In August Simon started school! We had a small battle with the district office, but in the end we were able to start Simon in first grade this year. (They wanted to put him with his "peers" and start him in 4th or 5th grade. However, my dream was for Simon to have as much time in elementary school as possible, then skip junior high, because who wants to go to junior high, anyway? I think the war may not be over on this, though, so you might hear more about it later.) Simon rides the bus to and from school each day and he seems to really like it. He has a one-on-one para at school and spends a little bit of time in the classroom with the "typically developing" children, who LOVE him by the way, and then he goes to the resource room. In the resource room he gets to walk in his gait trainer, has floor time and practices eating by spoon (he is up to 16 bites without force feeding!!.) He also meets with the speech teacher 4 times a week and has been working on communicating.
|This photo is from March, when we went to the circus! Note that his head is BELOW the headrest.|
I took this photo because Ishmael got out the guitars, gave Simon his and asked me to take their picture.
In July Simon got a G tube placed and since then he has been growing by leaps and bounds. I need to take measurements, but since I haven't, I have included some photos for you to see for yourself. I have been able to tell that Simon has shot up like a weed, just by looking at where his head sits in his wheelchair.
|This photo is from June, when we went to Utah to say goodbye to Adam, a dear boy from Simon's orphanage who passed away. Please keep his family in your prayers. (Simon's head is getting close to the headrest.)|
Simon turned 10 on September 25th. We had plans to celebrate on the Saturday after his birthday. To the left is Simon enjoying his day with his aunts and cousin (who turned 4). Jon and I were unable to attend however, because I went into labor that morning and brought little baby June into the world! Here is Simon's sister, June Bailey, at one day old.Below is a photo of our whole family together for the first time, the day Ishmael and Simon met their sister. Simon had a bit of an adjustment after June came, but most of that was because I had not been able to care for him directly as much toward the end of my pregnancy and the beginning of June's life. However, things are settling down now and Simon is giving me less dirty looks...we are back in the business of bonding :)
On Halloween we hung out with our community in the parking lot of our house. We set up the bouncy house and the fire-pit. It was a bit cold, so we bundled Simon up really good and settled in by the fire. Simon LOVES watching the fire burn. Later, we came inside and got some family photos. To the left is a photo of Ishmael and Simon in their costumes (Scooby Doo and Fred!).
|Here is a photo of Simon with his baby sister June. She was dressed as Daphne :)|
Here is the whole "gang." I was Velma and Jon was Shaggy to complete the Mystery Incorporated theme we had going. (Thanks to my sisters for letting me borrow their costumes!)Jon commented on how good Simon looks in white. Everyone else in this family can't wear the color white because we look sick and pasty. But Simon's beautiful olive skin just glows! What a handsome fella.
Simon's favorite place is in his swing. Since he is outgrowing his swing and winter is coming, we are hoping that Simon's Make-a-Wish happens soon. They want to give Simon a "swingnasium," which will include two spots for swings in our house and a new swing set for Simon outside.
Simon's development has taken off. He is sitting up on his own more and more. He can pass objects from his left hand to his right. He explores toys that do NOT vibrate :) He makes more and more eye contact with those around him and I think he is on the verge of crawling. His rolling over on the floor is more and more controlled. He used to just stop on his knees and forearms but is now pushing up onto his hands. I am AMAZED at his progress. He is doing so good.
Thank you for all your prayers and support over these past 2 years. Thank you for your patience with me as I am slow to keep this blog updated, even though it is the cry of my heart to share Simon with all those that have helped us and those who might desire to bring other orphans out of their prisons and into their homes.