|Type of Gift||Fun Items|
|Gift Requested||Swing Set|
|Price of Gift||$2,500.00|
Why we requested this gift
Braylen is only one of our special needs children. He has a big toothy grin that never stops. His playful spirit is contagious. He loves to be outside and feeling the wind on his face. He has overcome hip dysplasia in both hips. Because of the intellectual delays that come with fragile X, this child-like innocence will never leave him. He will continue to love to swing on a swing set. However as we are now facing that with his older special needs siblings, he will eventually be too heavy for the old one we have. Smiles turn into tears because they don’t understand how or why their bodies are now big while their mind is still young. This will continue into adulthood as they will require adult caregivers.
Oh how I wish I could bottle up some of their happiness over the simple things like swinging to save for when they are too big for it. I would love to have a swing set that was able to accommodate multiple higher weight and size kids. Something his siblings that are up to 120lbs now can enjoy, as well as himself as he will continue to grow. I truly believe that play is the best therapy for these kids. They will never drive a car and many other things that most kids do as they get older. So let em swing for as long as possible. Oh let em swing.
We have 7 kids at home. Ages 1 to 9. We have already adopted 2 of them. (Kylie and Jimmy). We are in the process of adopting the other 5. The youngest, Turtle, is the sibling to the 2 we already adopted, we got her at birth. The other 4, Haven, Malachi, Mason, and Braylen, are a sibling group of their own. We also have 5 grown kids. JJ, Holly, Mack, Cody, and Lily. And 9 grandkids. Madison, Jessie Paul, Colby, Kendyl, Daniel, Paisley, Maddux, Ethan, and Easton.
We started our foster care journey after our grown kids were out of the nest. We had no intentions of adopting. We simply wanted to make the foster care experience less traumatic for kids. Our goal was to make their time away from their parents, less like their personal prison sentence, and more like a vacation or summer camp. Yes they would still miss their parents but we tried to pack as much fun and new experiences into it as possible. They need to be kids while the adults deal with whatever crisis led them to foster care. Our plan was to make sure that every child left our home knowing how to ride a bike and knowing about Jesus’ love for us all. Later in life they would look back at their time spent with us and not remember it as a bad season for their family, but a time when they were safe and happy. For some kids that has happened. We have had several of our former fosters return to visit. To let us know that they had graduated highschool, enrolled in college, or for us to meet their girlfriend. We have had 107 kids come through our home from Dfacs. Either as a placement or respite care. Each one a blessing and each one a learning experience for us. Yet we are still not experts on children. Every child has it’s own unique needs. However I can say, it’s been my experience, that all kids, no matter what age, race, background, rich or poor, religion,… they all want the same 3 things. To be safe, valued, and a cell phone.
Our 7…. We have a variety of special needs with our 7 little kids. Some due to abuse, some due to prenatal drug use, and some due to a genetic disorder. Braylen specifically, is one of our Full Mutation Fragile X syndrome babies. He is the sweetest boy. His big wide mouth smile is contagious. He has had alot to overcome in his little life, and he will continue to face challenges forever. Born with hip dysplasia in both hips, he was unable to walk at all until he was two. He has recently come out of the casting process to correct tendons in his feet. He will be getting leg braces as soon as this covid 19 quarantine is over. Due to his legs and feet having pain at times and also just refusal due to Fragile X behaviors, some days he doesn’t walk at all. He requires a carseat and stroller with harness straps, as he stems a lot. He flaps his arms and legs, and arches back with his chest out. Smiling the whole time. The harness keeps him from falling into the floor. We have not figured out a way to make kids bounce. He will just go splat. He used to wear a helmet full time bc of his head banging the floor. Thankfully he no longer has to wear it all the time. If you can get past the obvious differences in his movements, tremors, his reluctance to speak, fearfulness of strangers, and his meltdowns, you would see what we see. A beautiful soul, that finds joy in the simplest of things. Waving at a chicken, getting to ride the school bus to his special needs school that he attends 2 days a week, listening to music, watching “Shrek”, Walmart deli eggrolls, his blanket at bedtime, and being pushed in a swing, these are things that bring so much joy to him. He loves swinging more than anything.
Adopting 7 kids was not part of our plans. But God’s plan was perfect. We are so truly blessed to have fallen in love with these babies.