Halloween 2013 Russell the Boy Scout and Carl the old man from the movie Up
The twins were 21 months old. Even though we knew for a while that Cerebral Palsy was a good possibility, we just barely were starting to get doctors to confirm that it was for sure the case. Because he was premature, they wanted to make sure he wasn't just delayed in his gross motor skills.
One month before this, we found the Now I Can Foundation, which we later realized would change Landon's life forever. At the time it gave us hope but it was a leap of faith, a lot of money and putting our tiny little baby through what felt like a lot for him. He started his very first session in September where he worked on learning to walk with his new walker. It was an exciting time but it was also a bit emotionally exhausting. Our sweet little baby was in therapy for 20 hours a week. Watching other babies learn to walk is usually a joyous occasion as moms and dads hold their arms out with big smiles and babies learn to walk in what feels like the blink of an eye.
The walker was a blessing because it gave him the ability to be upright and work on walking but it was also a giant symbol of our new reality for all to see. It drew a lot of attention to the fact that our son had a disability and we weren't ready for that attention. We weren't ready for questions because we were still catching our breath and trying to figure out our way around this new place called Holland.
This was the 2nd Halloween for the twins (you can find our 1st Halloween here) and once again I found myself in a situation where I had to embrace where were were in that moment. It wasn't easy. I had the tendency to clam up about it all. I was determined from the moment we found out that we would move forward with faith, a positive attitude determined that we would make the very best of our situation. But inside I had so many questions and worries flooded my mind. I felt overwhelmed, sad, and confused. Would he need a walker forever? Would he ever learn to walk? Would he end up in a wheelchair? Would he suffer? Would kids be mean? Would Ashton and Landon ever run and play together? We had no answers at that point and sometimes the unknown is the scariest part.
For those of you who are not familiar, this is the Carl, the old man and Russell, the boy scout from the movie Up. Landon and 78 year old Carl Frederickson had much more in common than I ever realized at the time. In the movie Carl and his wife Ellie had a goal to move their little house to Paradise Valley in South America. But life had some unexpected setbacks and all the money they had saved for their adventure was used on other things that kept coming up. Ellie had a miscarriage, they couldn't have children and ultimately she ended up getting sick and dying. But Carl was determined even after all they had been through to fulfill their lifelong dreams of moving their house to Paradise Valley. Cute little 21 month old Landon was headed for a life full of obstacles and setbacks that wouldn't feel fair but his determination wouldn't let anything stop him. He's just a lot more cheerful than grumpy old Carl 😆
Then there's Russell, the adorably chatty boy scout who first drives Carl crazy at first but reminds Carl of how he used to be. In the movie they both needed each other. I believe that Ashton and Landon need each other on their journey here on earth. They just couldn't bear to come alone and help each other in their own beautiful way.
If only I knew then what I know now. And if only I knew now what I'll know in 20 years and in 50 years. But I don't and that's just part of our life experience. When we life gets tough it often requires a leap of faith and for me it has required trusting that God knows more than I do, that this journey of life that we are on will mold us into better people and that in the end the joy will outweigh the sorrow and that we will be so grateful for the ride. Because I'm not the same person I was before I moved to Holland and neither is any member of my family.
and I die over and over again every time I look at these pictures of my little twins in these costumes.
and I die when I see how happy it made Landon to be able to walk with this walker even though he could only go a few steps and it was still a struggle.
And then there's cute Turin's long hair 😍 Cutest little long-haired spiderman.
My sweet friend Jessie captured these pictures for me because she was and still is that kind of friend that would drop everything for you, know that this was a memory we wanted to capture forever❤️