Book Review – #1 Recommendation

For some, autism is a new topic. When Tristan was in therapy, and the diagnosis was not concluded, I read every book I could find at the library on this topic. There were many books. I am still determining how I found the time to read, except being at home full-time required me to keep my brain fresh by soaking in reading whenever possible. I would have reading material nearby if he was in the bathtub or sandbox.

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Practical Tip #52 – Go on a Hayride

As I look back on the years with the blessing of Tristan, I am amazed that the amount of our particpation in family activities has increased! Honestly, for a long time, the list was short. Church, McDonald’s, parks, and two hours at a family gathering. That was all we could muster the energy to do outside our home. Our home was our sanctuary to manage Tristan.

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Practical Tip #52 — Visit a Local Farm

I can not say enough good things about our experience at Thistleberry Farm! It can be safe to visit the same places annually. However, as Tristan has gotten older, we have ventured out to try more places. I am glad we did because there were so many “Tristan-friendly activities!” He had a full day. We are blessed to watch him enjoy different experiences. Thistleberry Farm is located in South Bend, Indiana. This gem of a place was very close to our home. Somehow we have missed this opportunity for years!!! I encourage you to look for places close to home. Enjoy a few pictures from our family outing.

Practical Tip #51 Friendships

I was able to carve out some time over the weekend and meet up with a friend. Not just any friend. A kindred spirit kind of friend. A person who I met later in life and I was meant to meet. It just took a while for our paths to cross! This kindred spirit is one of those rare treasures we both agree that we will always be friends. In fact, it had been months since we had time to chat. We met for a walk. It was refreshing.

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Prayer Answered – Tristan has moved!

Just amount the time I was going to sit down and share how well Tristan’s move was going…a situation occurred. It looked like perhaps this move was not going to last. Brian and I were a bit surprised and confused (to say the least).

When parents of special needs children need to hand over the daily care of their son or daughter the deepest fear we face is that someone will not want him or her. All these special children have behaviors and quirks that make them unique in extra ways. They are such a blessing, but sometimes we wonder if everyone else can see what we see. Can others look past the behaviors and accept Tristan for who is is? These are deep thoughts, fears, and concerns parents face.

Sometimes parents can wait longer to transfer the care over. Sometimes (like in our situation) that was not possible. It was not a choice we had. However, each family will have to face this decision because none of us are mortal and most of our children will outlive us.

Luckily during this fear of rejection, I had a friend to reach out to. Someone who has been down this road. It is so important in our pain and struggles that we are open and honest with others because of the blessing of encouragement that we can offer one another. The blessing of encouragement that I received was bountiful!

Prayer in Progress…

We have been praying that God would move Tristan to a group home closer to our house. This prayer has been in progress for five years. Tristan became eligible for this move 11 months ago. We have been waiting for a phone call from the State to say a bed is open. In seven days, we received two phone calls for possible placements! We were thrilled to have choices. After some discussions, we decided to move forward with one of the options. Tristan did a trial overnight at a group home 47 minutes away from home!

It was difficult dropping our forever toddler off at a new place. I did not anticipate the transition to be stressful for both the parents and the child. God put the right people in the home. As we entered the group home, Brian and I could sense the caregiver’s love as they serve the special needs population.

Tristan will need to complete another overnight, and then the team will decide if this particular group home is a good fit.

This prayer is still in progress.

Practical Tip #48 It is okay not to know what to do…

I still remember like it was a few days ago when Brian and I attended a church event related to incorporating special needs families into churches. There was a panel of special needs parents with an audience to ask questions. We were in the audience, but we lived this scenario as a special needs family attending church. One person asked, “If we take care of this population, we may not know what to do.” I remember leaning over to Brian and saying, “There are a lot of days we do not know what to do, and we are the parents!” He agreed and said, “Yes.”

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