Category Archives: Faith & Hope

High School Engineering Class Blesses Gideon

A few months back I received an email from a Joni & Friends employee who wanted to connect me with Lisa Wong, a teacher at Trinity Christian Academy. Mrs. Wong was looking for a family that could benefit from collaborating with her high school engineering class for their final project.

The students, who are seniors, were assigned the task of designing products that would meet the needs of someone in the community. Mrs. Wong didn’t know it when she reached out, but Kevin and I had already been talking about modifying something for our son.

Gideon loves to jump in his bouncer, but at 4 years old, he was too big for it. We had replaced the springs to adjust for his weight, and held down the base with dumbbells. Needless to say, it was not very safe, but it brought our little guy so much joy to jump. So when Mrs. Wong asked if there was something her seniors could design for Gideon, it was a no-brainer.

The students came over a couple of months ago to meet Gideon, assess his needs and brainstorm.

Since Mrs. Wong had two teams of students, she needed another project in addition to the bouncer. After talking with her seniors about possible toys, I pulled up Pinterest. I keep a board of ideas for Gideon’s future room. (I say future, because we are currently in a two bed room apartment, and I’m confident that management would NOT be pleased with all the permanent modifications I want for my son.)  Anyways, we decided a light box would benefit Gideon greatly as he loves bright lights.

Yesterday the students presented us with their completed projects.

The bouncer is secured to a trampoline which is weighted down with stacked weights. They put new springs on that are strong enough to account for his weight, but loose enough that they allow him to bounce. They also redesigned the toys on top. They include toys that vibrate and light up. And of course, they personalized it for our little man. 🙂

   

The light box is so cool! The LED lights in the box can change into 12 different colors. In addition to that, the nifty remote has settings that allow the lights to cycle through colors fast or slow on a timer. They also used a 3D printer to make the letters of his name. Since Gideon is a head banger, they used an indestructible plexi-glass as well as a soft rubber band around the edges.

 

These students really took the time to meet every need when designing these projects for our son. They truly are smart kids!  We are so incredibly grateful and feel beyond blessed to have met them and Mrs. Wong. I’m so thankful for teachers like her; who teach their students to apply what they have learned to help others.

To the seniors, thank you for all your hard work! And thank you Mrs. Wong and TCA for turning out bright and compassionate minds.

Now, if only we could keep Josiah away….

No children were harmed during this photo shoot.

 

 

 

Our Updated Story

So last week Kevin and I shared our updated story with ReEngage at Lakepointe in Rockwall. We’ve updated it to include more about Gideon, the recent birth of Josiah and our thoughts about the possibility of more children. But don’t worry, the parts about Kevin being an inconsiderate jerk and me being a manipulative witch are still in there.

We hope you’ll watch our updated story and share it with your friends.

There’s absolutely nothing that God cannot rebuild, redeem, or restore.

Recovery From Baby Number 3

Recovery from baby number 3 was no joke. In fact, Josiah is 9 weeks old and of those past 9 weeks, we have been home for the last 3 weeks. Where were we for the first 6 weeks, you ask?? Allow me to explain.

I was not planning on having a cesarean. I have two other kids for crying out loud. Who has time for a cesarean when you have other children? Ain’t no mom got time for that! And to make things a bit more complicated, my middle son Gideon (age 3) is blind, deaf, non-verbal and he cannot walk or crawl. Needless to say, I pretty much do everything for him: feeding, diapering, moving from one activity to the next. He’s completely dependent on me during the day. And what’s the one thing I’m not allowed to do after a cesarean?Carry/pick up anything heavier than my newborn.

Did I mention Gideon is 27 pounds of dead weight?

So for the first 6 weeks of Josiah’s life, we temporarily moved in with my parents. Now this isn’t the worst thing that could have happened. After all, Kevin and I are both very blessed to have families willing (and eager!) to help… especially when it involves those grand-babies.

So why was I so upset those first few weeks that we stayed there? I mean, between my parents and Kevin’s parents, I pretty much didn’t have to lift a finger for my kids or myself. Meals were handled. I could nap when I needed to. So what was the big deal?

Answer: My pride.

I wasn’t just recovering from a c-section… I was recovering from my own self-reliance. Webster defines someone who is self-reliant as relying on one’s own powers and resources rather than those of others. 

I struggle with this the most when it comes to carrying for the special needs of my son. Not because I don’t trust others to care for him; after all, the grandparents know better than anyone how to care for him besides me and Kevin. If I’m being honest, I don’t want Gideon to ever feel like a burden to others. And I think that’s because there have been days when everything that goes into caring for him weighs heavy.. and it feels burdensome to me. 🙁

But trying to be self-reliant AND care for someone like Gideon will never work. That’s what I feel like the Lord has shown me over these past two months. I cannot do this alone. And the beautiful part is that I don’t have to. Between our families and friends, I don’t have to be self-reliant. I can allow others (and even ask others) for help when I need it so that those burdensome feelings for me are fewer and farther between.

Now here’s the cool part of these past 9 weeks. First, Josiah’s test results came back. He does NOT have PBD!! (We figured, but it’s nice to have confirmation!) And second, Gideon’s name came up on the Deaf Blind Multiple Disabilities List of Texas, which means the state will now PAY for someone to come in and help me with his care for 8 hours a day!!! And thankfully the people we got to hire are my mom, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law. How freaking cool is that?!

The past 9 weeks have been a whirlwind. I cried when we found out we were approved for respite services. Although I don’t know why I’m always so surprised. Given our history, it’s clear that the Lord’s provisions are always on time.

Dear God,

Forgive me for trying to do the hard things on my own. Praise you Father for always providing as you continue to make me more Christ-reliant.

Sincerely,

A Recovering Self-Reliant

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