Where has time gone?!? It has been a while since we updated you on Forrest's latest adventures and achievements! Earlier this year, Forrest was accepted into the Mason LIFE program at George Mason University. This program provides a supported residential university experience for young adults with special challenges or disabilities. They only accept 15 applicants each year. In late August, after a seven year detour, with Toliver at his side, Forrest moved to campus to begin their college journey! Read on for an update and some photos!
It’s been way too long since I have written to you on the blog. Having just had your first PCP meeting at George Mason University this week, I guess it truly has hit me that You Are a Successful College Student!!! The acknowledgements from all of the GMU Life department heads were so affirming. You are applying yourself in all aspects of this new and exciting chapter of your journey. The only area that was mentioned for improvement was the cleanliness of the kitchen and shared refrigerator in your dorm suite! This just proves you really are a college freshman...In fact, you are asking for more academic opportunities and challenges. Your self awareness, optimism and determination are some of your most compelling super powers!
People often ask us how you are doing at school. It’s exciting to share your progress with those who have prayed and cheered for you throughout your long and sometimes arduous journey. Going off to college is such an amazing milestone for you and one that required herculean efforts by you and your entire team to accomplish. People often remark, "With all of the setbacks and complications, did you EVER imagine that Forrest would be able to go to college?" My honest response is "Absolutely!" I imagined it, dreamed it and envisioned it, especially when the outlook was bleak. The vision of you confidently striding up the sidewalk on a college campus with Toliver trotting happily by your side kept me from collapsing in a heap. I couldn't afford that so I remained focused on what was possible. This vision made it possible for me to keep my head up and and my gaze looking to a brighter future for you.
Their next more cautious question is often directed at how your Pops and I are handling “the adjustment”. In many ways that is the more difficult question. Of course we are thrilled and grateful that you are able to realize your dream of attending college. You have maintained such ferocious determination to get yourself there and we are incredibly proud of you! Honestly though, the first month was surreal. You and your survival have been the daily, if not hourly, primary focus of our world for almost eight years. The truth is you are such a large joyful presence, that your absence has left a palpable void. Your dad and I are filling our days with each other, our work, horses, Sundance, the farm, and our amazing friends, while trying to pay our good fortune forward through helping others where we can.
Next week our family will give thanks together for our many blessings. When we have you, Austin and Granma Norma home for Thanksgiving, BrightWood will be filled again with abundant joy, laughter & love!
Until then Forrest, be safe, study hard, have fun and live each day as the gift it truly is!
With love and gratitude for your life and your light in this world,
|First picture in Forrest's dorm room!|
|Nothing beats having your big brother home for college move-in day|
|Forrest won a Halloween costume party|
|Forrest and Toliver enjoying college life|
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