Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spina Bifida Awareness: A Special Big Sisiter

Today we get to meet a SPECIAL young woman that is a dear friend's daughter.... words can't describe this darling girl, but April, her mom, comes close! Kaia is big sister to Blake, who has Spina Bifida.

Originally posted on the family blog on 10.30.2008

Kaia is our Gift!
I always worry that Kaia, as the big sister of a special {needs} little boy, will end up feeling slighted when she is older. We have tried really hard to do one-on-one special things with her to help her feel like it is not all about Blake. And, we don't make a practice of using Blake's diagnosis or problems as an excuse for not doing something as a family. {Occasionally we have to, but I see that as a great teaching lesson on compassion and empathy when the situation arises, which I believe all of our children need to learn more of.}

I knew Kaia was always hearing us refer to Blake as our little miracle from God and worried that she wouldn't think she was as important. So as to help Kaia feel that she is just as special to us, I thought long and hard for a sincere sentiment I could use when referring to Kaia. I came up with....'She is our gift from God'. Here's one example why I feel so strongly and sincere about this sentiment.....

Sitting on a bed in a Disneyland hotel, I was cathing our little one year old, Blake. Kaia's birthday was approaching and she was watching me. She said, "I know what I want for my 7th birthday present!" Being at Disneyland, I couldn't even begin to imagine what she had seen that she would want, so without guessing, I simply said, "What gift would that be?" And here was her sweet little 7 year old birthday request....."I want to learn how to cath Blake so that you and Daddy can go to both a dinner and movie without having to come home in between to catheterize Blake." Tears welled up in my eyes and I took her little cheeks in my hands and said, "YOU ARE OUR GIFT FROM GOD."

She learned how to cath Blake that year and has continued to be a big help when in need! She is indeed OUR GIFT FROM GOD and we thank him everyday for both of our blessings

Read more:

And another post from 4.22.2009
She really is an amazing kid. And a great big sister.
She and Blake had a fabulous time this past weekend. They had so much freedom on her dirt bike. Freedom that once she shared some of the places they went on her dirt bike, made me a little nervous. I am way too cautious of a person at times. They explored ALL of camp. No terrain was too tough for her with a rider on the back, but at the same time she showed extreme care with her little brother on the back.
Kaia has a special way when dealing with Blake. Dave and I can ask, beg and plead with Blake for him to cooperate or change his attitude about going somewhere or doing something. When we are at our wits end, Kaia will usually say, "Mom, Dad, can I try?" Blake and Kaia go down to a bedroom and Blake and Kaia re-emerge happy and willing to participate. I'm not quite sure what she says to him, but she can pretty much talk him into anything. Even out of a bad whiny mood. There are many days I thank my Heavenly Father for sending us Kaia first as a special protector over her little brother. She definitely is part of the plan of keeping our family sane while raising a child with special needs.
And one more thing about Kaia.......she can drive this red mule like nobody's business. She was itchin' to get her hands on the steering wheel and she figured it out quickly. Dave said while she was giving us all a ride, "You know farm kids are better drivers because they have so much experience at the wheel at an earlier age!" Well Kaia, I have no doubt you are going to be an excellent driver. You are a good kid! And we are lucky to have the privilege to raise you!
Read more:

Thanks April for sharing Kaia with us today!!!
What a great big sister she is to your special little man!!


Kim said...

What an amazing little girl! Thank you for sharing a wonderful perspective on families like ours. It's a good reminder. :)

Neil Simpson said...

Kaia sure is looking good in that pic. I love these pics you all post of your little teens. more bathing suit pics please!