I am a very proud dad this month. My oldest son just graduated from college. I have many reasons to be proud; he graduated from a good school, with multiple awards, and even got to be one of the speakers at his graduation. I am proud because of all the hard work he has put in over the last four years to get to this point. As it turns out, I am also proud of us as parents. It wasn’t as easy to get to that point as you might think. You see, Kyle was born two months early, and complications ensued because he was born with cerebral palsy. It has not been a smooth road we have traveled, and we have faced a lot of fear and trepidation along the way. I can look back now at many of the things we agonized about and wonder: why were we so worried? What were we really concerned about? Now, of course this doesn’t mean I have stopped worrying. Today, I worry about what he will do after graduation. Nevertheless, many of my past fears were boogeymen I created, not real problems. Was I worried my son would starve to death? Was I worried he would get lost under a pile of his own dirty clothes? We chose the school based on many of our concerns: we looked for the major he wanted, but we also needed to ensure his ability to get around to services and classes. We picked the school which gave us a certain level of comfort and assurance that he would not get lost in the crowd.
I can still remember his first day as a little preschooler, as we watched strangers load him on a bus. My heart sank in my chest as I feared something bad would happen to my child. Nothing bad did happen, but that didn’t stop us from being afraid. We had the same knot in our stomachs when we drove off the college campus leaving him behind. He is still my son, and I am not sure I will ever stop having those feelings.
Marriage has been in the news more than usual lately.From defining its definition to analyzing its popularity, impact and stability, it’s been a popular topic of conversation.My son even jumped into the fray with a poignant question for me and my wife.
“Why do you and mom stay married?” he recently asked me.
It’s a good question – not just for me, but also for the millions of others legally wed.
My wife and I have been married for over eighteen years.I love my wife!But as the old joke goes, we don’t have a perfect marriage – because my wife isn’t perfect.
In all sincerity, any honest person will admit that not every moment of married life is bliss.We’ve had our moments and our seasons of struggle.But we’ve always taken our vows seriously.Indeed, the phrase “for better or worse” is interpreted quite literally within the walls of our home.
If you could see me right now, you’d probably notice the big smile on my face. I am a happy dad! My oldest son has just arrived home from his first year of college. We are all back together, like it used to be. He left our home last August, we drove him all the way to Virginia for school, and except for a few weeks at Christmas, for the last 9 months he has been a world away.
It feels like one of those moments that seem to come more often as I get older. It seems like something happened yesterday and years ago at the same time. Take, for example, those moments when your child turns sixteen, (which happened with our middle son this week). You look at them as if just yesterday they were a baby, and at the same time it seems you can’t even remember when they were young! If your kids are too young for you to have experienced many of these moments, they will come soon enough.
Moments like these make me a little nostalgic; perhaps a better word would be reflective. I think back on all the work that went into such a monumental day. The idea of sending my child off to college is scary; add to that the fact that he has cerebral palsy, and I’m sure you can understand the anxiety we felt. A lot of preparation went into our decision. This was no overnight success. This idea started years ago.
I don't know if it has been that kind of year for you and your family, but we have had a busy year. With our second son going off to college and our home barely being saved from a fire that destroyed almost 500 homes just to name a few, this year has been like no other. It truly has been a year of change for our household and the same can be said for Need Project. We started with a goal to redesign of our website to make it much easier to get to our resources. We worked with a design firm to come up with a site we loved and allowed us the platform to create brand new resources. Second we used this new design to add features to our site to support our church partner. Those partners now have a full featured portal which allows them to have all the resources we do on there own site, helping them connect with their local community in new ways. We then moved on to connecting our resource to our partners but also connecting them and us to Facebook. Earlier this month we added our resource database to our Facebook page so individuals can search for local resources without leaving Facebook. This also allows others to have the same resource on their Facebook page. We are so excited about these new resources and a few more that we are working feverishly to bring out in the next few months.
All of our programs and the new ones ahead have only been possible by the generous support of people like you! We are a 501c3 Non-profit which means all of the donations we receive are tax deductible, but more importantly all donations we receive go to our mission, serving those with special needs and their families. As we come to the end of the year we ask that you to consider supporting Need Project. It is critical we hear from you to able to continue our mission. Your support will ensure that families with special needs get the support they need.
As we come to the end of the year we pray your Thanksgiving and Christmas are blessed times with family and friends and we thank you for your support of those families and friends we work to serve.
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