Not hard in a bad way. Quite the opposite really because we have come so far. But it is so bittersweet to have reached this milestone.
We spent last week saying goodbye to our therapists as they each stopped in for one last session. As of Sunday, they officially aged out of the Missouri First Steps program. Of course, they aged in to Special Education Preschool, but that doesn't make saying goodbye to our friends any easier.
I took photos of the kids with each of their therapists as they came by. I think the hardest thing for me was knowing that the kids didn't understand that we were saying goodbye. They love our therapists, and already miss them since they weren't here this week.
On Monday, Jessica came for her last session. Jessica has been working with the kids for about two years. She has come 3-4 times a month to help them with their physical therapy. Things like walking, sitting, climbing stairs, and jumping. She pushed them hard (and they didn't always like it), but all of our kids made great progress with her help.
It was Abby's day for Jessica's last session.
Caleb (who refused to cooperate), Abby, Jessica, Ellie, and Elijah
On Wednesday, Tasha came to see the kids for the last time. She was so kind to bring a birthday gift for each of them to celebrate this new milestone. Tasha has been with us for about one year. She was tasked with their speech therapy. The woman has an insane amount of patience working with kids who have language delays. The way I see it, you can make a kid sit, you can make a kid point to photos, but you can't make a kid talk. Tasha was awesome! Her patience working with the kids really went far.
Tasha handing out birthday gifts.
Elijah, Ellie, Tasha, Abby, and Caleb
But by far, the hardest day for me was Friday. On Friday, we had to say goodbye to Debbie, our Occupational Therapist. Debbie has been with us from day one. She was at our intake meeting, and she has been in our house 2-3 times a week for the last 2.5 years. That's at the very least, we have had 300 visits or 18,000 minutes spent with her in our home. That is a lot of time. She has seen me in every state from being put together to falling apart at the seams. I've cried through frustrations with her, announced to her that I was finished with motherhood, and pawned extra homemade cinnamon rolls off on her.
Ellie, Abby, Debbie, Caleb, and Elijah
It just about killed me to see her walk out the door. You get attached to these people, you know? They become friends, representatives of stability when you never know what will happen with your kids next...in many ways, they become family.
Debbie and Mommy...saying goodbye.
This week was our first week without our therapists. And the kids noticed. Ellie and I had the following conversation this week:
Ellie: Miss Debbie is here!
Me: Oh no, sweetie. Miss Debbie isn't here. She isn't coming back.
Ellie: She's here! She's here!
Me: She's not here, honey.
Ellie: *runs over to the front door to look for her* Where is she? I can't find her!
Me: I'm so sorry, Baby Girl. She isn't coming to see us today.
Break. My. Heart.
Ellie was especially attached to Miss Debbie
Many thanks for all you've done, Jessica, Tasha, and Debbie. We will miss you!