There was face painting, goodie bags for all of the kids and a free ride on the train and carousel. All of the moms were also given a $20 gift card redeemable at any store in the mall! Yee Haw! I really enjoyed that!
The kids were able to have their photo made with a Santa that does sign language. Here is a photo of Victoria with Santa. It was neat to see the kids communicate with him. There were all sorts of kids there. Some had Downs, physical deformities, and most seemed to have sight or hearing issues. There were parents, grandparents, friends and siblings there of all of the special-needs children. It was a really heart-warming experience for me.
On the way to the mall, I told Mark that I was feeling emotional. I had never been to an event for special-needs children before and I was feeling myself want to cry. Never in my life had I pictured myself being a part of such a community and going through all that we have the past year or so. Don't get me wrong, looking back I see how much of a blessing Victoria has been to my life, it's just that her coming to us in the way she did definitely has been life-changing. There have been many challenges and many emotions felt in the process. Anyway, the trip to the mall was a nervous one for me. However, after we arrived and I had a chance to settle into the situation, I started enjoying myself.
We were really blessed to meet a couple at the breakfast who has a Downs baby named Hollis. Hollis was born on March 10th also, so he and Victoria share the exact same birthday! What a cool thing that was! Hollis is a cute little boy and he also sees the same Vision Specialist that Victoria does. Actually, the specialist, Jennifer, introduced us to this great couple. We are hoping to carve out time to spend with them. We really feel that God ordained for us to meet them. We pray that we can be a tool that the Lord uses to minister to them and vice versa! God is just like that, isn't He? He gives us exactly what we need when we need it! We had so much in common with this couple because of our situations so we look forward to seeing them at more events in the future.
We are thankful for such wonderful services that are available to Victoria such as, AIDB. They are a huge help to us and her! After finally attending my first special-needs event, I can say that whatever fears I dealt with in the past melted away when I saw how much love was shown for each child at the breakfast. God is still teaching me so much through the life of my sweet, little Victoria Jayne!