HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DANIEL!
April 25th was Daniel’s 11th birthday! It is hard to believe eleven years have gone by with the joy of Daniel in our lives. He is a treasure. We had a really fun party the Saturday before with fourteen of his friends hanging out, playing games, absolutely destroying a pinata, and eating cake. It was a great time. He also enjoyed having the rock outside his school painted in honor of his birthday. New Nerf guns have kept our house a danger zone ever since, and a late-arriving, much-requested, excitingly-anticipated gift of an electric guitar will be arriving this afternoon. He can hardly wait. We’ll be getting a mini-amp to try to control the noise.
Daniel is scheduled to have surgery on Monday, May 2nd, very early in the morning, and we would like to ask you to pray for him. The surgery is to install a Vagus Nerve Stimulator (VNS) which is a form of treatment for epilepsy. The goal of the procedure is to provide another way to stop seizures more quickly, to eliminate as many seizures as possible in the first place, and to lower the amount of epileptic spiking happening in his brain on a regular basis. We are very hopeful that this device will help him with better sleep, retaining information, improved emotional regulation as well as direct help with seizures. If you are interested, you can read more about the VNS here.
The Long, Long Road to Tipperary
Last summer I shared that we were planning to build a handicap accessible home for our family and move to Clover, SC, about 25 minutes north of where we live currently in Rock Hill. Our extended trip to Maine at the end of 2020 had convinced us that it was extremely important that we get our family into a single level home. When we returned to South Carolina this was further confirmed by a couple of bad falls on the stairs, one that sent Daniel to the ER and one that has left David with some seemingly permanent issues around his collar bone and shoulder. We have also been planning to have Dave’s mom closer to us in an in-law apartment, so we began looking for a single level handicap-accessible home with an apartment. We found that to be like looking for a unicorn – every option we looked at would require substantial revision. So, we decided to build what we needed and we actually went under contract in late January 2021 to build that home.
As a family we were really excited and drove out to the new home site many times. The kids were excited and we talked about being involved in the building process by installing a web-cam where we could watch the progress. A few months went by, then more months, and nothing happened. The pandemic was raging and global supply issues were affecting so many people, so we figured these were the reasons, but as more months went by and we saw other homes being completed in the neighborhood we planned to build in it became more and more perplexing. When a year went by and we passed the date in the contract when the house was to have been completed and the lot had not even been cleared it became obvious to us that the house was not going to be built. We were very prayerful and tried to sort out what God was leading us to do and finally concluded that we needed to let that dream go and terminate the contract. We still have been struggling in our two-level home and have continued to feel strongly that we need to get into a single level home and have a place for Dave’s mom as well. We began to look more diligently for a single level home, maybe without an apartment, but close to Dave’s mom’s current apartment. We saw several homes. We made offers on a few homes. I felt like watching Realtor.com like a hawk was taking up far too much of my time, but the real estate market is so hot that houses that came available would be under contract in hours, sometimes minutes. We looked at homes where maybe we could add a small modular home for Dave’s mom or build an addition. Everything just seemed like it was going to take so much work, and such additional expense beyond just the price of the home. After talking with planning offices in towns nearby and our county, I concluded that a plan like that was just going to be too complicated. I kind of threw up my hands that day and “gave up”. That night after I fell asleep David decided to do a little looking and got on Zillow for the first time. The next morning he said, “Hey, look at this house I saw on Zillow last night.” It was a single level, it had an in-law apartment, it was in our city, it was on a corner lot with over an acre of land in a neighborhood without an HOA. We went to look at it that afternoon and it turned out that the owner, a Vietnam vet who has had disability issues related to his time in the service, has done a number of things to the house to make it handicap accessible. He also had already thought through many different things that could be done and had undergone conversations about placement of ramps, etc. We made an offer later that day then had to wait an agonizing couple of days for them to receive the offers and make a decision. As you probably guessed, they chose us! Because of our situation and their needs, they just felt led to support our family in our pursuit of accessible housing by selling the house to us. Oh, and guess what? The owner’s name is Daniel.
We are excited to move into this pretty home. We hope to move Dave’s mom this coming weekend and complete our move right after the kids finish school near the end of May. There’s a lot going on and we’d be grateful for your prayers. Please be praying for Daniel and Hannah as they will have to change schools and neither of them is really excited about that. Perhaps they can make some friends in the neighborhood over the Summer that they can start school with come fall. The name of our new street is Tipperary Road. I didn’t really know what Tipperary meant or was, so I looked it up. I discovered that it has been mentioned in a couple of songs, one being a patriotic song by John Carpenter written in 1917. Part of the song goes “For the long, long road to Tipperary is the road that leads me home.” How perfect! It has been a long, long road since we concluded we needed to get into a single-level handicap-accessible home, and now it is the road to Tipperary that will lead us home for real.