Seven years ago, our family moved. We were living in a three-story house (with a drive-under garage), and everyone assumed we were moving to a more accessible ranch home. After all, stairs are not practical with a disabled child. But no. We moved to another three-story house with a drive-under garage. Why would we do that?! We moved to a cul-de-sac where our closest friends lived – my kids have literally played in the street (and surrounding woods) with their best friends for the last seven years. It’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
But as Anne has grown heavier, navigating not one – but TWO – flights of stairs has become too difficult. Eric and I have been wrestling with whether to move away from our coveted cul-de-sac or figure out how to make this house work for Anne. We have spent so much time and energy brainstorming out of the box ideas – from moving to a 900 sq. ft. ranch to pricing elevators!
Exasperated from dead-end solutions, we finally turned to God and asked for help. (Obviously – this should have been our first move.) God, in his mercy, gave me an idea…and it was such a simple and obvious solution! We have a partly-finished room in our basement – right off the garage – with an (unusually large) finished bathroom. Why couldn’t we convert that room into a bedroom for Anne?
Currently, I hear the banging of floors being installed in our basement!! Anne will have her own room right off the garage with an accessible bathroom. In the mornings, I can get her ready for school and not have to get her down two flights of stairs. She’ll already be down there! Also, the bathroom has a shower stall. No longer will I have to lift her in and out of a bathtub, but she can transfer from her wheelchair to a shower chair into the shower stall that has been in our basement (unused) for the last seven years. Even the sink in that bathroom is perfectly accessible by her wheelchair. We are also installing a stair lift from the basement to the main level of the house to help ease the burden of getting her up and down the stairs.
Once again, God has provided perfectly for our every need. Why am I surprised? Not only has God provided for Anne, but also for our other kids. They get to stay close to their friends, and Kate (for the first time in her life) will have her own bedroom :)
Being a special needs parent is hard. But seeing God provide – even in these material ways – is so encouraging. Jesus loves Anne. He loves me. He will not leave or forsake us. I’m so thankful!