Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Final thoughts

Conclusion of the trip and final thoughts. The following quotes made me think the past couple of months.

 "You never really leave a place you love. Part of it you take with you. Learving a part of yourself behind." This is how both Mate and I felt after we said our goodbyes in Birmingham. God blew our socks off with this trip! God's devine provision was like a weaving thread through the whole journey. It was so much more than just therapy. It was a road for Matthew to grow up, be independent and for me to realize he is indeed a "big boy"now (even though he is our baby) and I have to treat him accordingly. I personally felt like I was in OT school (so enjoyed it). I learned so much and try my best to intergrate the new approach in our everyday crazy busy life. We miss Alabama but the beautiful friendships that were born there still remain and the memories will be cherished. Now we have hearts to love and be loved and cared by down there too. What a blessing! You might now that the meaning of Matthew's name is: "Gift of God". Little did we know about the Lord's mighty plan when we picked it.

"What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God." Your gift made it possible for our little boy to gain life long skills and learn to use wings instead of crutches. Our trip continues here in Indiana, which requires much dedication, conisistency and wisdom to balance everything. Thank you so much for your investment of time following the updates, your support in any ways, prayers and your sweet Friendship, which means so incredible for us!

Love, Dave, Manna and children

Short clips

Just click on each clip and it will take you to our photo site where you can play the mini clips. One is at the airport on our way home. Two clips were recorded as Matthew's siblings woke him up the first morning home. The last one is just a fun race we had on the deck finally together.

Farewell and warm welcome

Our last days in Birmingham

Friday, August 17, 2012

Home sweet home

It has been for a week since we got back from our Alabama therapy trip. The last days were really nice. We did something special every day leading up to our flight on Friday. Wednesday Matthew had the chance to say goodbye to her best friend Amber (11) and had a super big ice cream with left hand of course at chick filet. Thursday we had a Hungarian farewell dinner for our host family. It was so lovely. Friday they tested him with the same activities as the very first day when we started the program. It was amazing to see that some things he could not even do before and now he did it because he has the strengh and some motor planning to put it in action. He is an amazing buddy to travel with. I constantly have to remind him but some things are becoming a routine to use his "trained side".

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Awesome play date

Tuesday night we had an awesome play date with new friends. It was like visiting the Children's Museum. The kids pretended dishes pretend, looked through some pics and just thoroughly enjoyed each other's company. Thank you Ms. Felicia and family for a great evening.

Clean dishes and blueberry muffins for dinner

Practicing right and left

I am free

Bye bye cast

Tuesday our last day in cast

Tuesday our big day. The cast came off. It's exciting and fearful to me to see what he does. Left hand is definitely strong, has some amazing skills. I call it a gold mine. It has so much potential. What I have to keep in mind that we have to undo many years of patterns using mainly the right side and that his brain is still telling his left side "you can't do it" or "you are not strong enough". It will take lots of verbal coaching and helping him to motor plan the different actions. It is a learning curve. I learned so incredibly much during this month. I feel equipped but it will take tremendous dedication and patience. It is neat to see many goals accomplished and all coming together

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Brush the doggie

Matthew and Mia take each other to a walk

Throw the ball to Mia

Mia the therapy dog returns

Monday was marked on the therapy calendar. Matthew's reward for his good work was to see Mia the therapy dog one more time. Her owner is an OT and leads a research about how motivating it is for children to do the same tasks with or without the dog. It's through an organization called Hand in Paw. Words can not describe Mate's excitement once Mia showed up on the scene. He did better then ever. So neat to see all the mastered skills paired with motivation. Videos will follow soon.

Our very special and busy Sunday in AL

Our last Sunday here in Birmingham was busy and overwhelming. You can see some photos of Matthew's Sunday school (the 4 year olds teacher is Ms. Lisa and her assistant is her daughter Amber). Amber has a very special place in Matthew's heart. When he talks about her his face and eyes light up. On Wed they will have ice cream before his last Bible class. It is truly a sweet friendship! After church we went to our favorite place to Jason's Deli. Matthew did not need any reminders to squeeze and control his spoon full of ice cream. It just shows his skills when he is motivated. Short afternoon nap, evening service and we were invited to a youth gathering right afterwards. He loved hanging out with teenagers. It was another unforgettable day and so special to see how many new friends the Lord blessed us with while we were here.

Our last Sunday in Birmingham AL

"It's time to go to bed" song- our very favorite

The best time in Birmingham zoo

This last Saturday was our last field trip. A sweet friend invited us to the zoo. We had a great time. Rode the zoo train, play the African drums, play at the play ground and of course loved all the African animals. Among my photos you can see a gorilla who had a heart transplant (he got a human heart). Matthew walked and walked the whole time. Thank you Adena for a lovely excursion!

Visiting the zoo in Birmingham

Happy Birthday Matthew's card and his dog Brownie

Friday evening family birthday party

Friday afternoon we were busy in the kitchen getting ready for our host family's family member's arrival for a collective birthday party. We spent the whole evening with wonderful fellowship. They are all very special and beautiful people. We both felt so honored to be in the midst of them. This night will be truely one of the highlights of our trip. In the end one their little girls sang a children's song in Russian and Matthew sang one from Hungary. Like · · Unfollow Post · about an hour ago Options David Manley added photos to Family Celebration Friday night.

Matthew got mail!!!!

On Fri we had a surprise walk to the mailbox. He got mail. You are talking about excitement. He slept with his card and we had to sing for the card. Thank you Papa Cliff and Debbie.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Visit to the Helena post office

Finally we made it to the post office. He made little surprises for our family and friends in Indy of course with his left hand. He was so excited to take them to the post office and mail them. It was quite a field trip. It's so easy to make him excited and happy.

Scooter board is my reward

Scoop them up

Pour those beans out

It's time for beans and ducks

Beginning of week 3

Beginning of week three. We have less left than the time we have already put in. This pushes us to work even harder. Tuesday was our "bean day" lots of scooping, rotating, using the wrist. His pincer grasp improved a lot. He is able to curl the last three fingers back and seperate pointer and thumb to point. It is so exciting!!! We have moments when he does not want to follow instructions and refuse to obey. We have a new strategy to handle that he has to push a hard container bin all the way to the wall. He does not like it and it puts him back on track quickly. (at the same time it builds muscle not only breaks his stubborness).