Worth Watching

In regards to my last post, I wanted to say that is really is quite rare that we hear any negative or limiting comment toward Matthew. If we do, it is usually from someone who doesn’t know us well. The vast majority of our friends and family have been nothing but supportive and encouraging – believing in Matthew from the very beginning. Thank you again! We really need and appreciate that so much. It has been your love and prayers that have carried us through this past year. Please keep believing in him, and encouraging us to do the same. I know there will be some rough times ahead, but I know he’s going to amaze us all!

He continues to do very, very well. His activity level and development have progressed so rapidly these past weeks, I can hardly keep up with him! He loves to eat solid foods, and he gobbles down 2-3 containers of baby food each day, along with some teething biscuits and arrowroot cookies. (I can’t remember Micah ever finishing a container of baby food, but Matthew will finish it off in one sitting!) What he really wants, though, is whatever we are eating! Tonight at dinner I was eating some peaches, and I couldn’t mash them fast enough for Matthew – I think he ate 2 or 3 slices!

He rolls all over the place, and is starting to figure out how to get where he wants to go. His big brother is starting to notice that Matthew is getting into his toys, and I heard more than once today, “I NOT share wif Maffew!” Matthew loves to use his legs, and will stand up for several minutes if he has hands to hold onto. His favorite activity, though, is bouncing. He can find a way to bounce no matter how you hold him, and he grins his biggest when he is “standing” and bouncing on his own.

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I was feeding Matthew late one evening, looking for some entertainment to help keep me awake, when I ran across an episode of “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” that literally moved me to tears.

Those of you who are familiar with the show know that the team builds a house for a deserving family each week. They literally build an entire house in a week – and not just any house, of course – an “Extreme” house!

The family they chose for this particular episode – the Hughes family – is amazing. Their son, Patrick Henry, is an incredible young man. He is a “disabled” person who puts all of us “abled” people to shame! He was born without eyes, without the ability to straighten his arms or his legs, along with other disabilities. His parents are incredible, and their love and dedication to Patrick Henry is remarkable. Patrick’s attitude and love of life is touching, but the way he turns disabilities into abilities is really amazing. He plays piano very well, which is no small accomplishment for a blind kid who can’t extend his arms. He also plays in the marching band at school.

You can tell this kid really touched the design team. They were especially touched by Patrick Henry and his family, as was I! One team member says, “A lot of times you focus on someone’s disability, but I think this week is really focused on their ability. You may think that a person can’t do something . . .maybe they can’t see, or they can’t walk, but you forget that maybe they can do someting you can’t even do! Patrick Henry has a talent not only muscally, but he has a talent spiritually, in that he can feel life.”

The connection he has with other people is what really gets you, though. One of the design team members remarks, through tears, “For someone who can’t straighten his arms, he has reached out to so many people!”

Anyway, if you have the time, that particular episode is worth watching. It is available online here. Just click on “The Hughes Family”.


2 thoughts on “Worth Watching

  1. I LOVE “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”!!! 🙂 Erik and I used to watch it every week (back when we weren’t always working/doing ministry every Sunday night!!), and we’d both end up crying just about every time. 🙂 So awesome.

    Your post got me thinking. My mom has worked with people with disabilities for 20 years or so, and she used to drill into my sister and me: “It’s PEOPLE with disabilities.” You don’t say “the blind girl” or the “deaf boy” or “the Down’s kid” or whatever because that puts the disability before the person. The person ALWAYS comes before the disability (just like any adjective, really, e.g., “the kid with the mohawk,” etc.). When we were kids, we thought she was just taking the whole politically correct thing WAAAAY too seriously, but as I’ve gotten older, I can see that she’s totally right, because the way we address people and/or speak about them affects how we see them. Maybe that’s the truly remarkable thing about the design team–they figured out that Patrick Henry was a unique kid with lots of gifts and talents, who also happened to have a disability.

    Glad to hear things are going so well and Matthew’s eating well. 🙂

  2. Just as we are all blessed by Matthew’s abilities and his very presence in our family, Matthew and Micah are extremely blessed by YOUR abilities as parents!!

    We will make sure we remind your boys of that when they’re teenagers.

    We love you all so much,
    Shannon and Jim

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