This Saturday, April 20th, Kristina, along with many other friends of the Good Samaritan Foundation Children’s Therapy Unit, will be appearing on stage at Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup to showcase their new found talents and emerging skills. They are going to show us how they have grown and developed through the various therapy opportunities provided by the CTU!
This event gives us as a community not only the opportunity to celebrate the incredible growth and hard work that this very special group of children have put in over the past year, but it also gives a chance to showcase the Good Samaritan Children’s Therapy Unit in a way that it truly deserves.
As a mother of 5, 4 incredible mostly grown young men and our beautiful miracle Kristina, age 13, I really took for granted all that goes in to a child’s growth and development. I had an “accidental” style of parenting. Like many people, I was clueless about the life of a special needs child, or for that matter, anyone with special needs.
I remember 14 years ago when my father had suffered a stroke and ended up in Good Samaritan Hospital. While walking to and from the car I noticed a sign and a BIG hole in the ground. The sign said, “Future Home of Good Samaritan Foundation’s Children’s Therapy Center.” My immediate thought was, “What on Earth can they possibly need a place that big just for children and therapy? And just many parents and children really need a place like that?” Well, in the ironic way that life seems to work, the following year I was one of those parents!
Our daughter Kristina was born in March of 2000. Our New Millenium baby and only girl! We found out at about 20 weeks that things weren’t quite “right” with our baby and our lives were about to change forever. Our sweet little girl had a genetic disorder known as Trisomy 18, or Edward’s Syndrome, a condition believed by the medical community to be “incompatible with life.” We were told she would not live to be born and if she did, she would only survive for a few hours or days. Well, Krissy is now 13 years old, a teenager, so clearly you can never say Never!
It wasn’t until Krissy’s birth that I started learning that sometimes development doesn’t just “happen” as I had experienced with our boys. Many children need additional support. Some very slight, others more intense and each in a way that works for their individual needs.
At about 4 months, Krissy started receiving services from the CTU in the form of speech and physical therapy delivered right in our home because of Krissy fragile health. At 3 we started going to the “Ark” itself and since that time Krissy and I have spent an average of about 1 1/2 hours a week there. The CTU has provided us with the tools and the services to help Krissy learn to connect the dots in her world. The folks at the CTU have become our extended family.
The wonderful therapists and support staff see the beauty and potential in each child and everything they do is about helping that child discover, embrace and celebrate the world around them. If you’ve followed Krissy’s story then you know the growth and development that Krissy continues to master.
But Krissy isn’t the only one who has learned a few things at the CTU. Being an “accidental” parent doesn’t work when parenting a special needs child. Not if you truly want to help your child become all that life intended. To help your child emerge from their own little world requires deliberate parenting. If requires being conscious and aware and always patient. Our wonderful family at the CTU has helped us learn those skills. It is not just a Children’s therapy center, it is a Family therapy center!
I’ve traveled the country and met special needs families from around the world and one thing I’ve found is that the Good Sam CTU is special. Just walk in the door and you can feel it. It is an oasis of acceptance in the midst of this crazy world. A place where “dis-Ability” doesn’t exist. A place instead that focuses on “play-Ability”, “grow-Ability” and especially “love-Ability!” A place where Kids rule and where Playtime becomes big business!
Our family is so incredibly grateful to the Good Sam CTU for teaching us the skills to empower Krissy to emerge and grow into the beautiful precious flower that she is. We are grateful that we don’t have to travel this journey alone, our friends at the CTU have been our partners every step of the way!
If you are in the area and available we invite you to join us this Saturday for this Celebration of our Stars! Our Celebration our Children! The performance runs from 2pm – 4pm in the Emerald Ridge High School Theater, 12405 184th St E, Puyallup, WA 98374.
If you feel inspired, you may click here to support the Good Samaritan Children’s Therapy Unit in the form of a donation.
It takes about 30 seconds to process, remember and get started but watch Krissy’s face as she “decides.” Krissy is 13 years old with Full Trisomy 18 and her growth and development are actually expanding expontentially. The Community based services: OT (occupational therapy), PT (physical therapy) and Speech are one of the biggest reasons. Thank you to the Good Samaritan Foundation Children’s Therapy Center, and especially to Miss Juanita, Miss Joyce, Miss Melanie and all of the support staff! We love you and we appreciate you for the tools you provide that help us to help Krissy “Do Life!”