Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Learning/Teaching Experience

This Friday Kaela and I have been invited by our very special friend, Haylee Seefeld, to visit her fifth grade class at Ann Arbor Christian School. They have been learning about different disabilities and would like us to come in to talk about Kaela and her form of dwarfism. Haylee is the daughter of my wonderful friend, Alisha, who also happens to live two doors down. They have been wonderful friends to us through a lot of our ups and downs with Kaela's health and we are so thankful to have such amazing people in our lives, so we are really excited to do this for Haylee and her class. Haylee and her class (including some of her friends we were lucky enough to meet this past summer) have prayed a lot for Kaela and we are so thankful for them. We know their prayers and well wishes have helped so much in her recovery from surgery and we are so excited to say thank you to all of them in person. I tell Alisha that I think our kids (hers and mine) are so lucky to be able to grow up around someone like Kaela who will teach us that the difference is only on the outside and I've seen it already. Haylee, being the awesome kid that she is, has sat and sketched out a plan for Kaela's future home where cupboards are lowered, microwaves pull out from a low spot, smaller vacuums, and so much more. She's ten and already has compassion and understanding for my three year old daughter that many adults do not have and for her, I'm forever grateful. Thanks Haylee for always including Kaela, for walking slowly so she can keep up with you and for helping her when she ask. We can't wait to show the rest of your class that although Kaela has some different needs both physically and medically and will be smaller than the rest of your classmates, she's just like any other kid. She has feelings, she has needs and she has dreams just like the rest of us. She's a person and deserves to be treated with respect and love just like any other person.

End of 2010

The last month of 2010 was a busy one for us, as I'm sure it was for many of you. I went to a conference for work at the end of November-beginning of December which happened to be in Florida right around the corner from Disneyworld! I went to my conference and Matt and the kids flew down later in the week to enjoy the the parks! It was a blast. The kids had a lot of fun and so did Matt and I. It was the kids and Matt's first time, so for me it was fun watching the excitment on all of their faces :)
William also turned five in December. I can not believe my baby boy is, well, not a baby anymore. Not even close. I can't believe that not only does five years go by THIS fast, but how much he has changed in those five years. I remember this fuzzy haired little boy sitting on the floor not even able to walk and now he is running, walking, skipping and thinks he is smarter than us sometimes. I am more than proud to be his mother. Although he is very much BOY, he still has his moments where he likes to cuddle and he has such a fun sense of humor. So happy he is growing into such a good little man. I'm going to take full advantage while I still can, because I'm sure there will be a point in my not too far future where cuddeling with mom is not what he wants to do.
Our Christmas was much more enjoyable than it was the year before for a couple of reasons. Last year, just a few days before Christmas, we found out that Kaela had spinal cord damage and would need surgery within weeks. We had to take her in immediatley to get a neck brace, so all of her Christmas pictures were of her in a neck brace. I'm okay with that, because it's part of our life, but we were no doubt so sad for her and scared. This year, being just a few weeks from the one year anniversary of her surgery, I am so thankful it was done and she's doing so well. It has been a long year of recovery in some ways with delays in walking, pain after surgery, and still not going on the potty, but she is one amazing little girl. Having gone through the surgery made all of us stronger and made us all appreciate what we have and even made us find good things within the surgery. The kids were also another year older and SO into Christmas. They were excted for weeks asking on a daily basis if Christmas was tomorrow. It was so much fun watching them.
We also met more MD families in 2010 and we are so thankful for all of our new and old friends. We are so thankful for all of our friends and family, both near and far, those we've met and haven't met. You have all added something to our lives and we look forward to our continued friendships in 2011! It's going to be a good year.