One thing I've learned through our journey with autism is there is ALWAYS something in which to be thankful. I am always thankful when Evan achieves a goal after a lot of hard work, learns a new skill, speaks more words, and the list goes on and on.
There is no question in my mind that God has had His hand on us every step of the way. He has blessed us with a physician that is supportive and respectful of the research and opinions we have (one that doesn't force us into vaccinations that we truly feel are linked to Evan's autism but is willing to listen and help us with an alternate plan). He has provided us with a school that has been great. Evan has had some wonderful teachers, and there is no doubt in my mind that starting him at this school the month before he turned two has made all the difference in his progress. We have been blessed with some amazing therapists, most of which we have become extremely attached (one we even took on vacation with us once after she wasn't his therapist anymore).
Today, I had to say good-bye to one our most favorite therapists Evan has ever had. Mrs. Inna has been Evan's Physical Therapist for about three years. In that time, she has taught him SO much! She taught Evan to ride his tricycle and now almost has him riding his bicycle and so, so much more. Inna even helped us after Ella Grace's broken leg. In no time, she had Ella's leg strong enough for her to start walking.
Inna is so special to us. I wanted to share a little more about her besides the fact that she is an amazing Physical Therapist. Inna is from Russia. She has an accent that I LOVE! One day, we were talking about her family, and I asked her how she met her husband. She told me that he had gone on a mission trip to Russia and she was his interpreter. She said that is how she became a Christian! They kept in touch after his trip, and I guess the rest is history. They now have two beautiful daughters that look just like her.
Inna was so supportive of our family while Derek was deployed. However, in our many conversations about how Derek was doing, she never told me that her own husband was deployed stateside. I didn't find this out until later. After 9/11, her husband joined the Army. He was an attorney and now works for the JAG helping deployed soldiers with their paperwork, which I know since going through our deployment is an extremely important job. He had been gone in another state serving for a year and came home for about two months until he decided to volunteer to help if he was needed. After being apart and not knowing how long her husband will be away, they have decided to move with him so they can be together again as a family. I certainly can't blame her. I would have done the exact same thing. She, however, is leaving behind a church, community and job she loves. I am so sad to see her go.
I went by today to tell her good-bye. Inna is absolutely, without a doubt, one of THE sweetest people I have ever met in my life. Not only did she help E & EG with therapy, she showed them love all the time. She is so kind, patient and caring. She has beautiful blond hair that she continuously grows for "Locks of Love." Countless times I have thanked her for helping my children, and her reply was often, "I am so thankful to God for her progress," never taking the credit herself. She is truly beautiful, both inside and out.
Thank you, Inna! You will always have a special place in our hearts. We will miss you!