Last night was actually our first night home from the hospital, but I was so exhausted from traveling and visiting with friends that I didn’t get a chance to update the blog before I fell asleep like I thought I would.
We left Children’s of Alabama around 1:00pm and drove straight home with only one brief stop to grab lunch. We were able to eat in the car instead of going inside which was helpful in lessening our drive time. Since Annadelle’s AFM diagnosis, we have found it difficult to travel because she gets uncomfortable easily. She will say, “My butt hurts,” rather frequently and it causes us to have to stop every hour. This time, however, she didn’t complain at all and was able to ride straight through to the house.
When we came over the toll bridge into Orange Beach, we looked for a welcome home message for Annadelle at the Wharf. Our sweet framily Nicole had told me to keep an eye out for it. Unfortunately we missed it because it was scrolling after we passed it, but Nicole’s husband Matt managed to get a photo of it on his drive home from work.
Nicole somehow also managed to get a welcome message placed on the board at the sports complex, too!
We ended up driving over again later to sit in front of the signs and wait for the messages to appear. Annadelle was so excited to see her name on the boards.
We grabbed some dinner with our friend Christina and her girls. They came down from Tennessee and are staying in our camper for a week for a Christmas vacation. They also traveled to Atmore to see Daniel (Christina’s husband) at Holman Prison for their yearly visit. For those that know me well, you may remember Daniel as the subject of my podcast, Skeptical, where I investigated a claim of wrongful conviction. I chronicled this investigation during this 10-episode series for Skeptical’s first season and have since been working to help exonerate Daniel after I discovered new evidence that he is, indeed, innocent of murdering his adoptive father.
I had not updated about this, but while I was in Birmingham, I met with an attorney and pleaded with him to help with Daniel’s case. I discussed the new evidence with him, and while he could not take the case due to his heavy workload, he did reach out to a few of his friends at the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery for some guidance. He seemed very interested in the bucket of new evidence I had been gathering with the help of a few friends, and in his email to his contacts at the EJI stated this was “an interesting case.” I have prayed every night that God lead me in ways to help Daniel. He has spent 22 years in prison for a crime I am certain he did not commit.
If you’re interested in listening to the first season of Skeptical, find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, or whoever podcasts are available. You can also find a direct link to listen here.
Today was a day that Annadelle has been looking to all week- Shop with a Cop! Officer Lowery, Annadelle’s school resource officer, had contacted me last week and asked if Annadelle would be interested in participating in the event sponsored by the Orange Beach Police Department. If I remember our conversation correctly, I think he had told me that each officer selected a child to participate and he had chosen Annadelle. Each child is given $100 to spend at Walmart while they shop with a cop!
We went to OBPD and met with Santa before hopping in Officer Lowery’s police vehicle and heading to Walmart.
While we were at Walmart, the kids were given cookies, drinks, and a shopping cart decorated with Christmas decorations. Officer Lowery and another officer took Annadelle around the toy section and let her pick out $100 worth of items she wanted.
Once we got home, she immediately wanted to play with all of the toys. I told her she could as long as she posed for a photo with all of her gifts.
We are so thankful for all of the support we have received so far. We have met some truly amazing people and met some sure-to-be-lifelong friends.
We are excited to have a few weeks home for the holidays. We have set up an initial evaluation for physical and occupational therapy at USACW’s outpatient therapy clinic next Friday. We don’t know what the PT and OT schedule will look like yet but we are hoping it is pretty intensive.
We are waiting for confirmation from KKI in Baltimore about an admission date. If we are approved for inpatient therapy, we will be going on January 7th. If we are not approved inpatient but receive approval for outpatient, we will go at the end of February.
Chris and I have decided to convert her bedroom into a therapy gym. We will be getting rid of the furniture and will be outfitting it with therapy aides and equipment. I have created an Amazon wish list with items we need. I am hoping to find better prices on used items in good condition rather than pay the Amazon price.
Please continue to keep my sweet girl in your prayers. We have a very, very long road ahead of us.