Growing Up Special

Thoughts, ramblings, and encouragement from a special need sibling to the world

The Victory of Love June 10, 2011

You may have noticed some recent posts quoting from Hannah Hurnard’s book, Mountain of Spices. It’s probably clear by now that I like what she has to say, have learned a lot, and see how her words of wisdom can apply specifically to those of us with special need siblings.

This is another quote that seemed especially fitting.

“As you meet again with the evil and cruel things… remember the lesson which you have learned… and ‘count it all joy,’ for it all constitutes a glorious opportunity whereby you may learn to overcome evil with good and to share in the victory of love.”

It made me think about how Alyssa constantly demonstrates the victory of love. She never holds grudges. Never calls to mind the wrongs you’ve done. Is never too busy to give a hug or a compliment.

We could all stand to take lessons from the special people around us on “the victory of love.”


Living Good Stories June 8, 2011

Filed under: Life,Stories — brittanyk1 @ 6:30 am
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Someone recently told me the idea that we can choose to live good life stories or not.

Alyssa lives good stories.

Everywhere she goes, she loves people. After just two days in Colorado, I had a bunch of new favorite Alyssa stories. Here’s one of them…

On Thursday morning, we tried to sneak Alyssa out of the house to her graduation breakfast and rehearsal without her finding out that Gramma, Grampa, and Dad arrived late last night and were still sleeping. It was hilarious to watch her deduction skills at work. She has grown and matured so much and the wheels were definitely turning in her mind… but not quite enough to put everything together.

A: “Who’s suitcase is this?”

B: “I don’t know. We’ll find out later.”

A: “Hm. It says Wob [Rob]. I think it belongs to Daddy.”

*Long pause while she looks at the suitcase.*

A: “I guess he must have left it here! He needs to come back and get it.”

And with that problem solved, she happily moved on to other things!


Graduation June 6, 2011

Well, it finally happened. As of about 10:30am on Saturday morning, Alyssa officially graduated. It was amazing. She was the first one to walk across the stage and the entire auditorium erupted in cheers and applause. I think she had more cheering than any other graduate.

For all the difficulties, exclusion, and whatever else she’s had to put up with in her life, it was beautiful to see an entire community support, encourage, and cheer her on as she celebrated this major life accomplishment. We were all in tears at how loved she is.

I’m sure there will be many more posts about Alyssa’s graduation… pictures, videos, stories, and the beautiful person that she is. 🙂


It’s Happening!!! June 3, 2011

Given the fact that (barring the miraculous), Alyssa will never go to college, get married, or achieve other ‘normal’ life steps, graduating from high school is probably THE biggest event of her life.

And boy, has she made the most of it!

She has been talking about her graduation for months. Every time we were on the phone, she asked if I was coming to her graduation. When she meets people now, her new line is “Hi, my name is Alyssa, I’m 21, and I’m graduating!” She passed out hundreds of invitations to all of her many friends. She is having three parties to celebrate (two down, one to go!). These last couple months have been filled with preparations for Alyssa’s graduation celebration.

And now… it’s here.

Yesterday morning was the senior breakfast and graduation rehearsal from 7:30am to 10:30am. Last night was supposed to be a ‘small’ party at school that ended up with quite the turnout. Friday is a little bit of a breather as we prepare for Saturday’s graduation and party!!!

Graduation is a big step for anyone. For Alyssa, it’s all the bigger as it’s a step we never expected her to make. And we’re going to celebrate every second of it!

Graduation Party Number One: Party with the cousins! (L - R: Shayla, Jordan, and Alyssa!)

Graduation Party Number Two: A glimpse of the party in action!