The Princess and the Pope

And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
~Matthew 19:26

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Therapeutic Riding

It is no secret... I love, love, love horses. I used to ride as a kid and, if I had a place to keep one (and subsequently the funds) I'd have a pleasure horse of my own. Sadly we live in a place where horse farms or ranches are few and far between and, unless you have your own property, it's very expensive to keep a horse. When I learned about therapeutic horesback riding and "hippotherapy" and the wonders it does for kids like JP, I got really excited! I looked for a place where JP could ride and found they were few and far between. But, I figured I could handle a drive every Saturday morning, so let's just "sign him up!" Not so fast... The places have limited horse, limited slots for therapy, limited staff. Oh, and you want Saturday mornings? Join the waiting list! So we waited. And waited. I finally received a call from Shadow Equestrian. (Actually my first choice) They had an opening coming up in March and we've decided to go for it. We're supposed to go to the ranch this weekend, weather permitting, to have JP assessed. I am over the moon excited for him... I think he'll get a lot out of it!





``-+ 7

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy Birthday JP!

About this time 3 years ago, we were waiting to hear from the CCAA (Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs) about our son. We knew it was his birthday and we were anticipating his homecoming (which would take place a few months later). We didn't know what was ahead of us, but we celebrated his birthday by sending clothing and few small toys in box to his orphanage. At home, we purchased a small white cake with blue wintery decorations that simply said "Happy Birthday Jon Paul". I bought a balloon in the shape of a dump truck, something I thought he would like had he already been home with us.
 
The following year, he turned 4, but we were still in the midst of turmoil. Jon Paul was still so ill, fighting his Retinoblastoma and integrating him into family life and school. We bought a small cake and celebrated quietly, as a family.
 
Last year things were better and I had every intention of a celebration. This time I dropped the ball. We picked the perfect spot for a small party with friends only to find out the place was booked... every weekend in December... and January.... AND most of February... By the time party plans were even penciled in, it was almost Spring. *sigh*... It was a total Mommy FAIL!
 
This year, I have been more on the "ball" (no pun intended) and we are having a bowling birthday party... JP's first party, ever. I booked the party early and we had a good response to the invitations. The party is this weekend.  He's excited and we're all pretty excited about that!
 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Reading

It's not really that astonishing... I found out this past summer, quite by accident, that Jon Paul could read. He's actually able to read both print and Braille, but due to his significant visual impairment, print is really difficult. Braille is simply easier for him. He's working on typical Kindergarten sight words. In the video below, he's practicing "I", "a" and "like". He can already read most colors, so we added those in and Mike taught him the words to go along with the pictures from the Kindergarten reading worksheet. Enjoy the show. We're proud.


Monday, October 7, 2013

JP's First Golf Tournament

This past summer, JP was invited to play golf with MABGA, the Middle Atlantic Blind Golfers Association junior golfer's division. It's an excellent program and free. MABGA provides all of the equipment, clubs, a bag, unlimited balls, a golf pro and greens fees. I was hesitant, at first, to allow JP to join. He's very young, and I wasn't sure he'd "get" the game of golf. But Norman, who runs the junior program for MABGA encouraged us to come out and give it a try... And golf was a big hit!

This fall, JP participated in a blind golfer's tournament at a course that is situated at a school for the blind and developed especially for blind children who are learning the game. The 9 hole course has shortened holes (much like a pitch and putt) and larger ball holes than you would actually find on a regulation course. JP successfully played all 9 holes, along with his sighted pro, Anthony. He even won a trophy for "closest to the pin"... very exciting!



Sadly, golf is finished for the season. But you believe that JP will back in the spring!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thank you!

First a huge THANK YOU to everyone who voted, donated or simply said a prayer... I am pleased to announce in just 24 hours, JP's SMART Brailler has been FULLY FUNDED! Yahoo!

In addition to Abby, who won the contest, Tommy and Alden have also been fully funded! So far, 4 out of the 6 kids will have acess to the SMART Brailler! And that's a good thing! So what about the other 2 children, Clay and Adelyn? Well....

It's not too late! As JP is fully funded, we are asking friends who still wish to donate to pay it forward and make a donation to Clay and Adelyn! Click on the link below for details...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Community Thank You!

Thanks so much to everyone who voted for JP in the SMART Brailler contest.  While JP didn't win the SMART Brailler... Someone DID and for that we are grateful! A blind child will certainly benefit! (Congratulations Abby!) 

As a consolation, Perkins has offered us a $500 credit towards the purchase of a SMART Brailler for JP. While this is a very generous offer, it still leaves us $1700 short of the purchase price.

I've heard of others who have had success with online campaigns, so if you'd still like to see JP get a SMART Brailler, it can still happen! Click on "Go fund me" below to learn how!


VOTING HAS NOW ENDED, BUT YOU CAN CLICK THE LINK TO SEE THE RESULTS!


THANK YOU!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Special Needs and contests

Fighting for resources is something we, as parents, do for our children every day. It seems even more prevalent in the Special Needs community.  We entered the SMART Brailler project, not to win the SMART Brailler (and it doesn't appear that we will, we're in last place by a large margin) but to allow JP to benefit from a chance to have hands-on technology, even if only for a brief time.

The kids went back to school this week. I work a full-time job. Both kids participate in activities outside of school. Life requires A LOT of my time and attention. And I just couldn't devote the time or attention to get the word out to get JP the votes he needed. Truth be told, all of the kids deserve the SMART Brailler, but the reality is there are 6 kids and only one Brailler.

I would have liked to see JP benefit from this piece of equipment, especially this year, as he's in a mainstream kindergarten classroom. His teacher's don't know Braille, with the exception of his TVI. His TVI is only in the classroom once a week. Having a Brailler that could speak and spell out words would not only be reinforcing for JP, but it would bring his teachers and friends closer to our community as well.

This is my last request. Voting ends September 8th and, at this point only a miracle landslide of votes would make this thing a reality for JP. Thanks to everyone who supported him through the contest! YOU are all winners in my book!

VOTING ENDS SEPT. 8.

JP NEEDS YOUR HELP TO BRING :MARTY" the SMART Brailler home for good! Please click the link below and vote for the Corman family! Thanks so much for your support!