Monday, June 23, 2008

A Fun Weekend....

Hi all! Well, we're surviving school being out. The first week was rough but things settled down some after the first week. Hannah still misses all her friends alot. Especially Layne. She makes me say...."hello miss hannah" to her, which is what he said to her every morning at school. I have to say it exactly like he did too. LOL!

She got to go to VBS at Central Baptist one day then she got ill. They were so very kind and accomodating. I felt perfectly at ease to do whatever I needed to do with Hannah. I was sad we just got to go one day, but that one day, Hannah had a blast!

On Saturday we took Hannah to her first aquadic therapy class. She started crying as soon as we walked in but David eased her in the water and she loved it once she got in. The instructor was fabulous. I was really impressed. It was cool to see all the special needs families and watch several of the kids even swim. They all put on these back packs that keep them from staying under water. They can go under if they want to, but they don't have to, and the packs keep them from staying under. Best of all the program is funded by a grant so it doesn't cost anything for the kids to participate.

After we were through with swimming we decided to go to "Stephanie's Day" at North Park mall. Vicki, Fred and Javan went as well. It is a special event for special needs kids and their families. They had clowns, animals, etc. there, along with dozens of booths full of information on services and programs. Hannah wouldn't have her picture made with any of the celebs there but her little friend Javan did so I'll post his picture. We got a couple bags of pamplets and books to look through. It'll take me days to go through it all.

Javan and the Cowboy Cheerleaders

On Sunday we went to church in Plano and heard Jeff preach. Hannah loved the worship service. She handled everything pretty well. There were a few moments I thought she was going to melt down, but she never fully did. We ate a Cheddars afterwards and she enjoyed that.

It was a full weekend but enjoyable. We'll do the aquadic therapy again next week. Keep your fingers crossed for us. I think she'll continue to enjoy it, but who knows.

Oh, and I got an email from 4paws. We start sending shirts once a week now. We're one step closer to her having her dog.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Last Day of PPCD

Well, today is the last day for Hannah at Franklin Elementary. She has no idea although I've been talking about it for a month. She just can't comprehend it, and I can't seem to figure out how to convey it on her level. She will miss it alot. She loves her Mrs. GiGi, Ms. Crystal, Ms. Angie, Mrs. Wheeler and Mrs. Garrett. And oh how she'll miss her little friends. Layne, Alexis, Eric, Israel, Tony, Ceasar, Oscar, and Charlie. Those are just the people that had direct contact with her. I know that she'll also miss the teachers that told her "good morning" everyday when she got out of the van, the cafeteria ladies, and so many more that touched her life.

I'm very thankful that our first special needs school experience was with the staff at Franklin. Every one of them were so kind, gracious, helpful, and truly cared for Hannah. She loves them and they love her. I have no doubt about that. I wish she could stay with them forever.

It's really hard to trust people to care for her. There are so many unknowns. I mean she can't be left to fend for herself. She has to have help. I could trust that she was never going to be without the help she needed at Franklin. Now, it's time to move to the next school. I met the staff and toured the school, but still I'm uneasy. I'm sure there is no way to be at ease when so much of your world revolves around routine and absolute management of life. So many things to worry about. Will someone be there to walk her to PE and stay with her and help her participate, or will she be dropped off and be expected to participate on the same level as the kids that are there? The same goes for lunch, art, music, and recess. Will the new staff be as gracious with my questions and concerns? Will they treat me with respect or dismiss me with a wave of the hand? Those are just the beginning. Then you add in all the health concerns and therapy concerns and well, it can be a little daunting.

But she has to grow up. I can't keep her in a box. She would be miserable in a box. She loves people, learning, and just being Hannah. What is a life if it can't be lived? I mean, she's fought some pretty hard battles to live. Obviously, she wants to be in this world. Who am I to hold her safely at my side? She's earned the right to be.......Hannah.

So, off to Hillsboro Elementary we'll go, and pray as we have every other time she's had to face something new. God's been faithful. He's provided for her every need. Actually he's gone above and beyond what we needed for her at times. It's amazing.

Today as Mrs. Wheeler stood to present the awards, she cried. I cried too. I know they have gotten so attached to these kids and they have to send them on. At least we as parents get to keep them and continue to see them. I hadn't thought about how hard it would be on them. She said the sweetest things. She told the other parents that they should meet us(parents) because we are special people and that it takes VERY special people to raise these kids. It felt good to be acknowleged, but for the first time I realized what a special task she as their teacher has had. She was their first experience with people outside of the homes. What an awesome responsibility. Can you imagine? These people truly are angels without halos!

Well, this post turned into alot of rambling, but I felt like sharing all that. Please continue to pray for us as we "survive" the summer.

God Bless!

Pictures From End of Year Awards

These were pictures of Awards today. Mrs. Duncan, Mrs Wheeler and Mrs. Crystal are helping the kids. Hannah, Layne, and Israel all got awards. The background makes the photographs dark. The little boy with the bear is Eric.