Can you imagine? Eight kids.
Now, I find myself whining about the trials and tribulations about raising ONE Special Needs child and ONE Typical Child all the time, but EIGHT CHILDREN?
Unreal. But that is exactly what Kris, mother to Erin, and author of the blog Party of Ten handles, seemingly effortlessly, on a daily basis.
You might find that I am writing this a little less formally than you are used to seeing. Well, I have actually had the good fortune of getting to know a few people from The Twenty over the course of this journey, as I have mentioned before. Not sure of the reasons. Some people I guess just have responded to the fact that I am a strange melon.
Kris and I share a few common interests, one of which came to my attention when I saw her address. She lives in the Holy Land.
That's right. Green Bay, Wisconsin. Now...as cool as it is that Eric Olson got to go to Fenway Park with Liam, it is equally as amazing to me that Kris and family are Cheeseheads.
Because although if the Baltimore Ravens were to face the Packers in the Super Bowl, which I really thought they WOULD last year, I would have to root against them, I have to tell you...ANY team that beats the Steelers is A-OK by me. And besides, I have always liked the Packers, mainly because of Favre.
I've also had the pleasure of speaking with Kris on several occasions by phone, which I always enjoy. I don't get out of the house much, so phone calls are ALWAYS a welcome opportunity to blab away about all kinds of things. In the beginning, it was about all kinds of crazy paranoid stuff going on, but later on there was a...special subject of interest, but I'm not ready to talk about that just yet.
So...without further...what's the word...adieu? Here's Kris's post about the arrival of Erin's iPad.
'Months ago, at the suggestion of a friend, we entered Erin in a special needs iPad giveaway, hosted by a popular blog. To our surprise, she was chosen as one of the "winners". To make a long story short, none of the chosen winners received iPads. The blog host, a special needs parent himself, was, monetarily speaking, the only "winner".'
'Many in the special needs blogger community were left feeling disheartened by the whole experience. Now, on the one hand, it was just a promised iPad that was lost; we get over that quickly enough and move on. On the other hand, special needs families often feel a connection to one another because of the extra challenges and blessings that come with our extra-ordinary kids. We share that bond. When this whole ordeal happened, we felt we had lost trust in one of our own - someone from within the special needs community whom we had grown to trust. That had a longer lasting impact, and frankly, felt like a betrayal.'
'Enter Mission iPossible! Some lovely folks (whom I have now gotten to know in blogland) decided to do something positive in response to the original iPad-giveaway debacle. They put their heads and hearts together and began a mission to restore these iPads to the original winners, all kids with special needs who would greatly benefit from the amazing iPad. They have now completed their mission, in only a few short months!'
'Last week Erin received her iPad. And it is amazing. Honestly, it is hard to over-estimate the impact this will have on Erin's learning. The visuals, sounds and touch of the iPad, not to mention the many apps developed just for kids who learn differently, or who have extra challenges, are a huge, huge benefit for Erin.'
'After only one week, I can already see the difference in her attention span, fine motor control and development. Her motivation for speech (which has never been lacking) has also improved. I think articulation of speech will follow in the months to come. She becomes engaged and challenged by the "lessons" of the many apps, which to her are games that make her giggle.'
'Thank you, thank you, thank you! What more can we say. The Mission iPossible team, and of course the generous donors who made it possible, have restored not only iPads, but also the dignity that was lost in our community.'
You can head directly to Kris's website to see a pretty nifty video of Erin, and more photos, though I will load all the photos I pulled off her blog into the Facebook folder when I update over there. I can't figure out how to transfer the video here though. And why not contact her and ask? BECAUSE. You ought to be going over there and checking it out. Important to spread the web of community, especially now as we wrap up the final stages of Mission One.
Because when we start to lay some of the bricks into the foundation of Mission Two, and what will become something that for the time being let's just call 'Side-Missions', my hope is that Community plays an even larger, more expansive role in all of this. ;)
On behalf of:
The Mission: iPossible! Group