Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ten on Tuesday (ok, eleven)

I have so much catching up to do. All three kids start back to school tomorrow, so hopefully I'll get in more blogging time and able to catch up on our summer journey.

For today's "ten", I thought I'd post ten of my favorite photos from our three week journey at the John Tracy Clinic. Truly though, they are all priceless.

my partner.
I love this picture for many reasons, foremost, it screams - WE MADE IT! all after:
getting to the airport at 5:30am in Cleveland;
to taking the tram to switch planes in Dallas;
to arriving in Burbank then having to tote two suitcases, a car seat,
four carry-ons, and a 3-year old to the rental car bus to the rental car place;
to navigating our way in LA (first time there) to the apartments and,
having to make an extra go around in lunchtime traffic through LA before finding it.
This girl was my ROCK! She didn't complain once, she helped out without being asked,
she kept Aiden entertained, and she gave me many smiles and hugs throughout.
She kept me grounded and calm.
and we celebrated our success together - this girl is AMAZING.

lifelong friends.
I remember the day I called up my friend Kat and talked to her about JTC.
We met each other right before I left Texas.
We talked on the phone MANY times after I left.
We became best buds through all our hour plus long conversations -
like we'd known each other for.ever.
We met a third time and experienced a once in a lifetime journey together at JTC,
and tightened our bond even more.
and while there,
our kids created that lifetime bond as well.
one day, our kids will look back at this picture and laugh at how small they were,
then provide a "cheers" at how far they have all come.

a smile.
Ahhhh, Kathleen, the perfect way to begin and end everyday,
with her welcoming, heart warming smile. If you needed something,
she'd do her best to have it to you by the end of class.
She is beyond amazing.

quiet time.
This reminds me of the down times we had.
no tv in the apartment, electronics were limited,
and we could only bring so much. when we weren't outside,
Aiden did a lot of "reading". here he decided to read to
his new horse, which was given to all the kids
the day of orientation.

best buds.
It was hard to choose between the two above.
As Aiden would say, this is "Monden" (London).
He was the first name Aiden knew from his class;
they were buds the whole time.
Both were more quiet around others,
but sure did chat it up to one another.
i LOVE these two pics.

the path.
this was our walk every morning to school.
aiden, always the "lolly-gagger", would take his sweet ole' time
down this path, having to stop and check everything out.
to the right was the "never-ending"
gathering lawn and the apartments, and
if you asked Aiden which way to school (once out the gate),
he'd point to the left, and say, "Dis way!"

We all know the (out in public) "stares and looks".
here, our children were unified.
not just our hoh/deaf children, but our hearing children as well.
and not just the children, but just as much, the adults.
being around people who truly "get it",
learning from one another, realizing,
we're not climbing this mountain alone.

The sibling program at JTC was one of the largest they've ever had,
nearly 20 siblings coming together,
and it was purely phenomenal.
Kailyn made life long friends with girls and boys
from around the world.
she made crepes with Armelle and Clarence from France;
had sleepovers with Sydney from Texas;
ran the lawn (and tv room) with Debi, OJ, Christian, Gregoire, Louise, Owen, and Cole;
became a "big sister" to many of the younger ones,
and adopted her own big sister, Alyssa from Alberta.
the relationship and memories these kids built together,
was priceless.

the first two weeks was Kailyn, Aiden, and I.
By week three, we were missing "our boys"
and ready to reunite as a whole family.
I am so grateful that Aiden's daddy and brother got to experience
a piece of this life changing journey with us.

it takes a village.
each person in this picture has touched my life in some special way -
through words, hugs, tears, smiles, lessons learned, listening.
relationships were built, life-long friendships were made.
each with our own journey, yet
together. united.
with similar goals and hopes -
to overcome obstacles, to obtain services our children NEED,
strength and knowledge to forge on & fight for what WE know best - OUR CHILD,
for our deaf/hoh children to LISTEN and SPEAK.
and together, we will make it.

and this list wouldn't be complete without:

the infamous tree.
and just like the John Tracy Clinic,
you have to be there to truly experience all it has to offer.


Herding Grasshoppers said...


That just makes my heart sing :D


Kat said...

One word...tears...

Miss you more than words can express...forever love and hugs...

leah said...

Oh, I miss John Tracy. Tears hear, too - for our memories and the amazing things that place does for families!

Terri H said...

Isn't it weird how we're forever part of a special club? I feel like you guys are the only ones who understand half the things I say these days!!!!

Love and hugs to all!

Danielle said...

beautiful post.