The Sophie Newsletter
(Sophie is 3 yrs old!!)
Hello everyone! We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. I can’t tell you how much we love to get your cards and letters and those pictures!! We have a very ugly refrigerator that is improved by covering it with pictures of you. It is always so much fun to look at all of our friends and family. We love you all!
Let’s see, since June we have completed the playroom and Sophie and I spend some time in there each day. Rick tries to find time whenever he can, and we are just now starting to find volunteers to help with the program. In fact, our first volunteer started training this month and we are soooo excited! We have a few leads on some other wonderful people too. It looks like we are on our way! In October we had an open house for Sophie’s playroom. It was fun to demonstrate what we are trying to do, and to see some of you who have helped us get this far. If you missed that open house, here’s your next chance:
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
SOPHIE’S PLAYROOM OPENHOUSE
SATURDAY, APRIL 19, 1997
9AM TO 1PM
We serve a wicked bagel and cream cheese, doughnuts, coffee and juice. Kids are welcome.
In September we had a discussion with all of Sophie’s therapists. We decided as a team that Sophie needed some additional time with kids in a pre-school type environment. Sophie started to attend a pre-pre-school group out in Naperville that she really enjoyed. Sophie really loves other kids, so this was a great opportunity and a great introduction to “real” school. This program ran until December when Soph turned 3, and then we began the process of looking at the Oak Park School system to see if they had a program that would benefit Sophie. (In Illinois a child can start pre-school at age 3 through the public schools if they are considered “at risk.”) Sophie spent many hours being evaluated by what felt like everybody in the school district. Everyone was very good and very accommodating, some even came to the house to see our program! After a BIG meeting at the beginning of January, we decided that 3 days a week in the mornings Sophie could attend the school’s program. She has just started and seems to be doing well. We are still in the midst of convincing the school that Sophie needs a one-on-one aid, and they are trying to determine if that is really appropriate. At this time Jody is the aid for Sophie until we are all comfortable with the arrangement. Two of Sophie’s classmates are from DuPage Easter Seals (where she gets her therapies,) which is fun for Soph and for them. So Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings are school days, and Tuesdays and Thursdays are therapy days. Afternoons are devoted to working in the playroom, doctors appointments, and nap time. (We know that nap time will go away some time, but boy does Mom love it!)
The end of Summer brought Jody’s 20th high school reunion. It was so much fun to see old friends and catch up. Jody was on the committee so she was very busy the whole weekend. Good friends Jamie Fryling Flanagan and family stayed the weekend from California. It was a great time.
The holidays were spent with family. Rick’s folks stayed with us prior to Christmas day and we had a birthday party for Sophie, Rick’s Dad, and Jody’s Dad the weekend before Christmas. It’s always so great to get the gang together, and we made goofy hats with stuff called Toobers and Zots – lots of fun!
Thank you again to everyone who added Sophie’s fund to their Christmas list this year. You are so sweet to remember her! And a very special thanks to an OLD friend, Russ Weber who decided to throw himself a 40th B-Day party and insisted that anyone who wished to buy a gift would contribute to the fund instead. Your generosity overwhelms us at times!
You may recall that in past letters we talked about small milestones seeming so big for us? Just this month Sophie has learned to hold on to her bottle!!! It seems a little ordinary, but from parents who have held her bottle for 3 years it’s like looking at our kid passing their driver’s test – the freedom it represents!! She’s now working on picking up the bottle and adjusting it – we’re incredibly proud of her!
Other than this news we’re just busy with day to day stuff. Unfortunately insurance has declined most of Sophie’s therapies, so we are looking at creative ways to cover them. Anyone with great fundraising ideas out there? Give us a call!! We’re still looking for anyone interested in working with our Option Program and generally anyone who would like to sit for us on occasion – we find very little time to plan and just talk when our attention is usually on Sophie. She’s a kid that needs 100% focused attention when she’s awake! We wish we could stay more in touch with all of you. Remember, you are in our thoughts, and we love you. Even though we can’t seem to pick up the phone, please feel free to call us! We hope this letter finds you happy and healthy!
Much love and affection,
Jody, Rick, Sophie…..Jacey (the dog), Maggie and Mallory (the cats)