Thursday, October 18, 2012

Make A Wish Trip Prep

 Give Kids the World Visitors' Center
GKTW Train Station!!!
I imagine Garrett will wear the tracks out!!!

It started this morning!! I actually gathered a few things for packing! In case this is news to you, we leave Monday for Orlando, Florida for a week long Make A Wish trip to Walt Disney World and other parks for Garrett! My mom and Grouchy's mom will meet us there, and Grouchy did make it home and will be coming also! We were unsure of how the soybean harvest would go, so Daddy getting to come was a last minute deal. I am so so so excited he gets to be with us. THE WHOLE FAMILY....YAY!!!!

Monday is a travel day, and then we do parks Tuesday through Saturday and return on Sunday. Garrett has been watching some Youtube videos every night with me. We have watched the character who represents Give Kids the World (our dreamy accommodations for the week) Mayor Clayton, tuck kids into bed!!! Mayor Clayton is a huge rabbit, and he is so kind and funny and gentle tucking each MAW kiddo at GKTW into bed one night of their stay. I am glad we watched the video because I think it might have scared Garrett!!! He watched Mayor Clayton tuck kids into bed over and over and over and over!!! We have watched "It's a Small World" ride over and over many times also. I think he might spend all day on that one!! He also liked some of the roller coasters, though I am not sure if he can ride on all of them. He isn't 48 inches tall just yet. I also bought a couple of inexpensive apps for his iTouch that have thousands of Disney World photos for him to see. He is getting the idea, I think!!!

Not so sure what to expect he will enjoy, so I am going into the week with little "expectation" for Garrett. This is his trip, and if that means staying at GKTW village to ride the train and eat ice cream and play on the life size Candyland game and in the pool and on the beautiful accessible playground, so be it! Thankfully, my mom, Grouchy and his mom will be there so we can divide and conquer with Addie and Ainslee.

Tonight I meet with one of our wish grantors who will give me the itinerary and go over details with me. I think reality of it will maybe begin to sink in more a marvelous way!!! It will be in the upper 80s there in the daytime, so we will get to be in summer mode for a week!! Then we will come home with about a month left before the snow begins here in Idaho....weird!! But wonderful!!

I hope this trip yields many miracles and magical moments for our family. The challenges Garrett and our family have faced have been big. But we have begun getting into Garrett's life more, and by that I mean maybe I have gotten that way more. Grouchy has probably been there better and longer than me, I think. I began a book this morning, Born On a Blue Day. It is the biography of an autistic savant. In the book he describes how he felt, viewed things, played, interacted, feared, overcame, and focused as a kid and now as an amazingly brilliant man. It has opened my eyes to the different world our son explores daily through his very different sensory system and mind. It is eye-opening. It is a revelation of my son's differences that I must never tire of exploring and understanding. He is my child. I can never grow weary of him or his world or his needs. Great read! I recommend the book to anyone!!

On a different note, not to dampen to mood of this very gracious, magical, and generous gift of a once-in-a-lifetime trip for our whole household, I truly grapple with the fact we get a trip, that we qualify for the wish, that our little boy has a life-shortening disease. Kind of like the cute Mito Mike stuffed turtle Dr. Koenig handed Garrett the day he was diagnosed, while the trip is beyond wonderful, the fact it has happened for Garrett means, well, the disease exists. And what does our family do to change that for others in the future?

Okay, no more dwelling on the sad or the challenges and on to a FABULOUS, MAGICAL, SOOOOOOOOOO APPRECIATED trip to the "happiest place on Earth!" Gigantic thank you to Make A Wish Idaho and all of the people around the country who generously support Make A Wish. This is such a dream come true, and Garrett is so so so so so excited!!!! Also, January first, if you are local or wish to fly/drive out to join me, I will be doing the Make A Wish Polar Plunge at Lucky Peak, Idaho, to raise money for Make A Wish. It is $50 minimum to take a polar plunge into the icy waters of the lake with me, or you can just send me some money as a MAW donation and I will let you just see the photos later....HA!!!!

When asked about Disney World...


  1. Praying for the most magical trip ever!!

  2. Clara-Leigh, I hope your family has the time of your lives! It will be something you treasure always...even those mishaps that you look back on years down the line and laugh about. Be sure to take spare memory cards for your camera. :0)

    An idea for Garrett, based on our MAW trip to Orlando. GCTW is an amazing place all in itself. There is PLENTY of low-key fun to be had. We tried to rush through Epcot our first day after arrival (you know, gotta squeeze in everything!) and that was just too stressful. So the second day we spent the entire day hanging out at GCKTW and it was FABULOUS! There is so much to do and it's all very relaxed and special. I think it's such an awesome option for kids easily overloaded...whoever designed it simply GETS our kids and the issues they cope with. And all the staff and volunteers there were simply amazing. It was such a special place.

    I hope during the trip you can set aside the reason you have had it granted. The GKTW staff set it up so that's easy to do. This is a week set aside for have been blessed with a precious gift in Garrett and this is time to just enjoy.

    1. Rose-Marie,
      Your thoughts are so appreciated. I have read that GKTW can be a one-stop wonderland for kiddos like Garrett. I am quite excited about the ice cream!! I lost 4 pounds the last two weeks "behaving," so bet I come home fatter and happy!!

      I pray we can set aside all distractions and focus on joy, happiness, and our three beautiful gifts from God!!! If you have ANY tips, ideas, cautions to share, I would so appreciate all you have time to share!! My # is 225-253-8813

      Blessings to you and yours, and again, THANK YOU!!!!!! We are so humbled and overwhelmed and excited!!!!!