Monday, October 12, 2009

Specs 4 Us

When we chose Marcus we knew he was going to need some kind of assistance with his eye. It was crossed. He might need glasses or even surgery. It wasn't until we met him when I saw just how crossed both eyes were. I was sure that we would be making an appointment as soon as we got home. We thought maybe he just couldn't see a thing. From the moment we met him he has always swatted at our faces. While at the orpahange we thought her just was trying to "feel" us with his hands. We could not correct this behavior during our visits even if we wanted to. It wasn't until we got home and had him seen that we found out her would indeed need surgery to correct his eyes. It was not a vision problem but a muscular one. The doctor also added tht Marcus swatting at our faces was not a vision problem but a behavioral one. Great!His eyes could both be easily fixed with surgery. He wouldn't even need glasses afterwards. That was hard to believe but true.
We chose Macey at our SDA appointment, what they call a blind referral. All we knew was she was 4 years old with Down Syndrome. When we met her her eyes looked great. We never thought another thing about it. We went ahead and scheduled her an appointment at the same time with the eye doctor. You know check "just in case." Well come to find out she is near sided and would need glasses. We walked in with one child who obviously needed what we thought might be glasses to correct his issue and walked out with an order for glasses for the other one. Go figure!
I went home and Googled: glasses for children with Down Syndrome. I knew their features were not the same as everyone else so I was excited to find a company who specifically designed glasses just for them, Specs4Us. I was even more excited when I read the testimony of the single mother who desgined the glasses for her own daughter with Ds. She gave all of the features and benefits of the eye glasses and I was sold. If I could get the best fitting glasses for Macey while supporting the cause of a mom on a mission it was a Win/Win situation. Come to find out there were only 3 places in the state that sold Specs4Us glasses. Fortunately for us it's only 30 minutes away. Definitely worth the drive. They look great, were affordable and her doctor was pleased with them too.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hippo Therapy

It was recommended by our OT that we look into Hippo Therapy for both Marcus and Macey. I asked, What's Hippo Therapy? I was told it was therapeutic horse back riding that would be good for the kids. It could help strengthen their core and balance too. God has truly blessed us with wonderful therapists who are looking out for the best interest of both kids. This was an opportunity I needed to pursue. Once she suggested the place, Coffee Creek Riding Stables I had an immediate flashback. This facility is only 1 mile from my childhood home. I actually volunteered there as a teenager many years ago. I just didn't know that when I was helping kids with special needs learn horseback riding that this was called Hippo Therapy. I was excited to call the director Joy and remind her who I was and that I now have two children that could use their services. It was an enjoyable conversation. Who would have thought that all those years ago the Lord was planting a seed in my heart for children with special needs of my own. I had no idea at the time. We went for our evaluation and introduced the kids to the horses. Macey did not like brushing the horses mane, too close for her. She didn't mind getting to ride the horse once she was on top of him. Marcus liked it all. Joy noticed that Taylor, who is now 14 was of the age that she too could volunteer during class time. This was way weird for me. My daughter was standing there in the same place I was many years ago. She couldn't be old enough to be there assisting other child like I did during my summer as a teenager. This moment truly brought things full circle. I knew we were in the right place at the right time. I am grateful for Joy and the many volunteers that staff the Coffee Creek Riding Stables. We will continue to enjoy our sessions each and every time we're able to attend. This is a meaninful, non-profit organization that has been serving the needs of the community for over 30 years at no cost to the students who attend. This facility is able to run solely on donations and volunteers. Please pray for Joy and the volunteers as they serve the Lord by investing in our children and the many others just like them.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Preschool Family Fun Night

Tonight was a night of fun for preschoolers and their families in our church. The night was filled with inflatables, popcorn, movies, candy and Chick-fil-A for supper. Wayne stayed home due to his recent foot surgery but me and the 4 kiddos headed out for a night of fun. When we arrived the food wasn't quite ready so the kids got to play first. This never happens when we go to a restaurant with a Play Place. The rule is you eat first then play. There were about 60 families that joined in on the festivities. The event was held in our large atrium so the kids had plenty of room to roam and play. What impressed me the most was that this night was for the little guys. The moon bounces were just their size and the movies they showed were just right for them too, not that my kids stopped long enough to watch a movie. They were there to run and jump. Marcus and Macey both had a blast! Tanner was a great "helper" as he helped man the inflatables. He enjoyed helping the little kids have fun. Taylor was a huge help, as usual. We took turns keeping up with Marcus and Macey. Let me just tell you after 2 hours of fun those two slept until 9am this morning. That never happens! We are usually up early for school or church, not today. They got to sleep in. I wish we had a place for a moon bounce at home. It was so much fun and I'm sure they got some therapy out of it too.
There was a moment when I motioned for our preschool director to come see Macey. Macey was inside this inflatable with balloons floating all around. She came to the window and gave us both a smile and waved Hi. I told Ms. Deanna that this moment was worth it all. I wanted her to know how much we appreciated the time and work that went into planning such an event. Of course it would have been easier to stay at home and relax on a Friday night after a long week but I'm glad we came. We are grateful for our church family and the activities they provide for our families. It does not go unnoticed. It's the simple nights of just having fun that I'm reminded just how blessed I truly am to be a mother of FOUR.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Personalized license tag for my mini van

