Friday, August 29, 2008

He's Going to School!

Well, it's only a two day a week Mom's Day Out but it's the first time i've ever left him anywhere. I am so nervous and excited at the same time. We went to Open House Wednesday and it went awesome! He was a little hesitant at first which really isn't like him but as soon as he met the teacher and some of the other kids he warmed right up. When it was over he said "bye Mom and Dad" and we told him school dosen't start until next Wednesday and he got upset! He was ready to stay and start his school! He is so brave! He has been his whole life.

I have never talked about what Andon has been through on this blog. Mostly just wanting to reserve the information for the people I know and trust but God has done and I know will continue to do some AMAZING things through this little boy and I feel I can start to talk a little more open about it. Andon was born with a rare genetic disorder called Treacher Collins Syndrome. It is a disorder that affects the growth of the facial bones. He was born with a Cleft Lip that was repaired at three days old and a Cleft Palate that got repaired the first time at eight months and it took three more surgeries to finally get it to stay closed. He has had a few more related surgeries as well. So, in Andon's four and a half years of life he has endured 10 surgeries! And, still has a few (the hardest ones) to go. Because of this....I am very protective of Andon. I don't want anyone to hurt him. To write on the scroll of who he is. I want him to KNOW that God KNEW what He was doing when He made Andon this way. That it dosen't matter what anyone says about us, only what God says.

We have been so blessed to have a family and a church family that love him unconditionally. But, they are all in Florida. :) This is why this move to Nashville was so hard for me. We have been here almost a month and have gone to a new church every weekend. Trying to find that special place that feels like home. Haven't found it yet. When I was traveling back and forth from Orlando to Nashville looking for a house and other good stuff I got this idea to put him in a little school/program, something to build relationships with kids here. Believe me, that wasn't my thought! But when I came for one of my visits I went around to a few schools and left feeling sick to my stomach, cried for two days straight! I could not stop crying no matter what stops my sweet husband pulled out. We were sitting in this great mexican place (we both love mexican food) in downtown Franklin trying to have a nice dinner and I'm just moping and crying. I felt I couldn't do it. I can't send him somewhere where I am not going to be able to be there to protect him. So, I went back home to Orlando saying "oh no I'm keeping him home, I can't send him anywhere, I don't know what I was thinking". Well, we move here, get settled in and I go purchase a bunch of stuff to start preschool at home. I was so glad to have finally made a decision about this but I still couldn't get this thought of sending him to a school off my mind. It was driving me mad! I kept praying about it, wondering why I felt so confused. Well, we had started our first day of preschool at home and the phone rings. It's the lady I had been talking to at the little school! She says "We have one more spot if your still interested in sending Andon here" mind you, there was a terribly long wait list and I called her a month before we moved here to add Andon. You know some people put there kids on those things at the end of the school year i'm sure! Anyways, we decided to attend church there this past weekend to get a feel for the place and speak to the director of the school. She said we're gonna hold the spot for him and come to Open House and make your decision. So, we did. We get there and no one had really been in there yet so we had some good time to talk to his teacher. I started telling her about my Andon with tears in my eyes and she said "I completely understand" with tears in her eyes. I immediately felt comfortable. She said her son was born with a genetic disorder of some sort as well, had been through surgeries and she could remember feeling the way that I do. She said I didn't have to worry, that Andon would be in a safe, nurturing environment. How she starts off the school year promoting self awarness so they feel confident in who they are, who God made them to be. She said the exact words that God knew that I needed to hear to feel ok about leaving him there. As we were talking I look over and see my little boy walking around exploring this new place and loving it and I just feel an overwhelming peace. I know God has called us to this place for now. I know that Andon is His before he is mine and He won't let anything happen to him that He dosen't want to happen to him. I trust Him.

So, with all that said. He's going to school!!! He starts next week! He gets to carry his little lunch box and back pack and even gets to bring one of his sons. That's a good photo op there! He has about ten or so little stuffed dogs, giraffe, frog, and turtle and he calls them his "Sons"! And he has his cousin bear! Very funny, this sweet little person of mine! So thank you so much for your continued prayers for our family. Please continue to pray for Andon and his new adventure. And for me, I have no idea what I am going to do without him! :)
Love you all ~Jen


mommy zabs said...

I'm so happy God put you in the perfect place at the perfect time with the right teacher. :)

Judy said...

Dear Jen,

I loved reading your blog about your son. I'm happy you found a nice loving place for him to go to school. This is the best thing you can do for him right now - I know how hard it is to let go but doing it this time will make the times ahead that much easier. I bet he is your only child, like my daughter with TCS is my only child (she's now 14). I remember very well all of those moments. If you get a chance, please call me. I'd love to chat with you about your son, surgeries, and TCS in general. Call anytime.

Judy Mosher
Treacher Collins Connection
CoDirector / CoFounder
704.545.1921 voice
704.545.1501 fax
704.201.9720 mobile

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Wow! What a big day! Andon is just going to love the whole thing. I am sure you are going to take tons of pictures and I can't wait to see them!!
What a sweet message God gave you to bring you comfort. Don't you just love that?

Brandi said...

His sons? That is TOO cute! Oh our sweet Andon! I love that boy!

I praise our Jesus for what He is doing for Andon and for all that you have allowed Him to do in you. I love you friend


Kelly said...

He is going to have so much fun!! Continuing to pray for you and Andon!

Largaespada Family said...

Jen! I just got chills all over!!! Isn't our God just AMAZING! I love how things are working out for you. I will be praying for Andon this next week.

Oh, and I'm so glad that cousin Bear can go along with him!


Sunday said...

Oh MY Goodness! I am thrilled! Jenn what a sweet testimony of His love not only for Andon but for you. He knows what we need right when we need it! I am crying tears of joy for you right now. I love you friend. Sun

Kelly said...

I'm so proud of you for being vulnerable. I know how hard it is! Andon is so blessed to have you as his mommy :)

Anonymous said...

Oh how sweet Jen! I am so excited to hear about your time at the school. God is so sweet to address your heart from the minute you walked in the door! How sweet to have a teacher with a mom's heart sensitive to the same things as you!! I love Andon and how excited he is about school and that he can take his "son's" with him. I don't know what you will do without him either!? :) Thanks for sharing that sweet post! Love ya, Christie

Jackie Sue said...

Jen, I'm getting caught up on my blog reading...So glad that you feel a strong peace about sending Andon! I'm proud of your process and your post. It was just great!!! Love to you all! See you in a month!!!