Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Life just Keeps Happening

Believe it or not, I haven't forgotten about this little blog. Although I understand one might be guessing after a 14 month reprieve.

Life seems to just take over, not necessarily "get in the way", but it just keeps happening and there is little time left for me at the computer. I won't complain though, this life seems to just get better by the minute.

I last left with a post about Owen's autism diagnosis. As we are progressing, and feeling our way through this new world of friends, teachers and therapists we have seen so much develop in this sweet boy's life.

Owen started kindergarten this year. Yes, my heart shattered and I was positive I would sit at home, crying and missing him every second of the 4 hours he was away from me. After the first week of us both shedding tears at drop off, we are not only surviving, he is thriving.

Owen's school is a special needs school, specifically caring, loving and teaching those with an autism diagnosis. It is by no accident we ended up here, it was most certainly the will of The Lord leading us here.

This school has multiple campuses, one of them being at the church we attend. When we first moved down here they were having a celebration walk through of it's campus and I made a mental note of the special needs school right down the road from us, "just in case." Fast forward two years of preschool, and our hearts just not being satisfied with the teaching and attention he was receiving in the public system, we needed a new door to open. "Just as it would happen" a friend told me how wonderful this special school is that her son attends. There were many hoops for us to jump through, many doors that I felt were not opening quickly and many, many meetings with us advocating for what we felt was best for Owen.

In the end, not only did The Lord open every door, he provided 100% (and more) of the funds needed to pay for Owen's tuition. The tears of joy would not stop. I knew the moment we stepped foot in his school it was meant for him. The staff at this school not only understand Owen and his needs, but they love him all the more because of exactly who he is. He's just a kindergartner who loves and loves and loves.

Yes, he's autistic.
Yes, he's a transplant recipient.
Yes, he comes with a lot of instructions.

No, he can't sit still very long.
No, he doesn't communicate on the level of most 5 year olds.
No, he doesn't always fit in to the "normal" of this world.

However, he longs to learn. He wants love, attention and affection. He deserves to feel loved, wanted and cherished, along with being challenged, directed and taught by those who devote their lives to expanding the world of kids like Owen.

Every single need of my precious boy is met above and beyond what I had hoped for.

Before school started this year, my dear friend told me that she had never heard me be so excited about school for Owen. And she was right, with the exception of our wonderful homebound teacher, last year was a very, very tough year on Owen, school wise. My heart ached for my sweet boy who wanted to learn, but I felt wasn't just being loved and accepted as he deserves. I had an overwhelming sense of peace about the upcoming year. I knew that every single step, meeting, phone call and email were blessed by the hands of God, leading us to where we are now.

Owen is also determined to continue excelling in speech. We still see our precious Ms. Laura twice a week, after school. The activities he completes and accomplishes with her blow my mind. There is so much information stored in his little mind that I absolutely cannot wait for the day he just explodes and shares everything he knows with me. I'm still praying for that day, and believing The Lord will continue to be faithful in Owen's development.

In addition to speech, we've added occupational therapy after school. Owen is typically excited to see "Ms. Heaber" because he swings, plays messy and runs through the sensory room. :) With speech both in and out of school and OT, this kid works harder than anyone I know- and is happy to do so.

Thank you so much for your constant prayers for Owen, messages and love that covers our family. We had quite the scare in August/September when Owen was hospitalized due to a parasite in his intestinal system. It was the longest hospital stay since transplant and he was very, very sick. The love that we were shown during that time is so humbling and fully demonstrates the love of the church family and body of Christ we share. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

The other little one of the house, not to be forgotten is a bundle of energy, laughs, joy and giggles. His eyes open in the morning like every day is the best day of his life. He desperately wants to do everything his big brother does and over the moon in love with him. He loves big and lives big, every single day. His imagination is thriving, and he can't leave the house with his coveted trains, Thomas, Toby and Percy. He loves to laugh, make you laugh and although he talks a big game, he's quite the mama's boy who isn't quite as brave he may think. His day isn't complete with out counting, spelling and plenty of train playing. I feel as if he's grown so far from being a baby this year that I find myself standing back, watching him play (most likely recording it) just so I can soak in every minute of this innocent childhood time. It is a gift I most certainly don't deserve.

Abel is still staying at home with me. We've yet to decide what the future holds for his schooling. I've mentioned before that homeschooling has always been tucked inside my heart, but we also know the benefit of a couple years of preschool as well.

Our year has been spattered with beach trips, amusement park trips, camping trips, zoo visits,  time with family here and in Kentucky and lots and lots of swimming...even in November. (Hey- if I'm going to live in Florida I'm going to soak it up as long as I can!)

I'll leave you with a few pictures from my blogging absence (I know that's what you're really here for anyway). Thanks again for loving our family and following us through this journey of Knowin Owen!

Psalm 37:23
The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
 He delights in every detail of their lives.

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