Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Deanna's Children Farmstead
Wow - I cannot tell you what a great time we had on Sunday. There was such a great turnout and everyone was just thrilled to be there together. I had been concerned about Abi because of her spinal fluid leaking but boy did she put my mind at ease. That little girl was running all over the place - no one would've guessed she was going to have surgery the next day. She has got the sweetest spirit, full of hugs and smiles. I didn't leave this time feeling overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted. Instead I felt excited. Excited to be around all of these amazing individuals - they are truly an inspiration. Jenny, who is 19 with william syndrome, does fantastic artwork. They are actually taking it to the convention and selling it (I'd love to have one of her tshirts!). She has an amazing personality (ofcourse!) and was excellent with all of the little ones.
Payton had a ball. Bob and I were concerned how she would do, but she did fantastic! I did not see an ounce of anxiety in that girl all day long. What an answer to prayer. There was an area where water covered over the pavement so the kids could cool their feet of a bit and just kind of splash around - the kids stayed there for quite some time. And, ofcourse, Payton chose to lay down on her tummy and sip the water off the ground (I immediately thought of Avery and what a great time she and Payton would've had drinking the water off of the ground together). Soon she spotted someone sitting on a bench not too far away eating a popscicle. I was talking to other parents so I missed her making her escape. Sure enough, I found her sitting next to this lady asking for a bit of her popscicle. The lady didn't seem too thrilled about it (I'm sure she was wondering where the child's parents were!), but I managed to get Payton down from the bench and away from the popscicle lady. I don't know why, but I think this is the most amazing part of the syndrome. No one is a stranger - everyone is seen as a friend. I'd really like to look thru Payton's eyes and see what she sees. She'll walk up and grab anyone's drink, thinking they're a friend and they won't mind :) She'll give hugs, grab hands, sit as CLOSE as possible, ask their name, etc. She loves everyone.
There were, ofcourse, some hard times. One young lady has an awful time with loud noises. She couldn't even sit in the picnic area with us because the children's voices just sent her thru the roof. Bob went over to their picnic table to talk with them and he said the daughter was saying "I don't want to have williams syndrome!". It broke Bob's heart - but he admired the parent's strength in dealing with it. Unfortunately I can only imagine that time coming for us. I know Payton will express to us that she doesn't want ws and we just hope and pray that we can encourage her.
My heart melts when I am with these families. It feels like home and everyone has so much advice and knowledge to share. And after this get together, I feel like I'm ready to go to a convention. We've held back on going because we definitely didn't feel like Payton was ready for such a big trip, but I truly believe that in two years she will be able to handle it great. But we've also held back because we didn't feel emotionally ready. It is a big step to go and take in all the information, see everyone, and learn the good and the bad. Actually, it can be frightening. But things feel like they are taking shape now, and we just don't feel as scared anymore. It feels like home now.