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Posts Tagged ‘Special Olympics’

David Paul Adams 🎓 & Jonathan William Adams 🎓, Cum Laude
One last blast of the pirate ship, Pirate Proud!
Jonathan, 18 (Auburn University, aerospace engineering) & David, 21 (Gulf Coast Exceptional Foundation day program)… David & Jonathan: biblical best buds, always looking out for each other.
Extended childhood coma, not expected to live past age 4. God always has other plans!
One to Alabama, one to Auburn, one to USA and one to Coastal…scattered to the wind but forever bonded.
The best part of milestones is sharing it with a growing family!
Third milestone – youngest crosses over from 8 years of elementary school (Pre-K-6th), to middle school, having been diagnosed with high-functioning autism last fall and discovering the joys and challenges of his reality…as we all do.

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Who can resist a well-earned Special Olympics smile from a kid who wasn’t supposed to live past age 4?

David turns 18 in 22 days!

Thank You, God, for defying all odds, for playing the ultimate April Fool’s joke on death – showing the universe for once and for all that where death seems inevitable, life rocks on!

That there is no such thing as finality, that You are the only Omega…and Your gift is eternal life. May we always recognize that those things seeming to a close = opportunity for new beginnings in ways we haven’t yet fathomed.

And therein lies faith…and trust. Faith and trust that there is always more in store than we can possibly know or deserve in our finite wisdom. Thanks, God, for perpetual resurrection and preciousness in all things. SMILE!!

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I love this week’s Photo Challenge which is all about taking something and running with it – about going many steps beyond your wildest dreams.

Never believe that the impossible isn’t possible or that a dark and gloomy prognosis means the end of the track.

From a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, 8 months old…told IF he lived, he would be in a vegetative state and die by age 4…

  
…to Special Olympics, 2015 – Kissing a pretty girl fifteen years later makes it well worth coming out of a coma and surviving!

 Believe in the extraordinary – faith, hope and love are the greatest of gifts.

Thanks, God, for second, third and fourth chances. And tenth and seventy-seventh chances. 

You know, God, sometimes I think that Your lessons about faith, hope and love are as much about our aspirations as they are a reminder of Your unwavering faith, hope and love for us. It IS a two-way street, isn’t it? 

That when our ordinary faith, hope and love stray, You – our Rock – never lose those three things for us, and it is Your extraordinary faith in us, Your hope in our return and Your eterrnal love for us draws us back and is what causes such rejoicing among the angels when we return.

Many happy and extraordinary returns!

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For this week’s  Weekly Photo Challenge, I offer the face of an angel with boundless joy:

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David, at Special Olympics, this past May.

Thank You, God, for untold joy, for unstoppable joy that springs from unspeakable grief. For spontaneous joy, for the unexpected, the unseekable that presents itself and makes life worth every hardship.

Thanks for the unending hope of joy, for using each of us to inspire one another to keep seeking You and the untold riches of joy You offer.

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Look closely into the window of the school bus…

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and there you will see the eyes of hope in a special little boy on his way to his very first State Special Olympics.

See, you must have your head in clouds to hope, because hope means you have to aim high, stretching yourself to greater heights than you ever imagined.

We never can know what is possible unless we try and never give up – and trying starts with hope, and a belief in the impossible.

This is what this special little boy has taught me, a gift that he shares with everyone he meets.

Just thought I’d pass it along to you, dear readers – for him.

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Hey, God, thanks for giving us the impetus to aim high, for the flexibility to stretch ourselves beyond what we initially believed might be possible. Thanks for the motivation to try, for perseverance and belief in what seems out of reach or surreal.

Thank you, God, for hope in all things. For it is You who have set the bar, giving us that “upward mobility” that eggs us on to achieve greater things – without which we would stay stuck, unhappy, unfulfilled and void of greater potential.

Thanks for helping us run this race in the face of doubt, barriers, disabilities, hindrances and impossibilities. And thanks for getting us there, taking us higher, beyond our hopes and dreams even though we can’t always see what the finish line holds, because it seems so daunting and very far away.

Let us always trust You to carry us through to that finish line, where Your medal of validation awaits us, confirming that we are capable and worthy of the greater blessings You have in store for us…if we are faithful to hold on to hope, believe, keep trying and never give up!

Yes, this race is for YOU!

For more great windows of the world, click HERE.

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Okay, so maybe I should have chosen something easier to give up for Lent like, um, “Driving over 80 mph,” or “Not listening to another tired Kardashian joke,” or “Cranking out another poorly edited blog.”

But, I didn’t. So you are stuck with me in the middle of 40 days of self-imposed hell. No, the church didn’t impose this on me – I take full responsibility. I am a glutton for punishment, and I like to experiment with stretching my limits. Plus it’s not a bad way to get a smidgen of a taste of the point of Lent, at the very least. How many Christians can really put their money where their mouth is, anyway? Not that any of us could, fallible as we are. I like to believe self-sacrifice makes us stronger in the long run.

In the meantime, I’m antsy as all get-out, and fit to be tied. Saturday’s 10K was a wonderful way to distract and run myself ragged. In the spirit of sacrifice, I went as far as to run (actually RUN) the first two miles, in full, with my iPod OFF. I learned something new, that I could search for meaning and purpose in my exertion by losing myself in other things, such as the laughing seagulls overhead (although they were probably laughing at who was going to nail their next target with the thousands of silly humans running amok). Then came the hills, the bluffs. Ouchie-youchie. My quads are still admonishing me. So to distract myself again today, I conquered the Big Knoll, three times over, with added speed, just to give them something to cry about.

