Hey everyone. As you all know our lives changes forever on October 16th, 2010. Ever since Caleb accident we have been on a journey, both inward as God has taught us an immense number of lessons about life, love, family, relationship, and about what it means to know God experientially! I wanted to take some time to post a longer update on Caleb (as well as our new nephew Amani). It has been so long since I have sat down and just written. I feel like you all are Caleb’s extended family now as we have all walked through some pretty incredible experiences together this last year. We have also been on a journey outward as we have had our eyes opened to a whole new world in the special needs community. God is very much at work in the places He’s always said we would find him, among the poor, the broken, the weak, and the forgotten. Wow has God taught us a lot about Himself!
First some updates on Caleb…
Our family has witnessed miracles too numerous to count. Most recently was the miracle of Caleb all of a sudden regaining more speech and his ability to start to sing. His favorite tune now is “Jesus Loves Me.” As of recent when he is not singing Jesus Loves Me, he is walking around just saying the name, “Jesus.” How fitting it is. Caleb has also re-enrolled in music class, and what Tiffany and I have witnessed (what we believe) is that music is going to be the key to unlocking his speech. He simply LOVES music.
We recently attended the annual rehab reunion in Atlanta, GA and enjoyed the day as Caleb’s therapists got to see him do things that were impossible for him to do last year—run, play, talk, jump, and most notoriously get into all the ice cream he could find, even if it was someone else’s ice cream next to him! He also loved the blow up play area where we almost couldn’t get him out of the jumping station.
That leads me to a very important announcement that I want to make. This October 16th, which is on a Sunday, we are having a special get together at our home to celebrate Caleb’s life. It will be exactly 1 year to the date of Caleb’s accident, and this year we plan to celebrate with in prayer, song, and celebration. We plan to begin at 1:30pm and eat between 1:30pm and 2:00pm. It is opened ended. All are invited. Come and go as you want. If you would like a bite to eat, please RSVP
As for some other updates, we are having our IEP meeting this Wednesday which will determine where the State believes the best location will be for Caleb’s special education preschool. Tiffany and I toured a number of the possible schools today and though we found some that we liked, we found First Steps to be in a league of its own. We loved their facility, teachers, staff, and experience. There are two hurdles that stand in the way at the moment. One being that First Steps is full, but they said that an opening may come up at the beginning of the year. And the second one is money. It costs over $170.00 per week to have Caleb there. There is a possibility we may get a discount, but at this point our family finances are extremely tight. And with Caleb’s medical expenses being at now half a million and going up $10,000 per month, using credit cards or anything else is out of the question. So where we are is where we have been for the last year, in a place of trusting in God’s provision and God’s will for what He wants with Caleb’s life. Caleb is God’s child. He has shown us that time and time again, and He will take care of him., ASAP, to firstname.lastname@example.org
This leads me to talk for a moment about the book. I finished the book about 2 months ago and after having some trouble with a contract between myself and the previous person who was going to be an editor, I came across another editor who, to be honest, her work blew me away. She has the uncanny ability to take 100,000 words, cut it down to 50,000, keep the same voice and thoughts as I had before, and not lose any of the pertinent parts of the story. Once she heard about Caleb’s story, she jumped at the chance and now working on Caleb’s book full time. In her words to me the other day, “Tim, I really think I was born to do this.” What do you say to that? Wow! God is at work behind the book. And from what I have seen from her edits, the book is starting to look amazing.
As for the rest of our family, I am working numerous side jobs, building websites and doing graphic work, as well as working on various projects to hopefully be able to help charities and organizations that help children with special needs. Tiffany is doing well (just REALLY ready to have our baby girl). They revised our due date and now it looks like our daughter will arrive on 11-1-11. Nice numbers! As for her name (I know you all have been asking for a LONG time! LOL). Tiffany is set on Chloe, and I am leaning more towards Caleigh or Caitlin. I think at this point we are waiting on an angel to come down and just announce to us what the name is.
Colby is growing up and being a big boy, now in Kindergarten. He got is report card back the other day and had nearly straight A’s in everything. His social skills took a little time to adjust, but with him being in Kindergarten now, we have really seen him come out of his shell. As for Connor his new nickname is Mr. Grabber, as he seems to have lost interest in toys and is much more interested in whatever he is not supposed to grab off of tables, end tables, sinks, trash cans, etc. Oh, and he is also starting to say his first words too!
As for Amani, our nephew. Tiffany (my sister) continues to go and see and spend time with him daily. He now weighs 2lbs, and 7 ounces. He no longer needs any breathing help, as my sister described it, “He is breathing excellent now!” Her prayer request is that he continues to grow and be healthy and strong. He will remain in the PICU until the time that he was supposed to be born (sometime in December, I believe). He will have a checkup soon for his eyes and brain to make sure things are developing the way they are supposed to. I will update you all when I hear more information.
And then finally, as for Caleb. Caleb seems to have gotten over that slowdown period that he had a few months back. He now enjoys therapy again and is tolerating us working with him more. He really is trying to express himself a lot more through music and through talking. He has a really funny sense of humor. Just the other day I was playing Xbox with Colby and Caleb kept putting his mouth on my legs and blowing on it to tickle me. And of course when I reacted, he giggled uncontrollably. Love that little boy. He can now jump on his own over objects, and is now working on walking up and down stairs completely unassisted without holding hand rails. They are working on helping him to start recognizing the letters in his name as well.
You all have walked this journey with us and every day it seems I bump into another person who says, “Oh I heard about your son. I prayed for him.” God bless you all for your prayers. They are the stuff of miracles.
Oh one more thing…I have been speaking recently at various churches on some of the things that God has taught us throughout this journey. I decided this week to (every few months) send out a letter to churches in the Nashville area, all the way down to Chattanooga, communities. My hope is to one day personally thank each and every single one of the churches who’s members prayed for our son. My main aim is also to tell the story—to tell how God used prayer to work a miracle in the life of, not only a little boy, not only in a family, but also in the lives of thousands of people across the world. So be watching your church mailboxes, you may get a letter soon. I am willing to go wherever God leads me. I made a promise to God that I intend to keep. I intend to shout out his glory from the roof tops for as long as I live. If you need someone to speak at an upcoming event, gospel meeting, revival—you name it, I’ll be there. God bless you!