Friday, June 24, 2011

The Honeymoon

I wanted to thank you so very much for celebrating with us in this very exciting thing that happened with Aviana!! I really appreciate it, and was floored by all of your comments. I carried my phone around, and as I read all the various things you wrote, I was dripping tears all over the place; in Target, in Ulta, at the park, in our neighbor's pool, at the mall, everywhere! You guys wrote such amazing things, and they all really moved me to pieces.

By now, you might be asking, "I thought you were, out of control, busy when you return from Philadelphia? You know, unwinding while trying to immediately implement another new program, while at the same time, building, hammering, stapling, and sewing all of the required equipment that goes along with it? What's this about a mall, a pool, a park, and all these other places??"

Well, you all know how we were feeling towards our upcoming trip.  I woke up bright, and early Monday morning, and instantly felt like death warmed over :o( Right when we got there, we went into our advocate's office, and I couldn't help but tell her every single thing I thought, and felt about this program.  It went something like this...

"Leia, I love you guys with all my heart, and know you are the only ones in the world who really care deeply about our child, but this program is out of control!! We feel like robots, and I feel we are just stuffing information in all day long. We are just shoving it all in, and she is not getting one single opportunity to show us anything she has learned, or can do! Not to mention, everyday is exactly like Groundhog Day, and this sort of life can't be good for anyone. Our family life is shot, as we are constantly doing this program to the point of wanting to gauge our eyeballs out with sharp objects.

We are going at a pace that shockingly has not killed us all...D.E.A.D. How can you expect us to do this?? How can anyone sustain the program, as you have written, for years on end? 

We take Aviana out to Costco, and other places, and the results are nothing short of amazing. She holds her head up high. She is attentive in every way possible. She is actually enjoying herself. She is thrilled to get out of the hatch house for some sun!

We need sun. We need wind. We need change of scenery. We need to do something different. We need to do things as a family. We need normalcy. We need, we need, we need...

So, something's got to give. Something has to change. We need some balance in our lives. 


We went toe to toe a little, but I firmly stood my ground, and luckily was not escorted out of the building, and off the premises.

She then said, I wasn't going to tell you this, and was going to wait for you to learn it on Wednesday in the lecture series, but since you are voicing all of this, I am going to tell you now.

In the lecture, you are going to learn about The Honeymoon Program. She said we were going to be given a break of sorts. The program is to be a minimum of two months, and a maximum of six.

Can you believe my stupid brain??? The first thought that came to mind was GUILT!! Why??

Anyway, I am going to tell you more about that program in the next post, but it's a good, and much needed one :o)

I apologize for being so slow to tell you about our trip, and what the new programs are going to be. Due to the enormous amount of information, and the emotional toll, I always feel I need to decompress when I get home.

Much more to come...

❤ ❤ ❤


  1. Jen,
    I took the time to read older posts and read about The Institutes and that you live in California. I pray for you and your family every day. There is something very special about Aviana and I love to see pictures of her. I look forward to hearing about your new program and seeing photos of Aviana out of the house!

  2. My brother in law said you came into the store he works at. It took him a second to realize it was you, and then he didn't want to seem like a doofus to come back up to you to talk. :)

    We're all so proud of Avi's accomplishments, and all the work that your family has done. You guys deserve a break!

  3. Great! It seems like you may get what you have been wanting?! I can't wait to hear about it all. I am also so happy that you have been enjoying yourself the last week. :)

  4. I cannot wait to hear about this!!! I'm so glad to hear that you might be getting a less rigid schedule and have more outings and more of a "normal" life. I know it will never be normal, far from it, but I hope it gives you more out time. Or more time outs as the case may be :)

  5. What? There is a Honeymoon program?!!!
    Seriously, they must have just added that in the past few years because back when WE were doing the program there was NO Honeymoon program!
    That's it - I'm calling foul.
    I'm thinking...they must have added this...because people were dropping like flies? dropping out of the program, that is. Burn Out. It happens. But I bet it happens way less when you throw in a Honeymoon program.

    I think this is great, and I know you'll benefit from it big time. I'm interested to hear what all they said about it in the Lecture series? Do they still keep that lecture room at just above freezing? Gosh but it was always so dang cold in that room - I used to bring a blanket in with me. Brrrrr!

    Today I while talking to my best friend's 92 year old grandmother, I learned that she grew up in an orphanage in PA -- and I said, "Oh yea? Where in PA?" because of course I'm always thinking about the IAHP, and she said, "Chestnut Hill" and I about fell of my chair. Seriously, I've never met anyone who has even heard of Chestnut Hill, nevermind grew up there! You know, I really miss that place.

  6. Look at you - standing up for what you believe, what you feel is best for your family and for brain-injured Aviana. Your determination is so inspiring Jen, and I'm so happy you and the family will get a well-deserved break. Have faith, it will do wonders for Aviana and maybe even help her to open up more than she even has recently. Keep it up, email me when you can cookie :)

    Olivia x