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All About LilyAnna Blu

Preschool Graduation 05/30/2007

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Preschool Graduation 05/30/2007
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Inspirations

Lily completed 2 years at the Foundation for Blind Children in Chandler, AZ. 
 

The FBC has been a huge part of our lives for 4 years now.

In March/April 2003 I was gently pushed in the direction of the FBC.  Lily's 1st support coordinator kindly suggested to us that services from them may be helpful and that Lily may have a visual impairment.

Hearing that about your 6 month old, needing services for blind children, you kind of take a step back.  But we had so many people in and out of our lives at that time.  We were getting services, we were meeting therapists, we were overwhelmed and when it was suggested I said "ok".

Ginny Johnson met me at work, where I brought Lily with me, and tested Lily and said she would greatly benefit from weekly appointments with them and they should take over her early interventions, which we were receiving from a nice young gal that just blew bubbles in Lily's face every week.  Ginny was gentle, kind and I immediately latched on to her and said, "I want you to see her weekly".  She said she was doing more intakes and not seeing as many kids, but something about Lily changed her mind and for that next year and a half Ginny was my lifeline.  She became my good friend; she was in love with Lily as well as vice versa.  Every step Lily made touched her so deeply and she made me see things I never noticed.  She showed me that a baby book is not for Lily.  She may never reach those typical milestones, but she will reach milestones and every one will be seen and acknowledged.  She was the best.  After she had years of infertility, she got pregnant with her little guy and she became a stay at home mom.  We still remained friends; she even threw me a shower for Andi!  Ginny moved to Oregon about 18 months ago and now has two kids!  We miss her.

After some swapping around we finally found a new steady EI, Marie.  Marie and I got along very well and she also had that same gentleness that I saw in Ginny.  She would sit and talk with me like Ginny did and she again became a good friend.  We didn't get Marie as long as we had Ginny because at 3 Lily started preschool.  But even though Marie moved to Texas, we still email occasionally and we miss her as well.  She is expecting her third baby in August! 

We met Marcia when Lily was 18 months old.  She came over to become Lily's new OT, our old one felt bouncing Lily on a ball for 30 minutes was appropriate.  Most FBC therapists don't see a lot of kids in home, but with Ginny's connection Mrs. Marcia came over and started working with Lily.  It was the funniest thing because the day Marcia came was mid December.  We had a big square of vinyl on the floor, advice from Ginny, and a big lit Christmas tree.  Well Marcia comes over for Lily's intake and Lily decides to barrel roll across the floor, it was hilarious.  Here I was saying, she can only roll from back to tummy and then she just starts rolling.  I said, "She has never done that before!"  Marcia saw Lily at our house until we moved to Chandler, we couldn't work it out for her to meet us at home, but then we just went to the school after school got out.  Marcia helped Lily learn to do so much and she still saw her weekly at the school when Lily left the baby program and went into the preschool.  She has been the longest constant in Lily's life, besides her own family.

When Lily was a baby Ginny invited me to something called Infant Program and I had to wait until the fall to start but I went, not knowing anyone (a big step for me) and fell in love with the place.

We would sing songs in a circle then do activities then the best part.  They would watch the kids while us moms (some dads) would sit and snack and talk.  It was the absolute best thing for my life at that time.  Meeting families that understood my hurt understood my heart and understood what it was like to walk in my shoes.  I cried with these women, mostly laughed with these women and made friends with these women. 

For the school to open up a place for parents to meet and talk and watch our kids while we did it, that was well... the most wonderful, thoughtful thing I have ever heard of and I never once took that for granted.

Then Preschool started.  Ahhh Preschool.  Makes my stomach turn to even write this.  Preschool has been the most awesome experience for Lily, for me, for our family.  Lily was blessed with Mrs. Jean, someone I have mentioned a LOT, but she is such a huge part of our life.

Lily has grown, learned new skills and has developed so much from Preschool.  Mrs. Jean doesn't just work as a preschool teacher, it is her life.  Everything she thinks is with the kids in mind.  She can't go to Ikea without coming back with something for the kids.  She is so involved with the kids and with us parents.  She honestly becomes a family member.  We write notes back and forth in Lily's notebook.  She always makes light and makes me laugh.  She dances with the kids, she plays with the kids.  She understands kids who never speak a word.  She is unlike anyone I have ever met, but not only does she have the heart of gold, she is so full of knowledge, she knows how to pull things out of these kids that I never knew could.  Even Andi loves her, she always asks about Jean and gives her hugs when she sees her.

I could go on for days, and I would but I won't.

FBC has changed my life, my world.  They have taught me what a special child I have and made me so proud of everything she does. 

I feel sorry for anyone who does not know this place 1st hand.  I have made friendships that will last a lifetime.  Lily has gained skills that she will carry and expand on in her next years.  Her next step is a scary one, Kindergarten at a public school.  I am scared to death, but I have to be so thankful for the years she had at this awesome, amazing place that has changed our lives forever!

This is their link so you can learn more.

http://www.the-fbc.org/

 

Here is my girl on one of her biggest milestones yet!

 

All dolled up for the big day!
lastdayschool.jpg
05/30/07

Sitting Big!
lilygrad.jpg
Mrs. Jean in pink 05/30/07

Lily and her BFF's on Graduation Day
bffgrads.jpg
May 30th 2007

Last FBC bus ride
bus2.jpg
Andi likes to help the driver, they are friends.

Showing her pull up skills!
gradskills.jpg
05/30/2007

Getting her certificate!
lilygrad2.jpg
05/30/07