This past Saturday, relief came in the form of an amazing respite program.
They provide 3 hours of FREE respite a month for parents with children that have special needs and their siblings that are 3 and older and potty trained! They each have one on one buddies and there is a HUGE variety of activities for the different skill levels and abilities.
There are two locations in the Richmond area and they are scheduled on different weekends each month. So we could do it two Saturdays for a total of 6 hours a month. FREE!
I'm so blessed that this program was shared with me. We struggle with not being able to find consistent childcare. Date nights are rare. Our beloved babysitter is very busy and not babysitting much anymore.
And I haven't been able to replace her.
SO... more than half of my crew got to attend the program. DeLainey, Julianne and Xander went. I cried a little as we pulled out of the church parking lot (but I can still blame that on nursing/postpartum hormones right?) but I really did enjoy myself.
Brandon, Solomon, Isaiah and I went to a locally owned independent toy store to knock out some Christmas shopping and Solomon saw Santa! I love this little toy store because they carry high quality educational toys not piles of plastic junk and I left with my packages neatly wrapped and ready to be placed under the tree. Now THAT is service!
Then we went to lunch and used $20 in gift certificates-- as a family of four and Brandon and I were able to hear each other! We were able to chat about things without "big ears" listening in (and possibly repeating!)
When we arrived back at the church refreshed, I was nervous. Did the children enjoy themselves? I figured it must have not been too awful if our cell phones hadn't rung. The three oldest Bee children came out of the church doors with a smile. Xander was jabbering all about his "friends." And Lainey and Julianne each had a great time too.
They did arts and crafts, jumped in a bounce house, played with a train set, played air hockey and Foosball. They ate their packed lunches and made friends!
I've already made a reservation for December. Thank you, Jesus, for this blessing!