Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sometimes is takes a step of faith

Our journey to the van in slowly coming to a close. As I have mentioned the majority of our fund raising has come through and we are just waiting on a couple of other things in order to be finished.

Although we are not quite 100% there yet with the funding, we decided that we were going to step out in faith and order the van. One of our grants has a six month expiry date and the van can take up to 3 months to order, so it was important that we not lose that money.

So this past week, Kurt and I went in to finalize the details. We traded in our van so that we can use that as the down payment for ordering and we made the final decisions on the van. We will be a one vehicle family for awhile but we will make it work just fine.

I feel so strongly in my spirit that there are still things that are going to fall into place. I felt like the Lord was saying to me that sometimes we need to step out in faith in order to access all of what God has for us. Sometimes, we can sit back and become disappointed when things don't all work out. I feel like sometimes we need to take action in order to receive what is coming.

So that all said, we signed the papers and our van is on order. It is in stock and so we are looking at 6-8 weeks (the conversion company is slow right now) until the delivery date. In case you are curious, this is what we decided on (there were only really two options):

:::drum roll please:::

2011 Toyota Sienna, in white. The conversion will be rear entry and will allow Karter to roll in behind the 2nd row of seats and be anchored down in his chair.

One more thing...I need to mention this because I feel like it was significant (and I want to remember it in years to come ;-) ). About an hour after we made our decision, I got an email to my phone from one of the local charities that I had sent an inquiry in to a number of months back. I had sort of put them out of my mind as a possibility since I had not heard back from them. Anyhow, they sent me a application for funding and I have since been in dialogue with them. I am not sure what all the details look like, but they have received our application and will present it to their board of directors sometime in October.

Although this has been the longest we have ever taken to purchase anything in our lives, the journey has been truly a gift. It has been so amazing to see God's hand in this, to experience His favor and to be able to watch it all come together. He is good!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

1st week of school

We are almost through the first FULL week of school for Karter. Last week he did gradual entry each day. The first few days were about 90 minutes and then he worked his way up to half days. This week however, he has gone everyday all day!

It was weird the first day he was gone. I was working at my computer and then all of the sudden I would have this panicked feeling and I would stop my work, jump up and look at his mat...oh right he is not here. Or I would stop and listen to hear is he was awake from his nap...oh right he is not here. It was so strange. I wonder how long it will take to break that habit? I am certain this transition is only hard on me :-)

I have to say, I was skeptical about how he would handle the full days. I had figured that Karter would crash around 10:30 and then again in the afternoon. I was wrong! Karter has done amazing, he loves his class and it seems that he has not once slept.

It is pretty amazing for this Mama to see how much he is enjoying each day. When I pick him up, he is all smiles and when we hits the car, he is jibber jabbering away in the back seat, happy as can be. This just warms my heart and has made the transition so easy.

I really did fear sending him all day. Will he like it? Will he be upset the whole time? Will he eat for someone else?... Looking back, I realized I really did have a lot of worries. All of my fears and concerns have been laid to rest. His teachers are fabulous, the program is exceptional and for the first time in his life, he is in a place where he is typical. Honestly, if you have not had a child with special needs or exceptional circumstances, I am not sure you can understand what a gift that is. My son is in a place where he is like everyone else, there are no concessions made for him, there are no modifications that need to be made to the program or explanations that need to be had. For the first time, he has a place to go where he can be who he is and he can excel from that place. I almost cannot contain the joy in my heart because of this.

So, the first week has been a real success. Karter has adjusted so easily and seems so happy.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

School Orientation

This morning Karter and I headed off to his school for a 1 hour orientation visit. We dropped Miss P off at her school first and then headed up the hill to Karter's school. (how thrilled am I that their schools are only about 4 blocks apart).

Before we went in, I grabbed a couple of shots of my big longer a a BIG kindergartner!

I love this shot!

We made our way into the classroom to meet the teachers and SEA's that will be working alongside Karter. Before the morning activities began, we had a few minutes to get acquainted and chat a bit about Karter and the program.

Once all the kids had arrived they started the day with a circle time.

They talked about the weather and the day of the week, sang a name song, talked a bit about what each child did in the summer. It was amazing to see how each child was given opportunity to interact, even though they did not have words to use.

After the songs were finished, the teacher read a book. The teacher doing circle took the book around to each child and gave them opportunity to see each page, touch it or respond to it however they would like. Karter touched the page each time it was his turn. He really does love books!

After circle time we took a tour of the school and talked with the Physiotherapist and Occupation Therapists that will be working with Karter. We left just before snack time. It was a great visit.

Karter will not go again tomorrow but will start on his own on Monday (I will be the one in tears in the parking lot). He will go for a few hours each day next week and then we will work out a plan to work his way up to full days. I actually feel really at ease after todays visit. Each of the teachers and SEA's seem wonderful and so loving. I think Karter is going to really love school.

Look at my BIG kindergarten smart and so ready for this new season!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And so it begins...

:::I must start this post with a quick van update:::

We have received another grant for $5000 from Variety Children's Charity, thank you Jesus! There is one more grant that we are waiting on, we should hear about that late September. There have also been some donations that have come in from family members in memory of Grandma; these are so precious!

We have made the deal to trade in our van and we are on our way to finalizing everything and putting in the official order. We are so humbled to see God's hand in all of this, we are continue to trust that He has taken care of the rest of the funds needed.

:::OK now down to other business:::

Tonight is the last night I will have a preschooler, a stay child at home, a non-school aged be completely candid, the thought of it kills me. Oh how the past 5 years flew by and after tonight's sleep, I have a kindergartner.

Tomorrow morning Karter and I go to his school for his first day of kindergarten. It is a 1 hour slot of time where we meet his SEA, classmates and the other teachers. Luckily, I get to stay with him for the hour. However as of Monday, he will be going half days as part of his gradual entry. We are working up to full days over the course of the next while.

I spent a good portion of time today grabbing snuggles, singing songs and praying over him. He even fell asleep on my chest for a time, that was God's precious gift to me today no doubt. I am going to miss him and I am certain that this transition is going to be harder on me than it is on him.

I would be lying if I told you I had not shed a few tears already. Actually, I fear I will be a complete mess on Monday morning. I hope I can keep the "ugly cry" composed until I reach the privacy of my van in the parking lot at very least.

I cried on Paige's first day of school, but I knew she was where she wanted to be. I knew that she was getting opportunity that I could no longer give her at home. She was making relationships that were outside of me and our home. Although I feel the same for Karter, there is an attachment that I have with him that is different. There is so much that he depends on me for and releasing that to someone else it a daunting task.

I spent a lot of the day reminiscing all the nights spent at Children's Hospital, all the milestones we have worked towards, all the hurdles Karter has overcome. And tomorrow, a new day begins, a new season emerges and we forge forward into uncharted waters. I am mixed with emotions.

Here is my prayer for you Karter

"May this year be one of amazing new beginnings, huge milestones and many days filled with smiles and laughter. I pray that your new teachers enjoy you as much as we do and that your smile and giggle become infectious to all those around you. I pray that you will be full of joy, abounding with energy so that you can attend to tasks and that you will receive new learning with a smile on your face. I pray that you will enjoy the new activities, love your new friends and teach others the way only you can. I pray protection over you for love all around you. May this year be one that you look back on as monumental!"