessed to live where we do.  Just a few miles from our house we have an amazing school, the Ottawa Area Center, that is only for children with development (and physical) special needs.  We have been receiving services from them for Sadie since she came home.  They have an infant program where they come up to twice a week and provide Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy.  That goes until they are 30 months old.  At 30 months they move on to "group" therapy, where Sadie has been going twice a week for the past 6 months.  But when they turn 3 they start going to school!  Sadie is going every day! The bus comes and picks her up at about 8:45.  We are thankfully the last pick up and the first to be brought home after school since we live so close.  We are in process of finishing up our Physical Therapy at Mary Free Bed and still in Oral Therapy  as well, so three days a week I pick her up from school and bring her to those appointments in the afternoons.  So Mondays and Fridays are her only two full days at this point.  Yesterday just felt weird all day.  Nick stayed home in the morning to see her get picked up.  I will be honest and admit that I wept. Alot. There is just alot of emotions that go into having a special needs child and the fears you have when they aren't with you.  I know that this will be another "new normal" for us.  I kept very busy during the day yesterday with breakfast with friends, appointments, errands, a surprise of flowers at my door (THANK YOU!!!) Sadie's teacher was great and called me twice yesterday just to tell me how well everything was going.  I know we will see so many changes in Sadie with this.  She was very wound up last night, I believe overstimulated and it caused her to have some issues in the evening with keeping her night time feeding down.  It's just an adjustment for all . But, I was a big girl today and no tears when I put her on the bus! ;)  Here is a picture of my sweet Sadie waiting for the bus on her first day...(see I said I aspired to take more pictures...)
     
     
     
    Fourth; Another big update;  I said goodbye to this :(
     
     
    And this weekend we will be saying HELLO to this! :)
     


     
    We have learned SO MUCH about Wheelchair Accessible Vans.   Something I never thought we would ever need knowledge of! But, we felt strongly that obviously we needed to find something that fit Sadie's needs...but one that also fit our families needs!  Seldom do we go away without having 1+ friends along with us.  So, after lots of searching we found a van that fit all our needs (and may just barely fit in the garage too!)  If any of my old youth group students are reading this right now, driving a van like this feels like deja vu to me!  Oh MEMORIES!  So, no more driving around town incognito!  I now have a church bus....with a ramp! :)  LOUD AND PROUD!
     
    But seriously, with all these changes, we continue to feel just so humbled and thankful.  We are so thankful for all those who surround us with their love and support!
     
    Sadie's Chariot Fund has been a unique experience for us.  We are actually looking into making Sadie's Chariot Fund an official grant program to assist other families, like us, make their wheel chair accessible van purchase a little easier.  Purchasing a van like this is not easy and it is hard to articulate.  But each step in the world of special needs almost takes time of acceptance and at times mourning.  The purchase of a vehicle like this is huge (financially, emotionally and mentally).  We are praying we can put something in place where we can make a part of that easier for families...the way our friends, families, strangers...all those who participated in this for us, did.