Pleased with my time after the race, I was able to hoof it up the big bluff to get back to the start line to meet two of my offspring, who ran the 2-mile fun run. I ran with the younger one, who bested me when the finish line appeared. Never did see the eldest – he’s at the age where he was more into his friends (and girls), and would have died had I ran with him. Casanova was casually hobnobbing at the bananas-and-oranges table, sipping a Gatorade, by the time I flew through the chute.

This was followed by a glorious day at a community event, the biggest in our town each year, where you see things like the best creative things brought in from all over the nation; a little girl hula-hooping while eating a waffle cone; eating alligator bites (like popcorn chicken, except real alligator) with Cajun spices and hush puppies; the bubble machine blowing bubbles aloft outside the little-town toy store that sells old-fashioned educational toys in spite of the cross-town Wal-Mart that one landowner sold out to, and friendly dogs on leashes that don’t mind their tail being yanked by our little one.

He saw the array of sample funnel cakes outside a food vendor’s set-up. A small crowd gathered as the little boy got closer and closer to the delectable delights with great curiosity, waiting to see if he would snatch a piece to taste. He carefully extended an index finger toward each one, a hair away from swiping a finger off the powdered sugar and fruit toppings. But he didn’t, and when he suddenly turned to see where Mommy was, he spotted the delighted crowd watching him, and he shyly ran between mother’s legs to hide, while the crowd roared with amusement to behold the little child resisting temptation.

If only we all could be like that!

Later that evening, hours after I crossed the finish line, I received word I had crossed a professional finish line on a national level that  I’d been training for for a long time. Unexpected and spontaneous celebration ensued, and now I need a weekend after this weekend.

But I’d promised you, dear reader, to cover a few other things: The National Junior Dishonor Society. I endured attended last year’s ceremony at the middle school, and it was a solemn but entertaining event then. This year it was downright alarming. The girls’ skirts were shamefully short – I mean, near-cheeks showing as they paraded up the aisle to the stage in shoes they could barely totter forth in. The boys were stiff as glue, probably due to age-related gawkiness. It was painful to watch them during the procession. Even the president of the group blew it off for another event that day. The worst part was seeing all my child’s best friends up there, his name in the program, and his mysteriously not being part of the procession.

At the end of the ceremony, after openly sharing my panic, I was asked questions in the office like, “Are you SURE you dropped him off this morning? you SAW him go into the school?” “Did he go to the city with the Scholar’s Bowl team instead, and maybe he forgot about the ceremony?” They did an “all-call” throughout the school, and he sheepishly appeared in the office 5 minutes later. His excuse? “Well, my friends all said they go by weekly GPA to figure if you qualify, and I didn’t want to tell you about the D I got on one algebra assignment a few weeks ago, so I assumed I got kicked out. I was in class.”

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!

So his homeroom teacher and I sat on the now-empty stage with him and explained that they average by the semester, not the week, and that one lousy grade on one lousy homework assignment does not doom you for life. Then came the conjoint lectures about being where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there, asking an adult if you’re not sure and not going by your friends’ consensus, and finally, after careful mutual eye contact between teacher and parent, a parent-led lecture on what the rest of his weekend would look like, given his self-imposed absence and ensuing school-wide panic after the ceremony. Not to mention his not mentioning the D.

I admit I caved in halfway through the weekend, after considering that he is the youngest in his class, taking a high school credit course. And the fact that he did all the leaf-blowing after the race Saturday, dishes and other mundane chores to repent. He convinced me he had to break in his new hiking boots before camp in the Appalachians next week, so off he went squirrel hunting Sunday afternoon. Mothers, have mercy on your babies…

Also promised: The Great Potty Crisis at Special Olympics. We were proud of our disabled child participating and ought to devote a blog to it, but few pictures were taken this year. Next year, you’re on. It’s a tear-jerker, ‘specially the torch. I highly recommend your attending your local event. It was our 3-year-old, though, with the crisis. He was used to Mommy taking him into the ladies’ room at the park, and he pitched a fit because he had to go, Mommy was at the Dishonor Ceremony and hadn’t gotten to the Olympics yet, and Daddy had to take him to the men’s room. He is terrified of urinals, and squawked with great fervor, refusing to go in the men’s room.

What’s a dad to do? The guy thing, of course! So he hauls our tyke off to the woods beside the park and instructs him to do the wild thang, with great abandon. Tyke hesitated at first, convinced Mommy would pop out from behind a tree and shame him for not properly using a potty. But once he got going, he really got into it. Report has it that not only did he finally relieve himself, he discovered, with tremendous pleasure, that he could make his urine arc high into the air by squeezing his…okay, nevermind, I’m getting too graphic, sorry. Anyway, he was initiated into natural manhood that day by marking his territory in the city park woods. Hurrah. Yes, I gave them both a (light but) appropriate scolding upon Daddy’s big, smirking boasting about the event. I am outnumbered, 5 to 1.

And…what happens when you swallow a battery or other object (teaser from previous blog)? Plenty, if I am your therapist, you did it on purpose, and you’re in a hospital setting. You will wish you were back in the ER. Unable to elaborate on this one… Suffice it to say that a combination of humor, reverse psychology and a weekend of consequences for safety’s sake, adds up to one great brief therapy intervention and fosters a hasty recovery, and an even hastier advance toward one’s treatment goals. Never mind the jokes about “batteries running out” which are virtually unavoidable.

Some day, I will learn to write shorter blogs.

Thanks, God, for life’s distractions which take the edge off of life’s pains. Thanks for having a “Hold on my Heart” and getting me through Lent. Thanks for His sacrifice. And thanks for a wild, full week.

When, O Lord, shall I rest?!

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