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