Saturday, April 14, 2007

Our first evening of respite

Tonight we decided to take advantage of a respite opportunity that is offered by a local church. Since we don't have any family nearby, dh and I don't get to go out very often. We usually go once a year, when my mom can keep the kids for a few hours. It's just not nearly enough! This church started offering this free program once a month, and we decided to give it a go!

We just got home, and I couldn't wait to post about our experience! The program was so well-run, and everyone was as nice as they could be! We were handed an envelope when we checked the kids in, and I assumed it was an advertisment for the church. But when I got to the car and opened it, I was surprised to find a $25 gift card to the movie theater! My husband and I just stared at each other for a moment in disbelief!

They serve dinner for the kids, and when we picked the kids up, they told us that they had had Burger King! That really shocked me! When the menu said hamburgers, I assumed it was cafeteria-style mystery meat. Not saying BK is much better, but at least it's on my kids' top 3 list!

Each of my kids was in their own age-appropriate room, which was very nice, esp. for Riley. Reece had to be in a moderate autism room, because she's a runner. I understand that it has to be that way for her safety, and for theirs. She can truly get away so fast (she did today at the ball field). There was a police officer present in uniform with a marked car, which made me feel safe for the staff and kids.

When we arrived to pick the kids up (30 minutes early), the staff greeted us and asked if we had a nice time! When I told them it was wonderful and that we hadn't been out since last summer, they were very happy and seemed geniunely pleased that they could offer this time for us. We were given a goodie bag of candy, and an advertisment for some upcoming church activities where they will have special needs child care! The kids each had a wonderful time (well, Reece said she didn't but she always says that... I peeked in on her before I opened the door, and she was building blocks!).

I'm so glad we went, and we'll be making this a regular monthly event! It was fantastic! Also, I will be keeping this church in mind for next fall, when our home church won't be able to offer us anything for Reece to do during the worship service or SS hour, and they won't be accepting of her in the adult worship service.


The Glasers said...

What an unbelievable service your church provides! If more churches took such an interest in families like ours, they would need to build larger buildings! I know we did not attend church for a few years between Pamela (autistic) and her NT, very wiggly, very strong-willed brother.

Lisa said...

How awesome is that! I am SO glad it turned out well. What a ministry!!