Our church has been amazing. More specifically, our sunday school class. In the past few months our church and sunday school class have provided:
1. partial payment for all of my pastoral counseling appointments
2. a prepaid grocery card
3. a new oven (our old one hadn't been properly working in nearly 2 years)
4. a new furnace (we hadn't had central heating in 5 years)
5. walmart gift card for a considerable amount (more groceries and supplies for Sissy's RTC needs)
6. christmas shopping money
7. a bunch of McDonald's gift cards and gas money to help offset our traveling expenses to and from Sissy's RTC
8. when weather and time permits, the church will be replacing rotting soffet, trim and clapboard on the house
and non church related assistance:
9. my school also gave us a Walmart gift card (I have a new winter jacket!)
There was an article in our paper about a local family that has a severely and profoundly handicapped child and the dad is about to be deployed. The community is raising money to help the family purchase a wheel-chair accessible van before the dad goes to Iraq. The mom was quoted in the article as saying that she believed God put her on the earth to be the parent of her special needs son.
That's a better woman than me! I went into adoption for strictly selfish reasons, I wanted to parent. I had NO idea how hard it would be or that I would end up with two children with needs. I've really struggled with it and am mostly on the other side of the fence in which I can say that I feel that ultimately being a parent of special needs kids is the path I was intended to be on in this life. But that I was put on the earth for the sole purpose of adopting and parenting SpEd kids? Not so much. I have so much more to offer this life.
Like with church. I continue to feel so overwhelmed by the generosity of our congregation but am equally amazed by the verbal praise we receive. Instead of being blessed, our family's story and our positive attitude is blessing THEM! It's reciprocity at it's best and I for one am not going to turn it away. Our family can use all the help we can get. I quit my job because it was too hard to manage Sissy's critical needs and Aspie Boy's needs. In addition, Wonder Girl has needed a lot of TLC and repairitive work to help her feel safe and confident again. (I am glad to report that Wonder Girl has been sleeping in her room without any issues for 3 weeks!!!)
I hope the family in the article is able to get their van before the Dad deploys. I know that it will happen because there are so many generous people in our community that are all to glad to lend a helping hand where it's needed, our family is proof of that. I just hope that some day I can be on the giving end instead of the receiving end but right now that seems improbable. I think our family will be in a perpetual state of need given our children's issues. As I told Sissy's therapist, "we have opted to live as hovels for the benefit of our children." But for this holiday season, unemployed, recovering from nearly two years of Sissy's chaos and balancing the checkbook to discover that because of the help from so many generous, empathetic people, we have a little bit of hope. To God be all the Glory.
Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope that your life story is the same this holiday.