I opened it with curiosity. Faith's name along with our address were on the outside of the envelope with a first name scrawled in the left-hand corner. I smiled as I read the contents. It was Faith's first invitation to a party. As I looked at the time and date of the party I felt almost relieved that we would have a good excuse for Faith not to attend. The Halloween party was scheduled for October 25th - the same day Faith would be having her birthday party.
Sure I was excited about Faith being invited to a party by one of her classmates. But it also caused a little anxiety wondering how the details were going to be worked out. How handicapped accessible was their home? If there were going to be lots of kids attending, how would Faith handle all the noise? Was the Halloween party going to be too scary for her? Well, not to worry because Faith wouldn't be going anyway.
A few days later, before I had gotten a chance to call Faith's classmate's mother to tell her she would not be attending the party, I received a voice mail message. It was a very scratchy-voiced mother saying they had been sick so they were moving the party to October 31. She also relayed that she would be serving the kids lunch and making special treat baskets so she wanted to know if there was anything special she could make for Faith.
Hmmmm. It sounded to me like this mother was trying to be sensitive to Faith's special needs. I was happy she had called and now Rob and I were determined to get Faith to the party. But there were still questions I had, so I called. No, their home wasn't handicapped accessible but there were only four or five steps and everything was going to be held on the main floor. I was more than welcome to stay with Faith if that would be best.
Although I had been relieved of some of my anxiety, there were still other thoughts rolling through my mind. How nice was their house? What if the wheels on Faith's chair makes a mess? What if the other kids ignored Faith? Was I going to have anything in common with the other moms and helpers there? And since Rob was going to be dropping us off at the party (to help get the chair upstairs) I was going to need to all Rob for a ride back home. How dumb would that look that I didn't even have my own cell phone?
The night before I prayed as I always do when I am feeling anxious. I prayed that the Lord would work out all of the details in advance. I prayed that He would help me have confidence in this new situation. I prayed that most of all, Faith would enjoy herself.
As Rob helped Faith and I up the steps and into the house, a calming peace came over me. The other kids were happy to see her. As she sat in her chair and took in all that was going on around her, I noticed the kids were all on the living room floor playing with toys. I took her out of her chair and sat with her on the floor so she could be a part of the group. There were some party assistants who were curious about Faith and asked questions. At lunch time I gave Faith little pieces of chips and hot dog while I finished off the rest for her. After lunch and more playtime, it was time to go out to the garage and go through the scary haunted house. Since there were steps leading to the garage, I simply carried Faith down and we watched. I thought she would be scared due to all the kids screaming and running around but she was fine. Soon we were running through the house with all the other kids and she joined in on the screaming and laughing.
When it was time to go, Faith's classmate's mom had little baskets for the kids which included lots of candy and other treats. Faith however, received a special-made basket just for her - one with pudding cups and Cheetos - a few of her favorites.
It was a wonderful time and I was so thankful the Lord gave me the confidence and peace that I had prayed for. Not only did He answer my prayers, one of the other moms gave me her phone number and invited me to a Mom's Bible Study at her church. Too bad I didn't pray for Faith having to leave the party. She cried all the way home because she wanted to stay!