Last year we applied for a Make a Wish for Simon. It is an odd process explaining to someone why your children qualifies for a make a wish....basically you are showing that your child could die at anytime (has a condition that could be fatal). It is not really something you want to think about. However, we felt Simon had been through so much in his short life that perhaps we could get some generous people to spoil him. And man, did they come through!!!
That first meeting we had with our wish granters we weren't really sure what we wanted for Simon. We knew for sure we didn't want to go anywhere, as we have already been around the world with Simon. We told them all kinds of things that Simon likes, or items we thought would help us take care of him better. We told them that Simon's favortite thing to do was to swing...at the end of the visit we took them into the backyard for Simon to show off his swinging skills. Once they saw Simon swing....they decided that was a the way to go....and man did they GO.
It was wonderful getting to hear from our wish granters along the way the different ways that Simon's story was touching people. Our wish granters had a budget to stay within and time and time again different businesses blessed them with extra to make Simon's wish happen. It reminded me so much of our adoption process and how time and time again strangers came through for us when we told them simon's tale. It is amazing that on this side of the world people are so generous and can show so much LOVE.
At the same time, Adam, who lives in our community had something else up his sleeve. He creates paver patios and has very generous parents and friends. He fund raised his own project to create a nice sitting area for the adults in our community. Pretty soon there were plans in motion for an entire yard make over. Adam and volunteers ripped out the hedge that went around our yard, which expanded it greatly, removed the garden, and leveled 2 areas, 1 for the paver patio and another for simon's swing set. Then his parents came out to Nebraska for a visits where they worked day and night along side their son and laid out the patio. Somewhere along the way Todd and other volunteers put up a new fence. (privacy around the playgrounds and picket by the seating area).
We are so Blessed. Thank you to everyone who was apart of this project.
In true Bolivar Community fashion, we didn't do a great job taking before pictures....or during pictures really...but here are some photos i found to (hopefully) show the transformation and then some pictures of Simon LOVING his new playground!!!!
|Here is a BEFORE picture. Here we are doing VBS in our backyard. You can see the old playgrounds and the green hedge on the right.|
|Here is another picture from the VBS that show the view from the other direction, so looking towards where the new patio will be.|
|This is the MAN, Adam.|
|Here is Anoroy with the wheel barrow, look at him go!! Anoroy lives in our community...he is a pretty cool dude.|
|Work, work, work, these guys were HARD workers. Again, THANK YOU!!|
|Here are some friends pulling out the garden. RIP garden. I am so sorry Daniel....I wanted to add this picture in particular to highlight my friend Sara who worked for hours while wearing her daughter....now that is hardcore!!!|
|Here are Adam and Ma and Pa Peters. They are showing off their finished work. That grey area in the back the area prepared for Simon's playground matting and they are standing on our new paver patio. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!|
|This is Ishmael at Simon's make a wish party, they brought him a present as well. He was VERY excited about his new helmet and angry birds skate board.|
|everyone enjoyed ice cream at this party...especially ishmael. It was a VERY VERY HOT day so we were all happy to have something cold to eat!!|
|Here is another photo of him swinging.|
|Here Simon goes in his gait trainer.|
|Here are some friends playing at the party...you can see Mikey's playground in the background. Todd was spraying the boys with water and rightfully so...it was SO HOT.|
|Here is Simon hanging out with one of his FAVORITE people, our friend Kylie.|
Okay full disclosure...Simon was having a TERRIBLE day, the day of his party. So I had trouble getting good pictures of him playing with his new toys. It was pretty sad because just days before he was having the time of his life out there. I really wanted all of our friends and family to get to see him enjoying it...but alas....you can't really plan on your special needs child behaving exactly how you want him to EVER. :) So I went ahead and did another photo shoot of him playing on another day.
|that is Simon's normal look when he is swinging.|
|Here are Simon and Ishmael playing at the sand and water table. The red box is full of Kinetic sand...which is amazing stuff.|
|Here they are playing in the water.|
|Here they are playing again. Note on the top left of the picture...you can see his swing hanging up...again THANK YOU Mike for making this playground so usable for Simon.|
|Simon was really concentrating here.|
|Here is Simon reaching out for his Glockenspiel paddle. He hasn't mastered this whole thing yet...but it is something for us to work toward.|
|Here is Simon sitting in front of his Glockenspiel so you can see his name on it and his make a wish stickers!!|
|Here is Simon smiling on his gait trainer.|
|Here he is laughing...he only wanted to go backwards this day.|
|Simon watches Ishmael play now...something he NEVER did before.|
|Here he is laughing and looking around while he swings.|
|I LOVE to swing.|
|Here is a picture of baby June, she is 10 months already...she is pictured with Deb who lives in our community!!|
Someday soon I should actually update you on how Simon is doing!!! :) But that will be another day. Keep reading and I will try to keep writing!!