I began praying for Matthew months before he was born. We knew his birth family and it was not a healthy situation for any child to be born into. When I began praying for this unborn child I never know that he would end up with our family. I often wonder what would have happened to him had I not begun to pray.
We received a phone call in October 2005 asking us to take this little boy until they found a suitable institution for him to go to. Matthew, we were told, was deaf, blind, paralyzed on one side and would never walk, talk, or function in society. The social worker said she didn't even expect him to live a year but they just needed a temporary place for him to stay. Of course he came to our home a few days later and we have never looked back.
Matthew's therapy sessions began the second week we had him and included, physical, speech, occupational, and the like. We had people in our home nearly everyday until the school district started a pre-school program when Matthew was 3.
Needless to say, God did work a miracle and Matthew is not deaf, blind or paralyzed. He does have some mild developmental delays but he is a healthy, happy, and a smart young man. Matthew graduated from high school 2 years ago and has since taken 2 college courses. He loves video games and computers. He works at a local grocery store, and has been there for over 3 years. Prior to that he worked at Jason's Deli. He has several friends who all enjoy the same things, video games! (Here is a picture of him with some of his video game buddies.)
Matthew was the co-president of Best Buddies and was afforded the opportunity to travel to Houston, TX where he met Anthony Kennedy Shriver, the founder of Best Buddies. What an honor to represent the state of Arizona. He has traveled to Washington DC and Mexico on mission trips as well as a wonderful trip with a teacher and two friends to New York City.
Matthew enjoys reading about presidents and things that happened in th 1800's. He also loves California as wishes we would move back there. (Probably not going to happen). Matthew is the kind of kid everybody just loves. He is pettit and sweet, has a great smile, and a cute shyness about him.
This year Matthew has taken up English style riding and loves it. We knew that horses were a love of his when, at 5 years old he was kicked in the face by a horse and then proceded to go out to the horses, after hours of surgery and days of recovery, and kiss and love on them again. He has already begun saving his money to buy a horse and will be entered into competitions this next year. He can't wait.
We are filled with gratefulness to our God that He chose Matthew for our family. Our lives are richer and our relationships deeper because of him. He has caused us to be more compassionate and loving toward things that are different and we have learned to accept all that God has chosen to put in our path. Our journey with Matthew has not been an easy one but it has been rewarding in ways we never would have imagined.
I hope you have the opportunity to meet this very special young man.
Considering Matthew All Joy, Cindy