This past Saturday was AMAZING.
It was our regularly scheduled respite weekend but this time they had their annual Christmas Breakfast.
We arrived around 9:30 and enjoyed french toast sticks, egg and sausage bake, sausage, fruit salad and applesauce.
Around 10am (when the program normally starts) Santa came! But y'all! This wasn't just "a" Santa. This was a very special one.
First, because we were all among families that have children with special needs, no one batted an eye when my Xander had a mini meltdown when we were trying to wait our turn! We didn't have to stand confined in a line because they would call just a couple families at a time.
When we got to see Santa, he had a present for each of the children. Yup, all five. I may or may not have forwarded some lists.
DeLainey was gifted a Boxcar Children Book that she hadn't read and a Barnes and Noble giftcard.
Julianne got a Baby Alive that comes with hairstyling clips and pretend scissors (that do not cut.)
Xander received two wooden puzzles (dinosaurs and safari.)
Solomon received stacking/nesting cups that also had a shape sorter.
Isaiah received some teething toys/rattles.
And each of the children had time to open their present in front of Santa and thank him. And they did that as a photographer snapped pictures.
This was very, very different than say, taking your kiddos to the mall to see Santa and spending 2 seconds, them snapping *a* picture and herding you along while charging you $40 for your one picture.
After the Santa visit, Brandon and I took Solomon and Isaiah to do some Christmas shopping. They are safe to shop in front of still.
It was a great day. But can I tell you my very favorite part? When we were eating breakfast, we were joined by Xander's "buddy." Because he does not do well with his routines being changed and has difficulty transitioning, they try to keep him paired with the same buddy each month. Christa is a young, married adult but has no children. And she is fabulous with my boy! He really responds well to her and she is patient, gentle and kind! I really treasured her taking an interest in not only serving our family every month this way, but she really wanted to get to know us better too.
This whole program has really blessed us. We come back after our few hours away refreshed, renewed and re-connected.
Lord, bless this program. Bless each of the volunteers that sacrifice part of their Saturday to help families like mine. Thank you for giving us such an amazing opportunity in this. And bless the three buddies that are paired with Xander, Julianne and DeLainey. I am humbled by each buddy pouring out into each of the children in the program and their attempting to understand each circumstance along with personalities and likes and dislikes.