Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Special Olympics for Alyona

Alyona was able to participate in Special Olympics for the second year in a row.  Let me tell you now, if you haven't seen an event, you really must go.  It gives you such a new perspective on special needs children.  The amount of support there was incredible.   It tends to be a family affair which is so wonderful to see.  Many grandparents were there and high schoolers even cheering all the athletes on.  You could not have asked for a more gorgeous day.  Crystal clear blue skies, light breeze and in the 80's.  Perfect.  Just perfect.  I'll share some pictures from our day. 

This is Alyona before her first event.  Her first event was the 100 Meter Run.  She was up against many girls that were much,much bigger than she was.  But, she gave it her all and that is all that counts.  Here she is in action:

You can click on the picture to see it a little bigger.  Alyona is running just as hard as she can.  Alyona still has ASD(atrial septum defect) but that has never, ever slowed her down!  We've been very lucky here as she has never needed heart surgery.  We were so proud of her for running the whole way.  Last year in this event, she won the silver in second place.  This year she won 4th w/ the ribbon.  Very proud of her accomplishments here.  

No idea what she is thinking.  Sometimes, I wish I could really get inside that head of hers.  This was right before her next competition.  Notice the white fourth place ribbon?  She was not happy that she got the ribbons versus the medals this year.  We told her not every year can you get the medals.  Helped that everyone there makes a big deal of the ribbons.  Her next competition was the softball throw.  

Here she is throwing.  She did really well.   Remember, she has radial articulation in her arms and it is hard to do some things, even throwing.  Plus, w/ the permanent damage from the messed up surgery job, it makes even simple tasks difficult.  Thankfully, Alyona is left-handed.  It was funny b/c Alyona had been practicing all week by throwing stuff over our backyard fence for the deer and "woodland" creatures we have.  

This is what it is all about.  Support and friendship.  Alyona and her friend were walking hand in hand most of the time.  They really do care about each other.  Yes, Alyona is the older one.  They were on their way to the medals stand.  After the medals and ribbons presentation for her last event, we decided to take her out to eat.  It is a rarity that the kids get an entire one on one time by themselves w/ us for an entire day.  When they do, we take advantage of it.  So, we took Alyona out to lunch.  

Alyona was thrilled to learn we were going to Chick Filet w/ a playground!  She had fun and we even met another lady interested in adoption.  Small world.  When you get the chance to spread the word about the ministry of adoption, you take the time to do so.  And having Alyona there to see how far the children can come really does give everyone a fresh look at older child adoption.  What is even better, the lady is thinking of doing a camp for special needs children.  Coincidence???  I don't think so.  Some meetings are just meant to be.  AFter Chick Filet, we went to the courthouse to pick up some marriage certs for our dossier/ homestudy stuff.  While there, we were going to pick up SBI fingerprints as well but forgot the address at home so have to go again later this week.  Anyhow, while there, an officer came over and spoke w/ Alyona.  He decided to "deputize" her for the day.  She had to repeat an other to "scream for icecream" and "be the boss for the day."  Little did the officer know where we were headed next....

Yep, after the courthouse and being deputized, we went to Dairy Queen for a special treat.  Oh, before this we had gone to soem outlet stores.  We live near a great outlet mall which has some awesome deals if it is NOT during tourist season.  Hate the tourists.  LOL. They raise the prices.  Locals know better.  Alyona was able to get some new shorts and an unicorn hat.  She had always wanted a ball cap like her brothers but this one looks a little more like a girl.  I was able to pick up a few things as well.  Umm, no unicorns on my stuff thank you.  Dairy queen was a huge hit w/ Alyona.  She got a chocolate dip cone.  Delicious.  

Now, who can say she didn't have the best day ever?!  Just look at that smile.  Ice cream in one hand and a deputy sheriff's badge on her shirt.  Thanks so much Deputy Strickland!  You really did make a little girl's day.  We live in a wonderful community we live in.  Everyone is friendly and they just seem to go above and beyond.  Just another symbol of the special olympics.  ...going above and beyond.  We were surrounded by that all day last Friday.  It was wonderful.  If you ever get an opportunity to go to a Special Olympics event, please do.  

More info and posts to come.  Right now, just trying to play catch up.  I had to work today so no time to post earlier.  Might have off tomorrow but really want to get some paperwork done.  Bottom line in this post, Alyona did her best and we were extremely proud of her that day.  Lots of big smiles.  Her sibs made a big deal of it as well.  They knew the importance of it all.  Though sometimes they get frustrated w/ Alyona, they really protect her and help her.  They understand she is different from them.  Yet, she is their sister and they love her like they love each other.  That day brought out the best in all my kids.  Next year, I think I'm taking them all out of school for the day to watch and cheer their sister on.  Thinking about it.  The older ones wanted to volunteer but only a few schools are able to.  Well, need to get some stuff done. 

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