Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy Graduation Day

March 22, 2010.  That was the first day we met with Early Childhood Intervention, when our  wonderful caseworker (and OT), Dava, told us about the program.  That day she explained that when Matthew turned 3, he would 'graduate' ECI and transition into the public school system.  On that March day in 2010,  I tried to imagine our 4 week old baby boy at 3 years old.  I couldn't even fathom it...not in any way, shape, or form.  At that time, I feared he wouldn't live to see his first birthday. 

Our sweet baby Matthew did make it to a year.  On February 21, 2011, we were assigned another fantastic caseworker (and PT), Christy, and we had another evaluation and another discussion about the big 'graduation' date in what would be 2 years.  Coming off intestine, heart and skull surgeries in the months leading up to the evaluation, I still wondered if Matthew would live to see that graduation date.

Not only did he make it another year, but Matthew thrived!  Fewer surgeries, a fixed heart, and lots of therapy (including occupational, physical, speech, and cognitive).  At that next yearly evaluation, on January 31, 2012, I knew Matthew would see that magic graduation date, but I still had a hard time imagining what Matthew would be like, what he would be doing, at that date, just a little over a year away. 

Another year passed, and today, February 19, 2013, was graduation day!  A day that I have been thinking about for almost 3 years.  A day I had tried to imagine, but never could. 

Today was a bright and sunny day, a perfect reflection of Matthew.  With the help of our wonderful therapists (Team Matthew), he is walking, running, riding a 3 wheeled scooter, not yet talking, but communicating, threading beads, doing puzzles, climbing stairs, drawing with crayons, using a fork, drinking from a cup, sucking from a straw, and much, much more.  He is doing so much more than I dared to wish for that March day in 2010. 

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Team Matthew, who have seen Matthew through every single baby step of his journey! I will miss these caring and compassionate women, who  have come to our home twice a month for the past 3 years.  Thank you to Dava, Christy, Ysabelle, Cindy, Mary Lou, Sanwana, Carolyn, and Kristen. They have not only helped Matthew but they have been a major source of support for me as we have navigated Matthew's journey.  I do have some anxiety about how the new Team Matthew (post graduation) will come together.  But today, I am mostly thankful for where Matthew is right now and thankful for the team that has helped us along the way.

Today was a very good day.  Happy graduation day!
Our happy Matthew with his PT/caseworker, Christy.
She and I were both excited about today, and Matthew is always excited, every day!

I often feel woefully underprepared to be Matthew's mom,
and am so very thankful for the amazing people that have been placed in our lives to help light our way.

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