Our summer is well under way and we’ve had non-stop fun since the last day of school!
Grandma Jo and Oma arrived a couple of days later in time for Wilson’s graduation on the 10th. The 10th was also Max and Olivia’s long awaited last day of school!!! Woo Hoo We had lots going on that day! 🙂
Wilson was selected to give one of the student speeches during the commencement ceremony and it was, of course, a highlight of our day. Rolf and I weren’t allowed to read it or help him edit it beforehand as he wanted it to be a surprise. 😉 I’m glad we have a video and transcript of it because, in all honesty, it was hard to focus on what he was saying…all I could think about was how much he’s seen and experienced in his 18 years that has helped shape him…his early years in South Central Los Angeles as a missionary kid, going with the flow through several moves (and three elementary schools) until we settled in Goleta, the many hours he has spent at the rescue mission and, of course, being the big brother to Max, Olivia and Rudy (and the unique experiences/responsibilities that come with being the older sibling of a heart kid). As Wilson shared his thoughts on “community” with conviction and confidence, all I saw was God’s grace in action…I have no idea to what extent God has extended grace to Wilson in his life so far but I do know without a doubt that there have been many crossroads in the life of our family where darkness and heartbreak could have overwhelmed his spirit but instead he has grown to be a young man confident in God’s love for him and in a greater purpose for life beyond himself! So, so grateful and so motivated to pray for continued grace to be poured out on him, Max and Olivia (& Rudy too) as the uncertainties of the future unfold in due time.
What made me most proud listening to Wilson’s speech was knowing how whole-heartedly he believes in the power of community. He demonstrates it in how he does life and he inspires me.
After all that, Rudy still had two more days left of school (Livy even went with him one day to help in his classroom)…he wrapped up his first year at Mountain View on Friday the 12th! We are so grateful for his successful and super fun first year in Kindergarten…our thanks go out to his teachers Mr. Casady and Miss Avedissian and his nurses Sara, Jomana, Viviana and Karen who all contributed in BIG ways to his adjustment to a new school and his progress! Way to go Team Rudy!!!
Rudy has had a little break and will head back to school for the special ed “extended school year” program next Monday. Although the summer program is less structured than the regular school year, it helps keep the momentum of Rudy’s progress going and Nurse Viviana will be there to maintain continuity in his care. Rudy will enjoy seeing Viviana and some of his friends again!
Once all the graduation festivities came to an end, we put the two grandmas to work as we got everyone organized for a big family trip to Hawai’i!!! Yep, we decided to bite the bullet and make this trip happen (with grandmas in tow too) since this will likely be the last opportunity we’ll all have to travel together like this. It took months to plan and Rudy has had a bit of a tough adjustment to the heat and humidity of the islands but all in all the hard work and effort in getting our family to Oahu and Maui has been worth it. Talk about starting off the summer with a big bang…it’ll be hard to top this but we have a whole summer ahead to look forward to. I’ll post some fun pics of our adventure when we return in a few days.
Aloha and “Happy Summer” everyone!!