I was excited to receive my new personalized tag for my mini van. I had almost forgotten I had even ordered it. It took 4 months to make. It was worth the wait. It is definitely a conversation starter. It will allow us to share our testimony of rescuing 2 children with Ds. The Lord puts people into our lives regularly to share our testimony of His goodness in our lives. I can't wait to share!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A message from God...

This is a billboard near our home. It spoke volumes to me. We chose Down syndrome through the gift of adoption. We already know how much adoption means to God. We thank Him every day for using our family to rescue both Marcus and Macey.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Near and Dear to Us - Eli Project

The Malone Family

We are excited to partner with our best friends, the Malone's as they debut Eli Project. I would invite you to their link to get ALL of the details. There are so many upcoming opportunities to help bring more children home to their Forever Families.
There is no doubt because of their son Eli (age 5) that we are were we are today. He has been our inspiration for wanting to have a child with Down Syndrome of our own. I was there when Mary delivered Eli. He was just beautiful. I will never forget the first time I saw him. His birth has been a life changing experience for our whole family. As we have grown to know and love Eli our hearts were growing even more fond of children with special needs. When we learned of Reece's Rainbow and there was an opportunity for us to adopt an unwanted child with Ds, we committed. Now I'm happy to say after just 6 short months we not only have one handsome boy but also a beautiful daughter who also has Down Syndrome. (That's how we Grew by 2) We are so grateful we answered the call from God to obey, to care for the orphans. Our children are no longer orphans, Praise God! They belong to a Forever Family, our family. We know our "job" is not done. It is our passion to spend purposeful time in helping other orphans find a family of their own. One orphan at a time.
I know Gods not finished with us yet. We are grateful for this wonderful opportunity to partner with Chris and Mary as we see others blessed through the gift of adoption.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Will Marcus and Macey be able to drive?

What a remarkable young lady named Kelly who is truly an inspiration, Enjoy!

Taylor has asked me if Marcus and Macey will be able to drive. I didn't know how to answer that question. I know it's fresh on her mind since she will be earning her drivers permit next year, YIKES! I told Taylor I didn't know what the future holds for either Marcus or Macey. I can't think too far into the future only because there is not a book like there was for Taylor and Tanner, "What to expect the First Year" and "What to expect the Toddler Years." I have learned the spectrum of Ds is so wide. I truly don't "know" what to expect. I do know, Sky's the limit! We will continue to do ALL that we can to help them reach THEIR full potential with the help of their teachers and therapists. They have both come SO far in just the short amount of time they have been home. Who knows maybe they WILL drive. Stay tuned...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pray for Ruslana

No Greater Gift

Please pray for Ruslana right now. Her fate is an institution in just 2 weeks. This is the fate of all orphans not adopted from the baby home. She has a committed family going through the process as we speak. They have even been approved through their paperwork. Ruslana is planned to be moved before they can possibly be there. The family is told they can not "hold" her any longer. My heart sank as I read this mothers post. It is not right and it is not fair. I do know however that we serve a BIG God and with Him ALL things are possible. Please pray for Ruslana and the family who is just waiting for the word that they can indeed rescue her from this awful fate.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Welcome To Holland

by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability- to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip -to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, 'Welcome to Holland.'

' Holland?!?' you say. 'What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.'
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say 'Yes, that's where I was supposed to go."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.
But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.

What this poem means to the New Dickinson Family:
Because of our "trip to Ukraine" we have been blessed with Marcus AND Macey.
Praise God!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October is Ds Awareness Month

Welcome October! In honor of Down syndrome awareness month I have committed to blogging everyday for 31 days about Down syndrome. There may be days when it's just pictures of the 2 that have taught me so much, so far. I would love your input and comments or suggestions of what you want to know about Ds. I will do the research or you can send it to me yourself and I'll post it. I'm looking forward to learning as I go. This month is about the ones who have Down syndrome and the ones who love them.
Stay tuned...