Ch–Ch–Ch–Changes

Our lives have been blessed by our son, Chris.  We thought we couldn’t have children so when I learned I was pregnant almost 27 years ago, we were thrilled.

I’ll spare you most of the details.  Chris had problems at birth and stayed in the hospital for 11 days before being released.  He has grown up with developmental disabilities but we have worked hard with him and for him.  We’ve never cut Chris much slack and expect a lot from him.

At the age of 26, Chris can wash his own clothes, iron clothes, cook meals with supervision, do yard work (doesn’t really like that part), help with housework, and do lots of things.   He works in a program for handicapped clients and has been successful there.  He works in the horticulture and costume jewelry departments.

Chris is the only client in the program who is allowed to write receipts for customers.  He can add the figures and count change.  Other departments frequently ask for him to help with special orders they have to fill because he learns fast and can work with little intervention.

We are proud of him.

He has recently been approved for what’s called the NOW program (New Opportunities Waiver) and will receive more services than he previously qualified for.  He will have a worker who helps him.   He’s been on the list for NOW for about 8 years.  You have to wait your turn.

He’s been talking about moving into his own place for about a year now and it looks like it will finally happen for him.  One of his friends at work is moving into a house and will need roommates so Chris is hoping to be one of them.  I don’t want to use any names so we’ll just call the friend “J”.  J’s family has bought this house so he will have his own place to live.  Previously J lived in an apartment.  He has direct supervision 24/7.  Chris may not be on the same care level as J so we’re not yet sure how many hours of “worker” time he will get but if he lives with J, there will always be someone on site with them.

Despite his many skills, Chris doesn’t have appropriate judgment skills to stay by himself for more than a couple hours at a time so we are very pleased that he has this opportunity.

We drove out to the house yesterday afternoon and walked around the yard.  I will meet with J’s mother and sister-in-law tomorrow to see the inside of the house and discuss details with them.   After seeing the outside of the house yesterday, Chris was so excited.  Don hasn’t been very much in favor of him moving out, but he felt much better about it after seeing the house and neighborhood.  It’s in a country setting but within a few miles of a grocery store, fire department, and town.  I will try to take some pictures tomorrow so I can post them.

I never really thought about having to go through empty nest syndrome but I guess I’m headed in that direction.  🙂  Keep your fingers crossed that this works out for Chris…and that he stays with his roommate instead of running back home.  Friends say he may move out but he’ll be back to his Mom.  Lol.

I am going to miss him terribly and I can’t imagine how many tears I’ll cry but I know in my heart that this is what he needs.

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29 Comments

  1. What a wonderful opportunity for your son. I’m sure mixed in with the tears over missing him there will be tears of pride in what he has been able to accomplish.

    Reply
    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      Thanks KatieQ. There really are mixed feelings about the whole thing but we are proud of him for taking this step.

      Reply
  2. sandy mckeever

     /  October 26, 2011

    I’m pleased and excited for Chris. May he continue to grow in his development of living away from home. I know it will be a challenge but with J and God watching over him he will be fine. Hopefully it is close enough you can visit him frequently. You are in my prayers.

    Reply
    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      He’ll only be about 20 minutes away so it’s not so far. There are already wonderful workers in place for J. and they will also be Chris’s workers most of the time. He’ll have his own worker at times.

      Reply
  3. Que maravilla de oportunidad para tu hijo, espero que se encuentre a gusto en su nuevo trabajo y su nueva casa…..y aunque notes vacía tu casa él estará bien y pensando en ti.

    Reply
  4. Margaret C

     /  October 26, 2011

    I am so happy for you Chris. I understand the bitter-sweetness of it, but your baby is flying !!!

