Today was the RIDBC Christmas Party - our last one ever. Sob.
This is the service Ashlea has been with the longest. They are the ones who 'get her' the most - and they have made a huge impact on her life. It is very sad to say good-bye. Thankfully we still have one more visit with Ashlea's therapist so we didn't have to say our final, final good-bye today.
Here is Ashlea with the lovely Ana:
The girls got to sit on Santa's knee. In real life Santa was very friendly I'm just not sure it's translated in this photo...
At the end of year party they always have a graduation for the children who are leaving the service to go to Big School. I can't believe that it is our turn to graduate! Ashlea has come so far since starting with the service and has achieved far more than any of us would have predicted in those early days.
She got to wear a graduation cap. You can imagine how long that stayed on her head can't you??
And then she walked up in her walker to get her certificate and trophy from Ana.
Do you want to know that we had to lure her in to walking up the front with that little green duck Ana is holding or would you like to picture Ashlea being co-operative for her big moment?
What a milestone.
How do you say good-bye to people who have had such an impact on your child's life? How do you thank them for everything they've done? Just saying 'thank-you' doesn't seem enough, but I don't know if I can even put into words how much we appreciate the work they do. So what I am going to do instead is say that if you ever have any spare change that you are looking to donate, please give it to an organisation like the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children. They do amazing work.
Thank you Ana!!!