    Reply
  5. Hi Sheryl!
    I too have a handicapped son. He was born 4 wks early, then went into respiratory distress. The pediatrician didn’t arrive for 6 hrs. By then it was 4 hrs before they knew if he would live. He was on a respirator for 24 hrs on a large amount of oxygen. As a result, he has a processing deficit, and I think he is dyslexic. He has alot of gifts, and like your son can do alot for himself. We have tried him living on his own a few times, he doesn’t do very well. He has it made at our house too!
    It doesn’t sound like you are that far away from Chris’s new home. Maybe planning to meet him on a Saturday or Sunday a few times a month to spend the day together. Maybe speak with the other parents, perhaps you can all come up with a schedule to go to the new home, help them make a meal, like homemade spagetti sauce, chili, a few inexpensive roasts, etc. A great way to spend the day together plus the parents can show them how to package up and put in the freezer for an easier meal later in the week.
    Yes, the frirst few days will be hard, but I think these men will thrive!
    Take care, Leslie

    Reply
    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      Thanks Margaret & Leslie. J. is on a special diet so we’ll have to be extra careful when we make dishes for them to share. Their food won’t be shared just because of the way these things work but hopefully we can do some special meals together.

      Reply
  6. Rita Millican

     /  October 26, 2011

    That is such good news! I hope it works for all of you. Chris is certainly a sweetheart.

    Reply
    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      Thanks, Rita. You’ve always been one of
      Chris’s greatest fans. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Peggy

     /  October 26, 2011

    I hope your son can make this move even if you will miss him. If he is able to do this it will make it easier for you and your husband to live the rest of your life knowing he can care for himself with a bit of help. Such a big step for all involved.

    Reply
  8. Joyce

     /  October 26, 2011

    God bless you all………Keep us posted.

    Reply
  9. Sharon McCurdy

     /  October 26, 2011

    What a wonderful opportunity for you and your son. Both of you can grow and feel more comfortable about the future.

    Reply
  10. viola yoder

     /  October 26, 2011

    I think it will be good for him and you and your husband.It is good that Chris want to try it.

    Reply
  11. cloe

     /  October 26, 2011

    Sounds like a great opportunity for a new quilt. Pat him on the back for me.

    Reply
    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      Thanks Peggy, Joyce, Sharon, Viola, and Cloe. It’s going to be good….just a period of adjustment.

      Reply
  12. Bless you all, Sheryl… I’m sure if will be difficult, but as my father-in-law always said – If parents have done their job, their children move out. You’ve obviously done a great job!

    Reply
    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      I love that, Barbara! Hopefully, we’ve done a good job. Sometimes, I’m not so sure. Lol.

      Reply
  13. Best Wishes for Chris & J, and Hugs for you & your DH. My son moved out of the dorm & into an apartment this year…the boys asked for a basic pantry & spice list and a copy of their favorite recpies. I still get the occasional phone call with kitchen questions. It’s hard not to have them around, but find peace in the knowledge that he feels like he can do it because you gave him the tools and support to do it.

    Reply
    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      We’ve already promised to put up some frozen meals for him when we have left-overs. He likes that idea.

      Reply
  14. Wanda

     /  October 26, 2011

    Good for you and for Chris, I hope he gets the chance to live on his own (with help) and enjoys it. I know you will have a hard time letting him go, but you will see him and be able to call him often.
    WWW

    Reply
    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      He’s so excited. We’re starting to get things in place. It will be a little longer than we expected but it will be soon enough!

      Reply
  15. I bet you Chris is so excited. It will another great experience under his belt. You have been a good Mom and Dad teaching him responsibilities rather than doing it for him.

    I’ll be keeping happy thoughts for you guys.

    Reply
  16. Kathy Burns

     /  October 30, 2011

    Regarding post about Chris, I am so happy for your family. My son is autistic (20yo) and Chris is doing what we hope for our child. Our son will be starting college in January to begin a certificate in culinary arts….I never expected this would happen!! Like you, we worked so hard when he was young with hopes and prayers that all would work out. Best of luck to Chris!!

    Reply
    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      That is so wonderful for your son, Kathy. Please keep me posted on his progress at school.

      Reply
  17. Must be difficult but I think a mother knows what is the best. And I think your son is happy to have a mother like you.

    Reply
  18. Magalys

     /  November 6, 2011

    God is blessing your family! I will pray for the best for Chris…

    Reply

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