RED Rocketship to the MOON!!

Today I rose with my husband before the sun crested over the eastern peaks of the Ruby Mountains. A glowing ring settled on the horizon of those jagged peaks, bouncing off the bowls filled with snow, silhouetted by the darkness of the night, slowly giving way to the rising sun, this is the new view from our home. The very place our family will settle, a solid foundation, building a sanctuary of love, here our roots grow deep into the cooling earth of Autumn. As the sun rises, it lifts light into my soul, and shines beautiful message right onto our wall. Reflect today. Write. Share. Tis the season, and today I choose to take a spin on the story of Archer’s Journey, allowing my words to reflect a different person and different point of view.

MAA! MAAHH!! Archer, Archer, ARcher! I let my mom know I’m awake for the day, little does she know last night when I wanted to go to bed early, I knew. I knew it was my mom’s birthday tomorrow. I let her know I wanted to go to bed extra early, and I slept in until 6:45 this morning just so she could have a little peace to herself. She came in and said “Good Morning!” I’m already sitting up on my bed and get really excited, wiggling my arms and using my heels to lift and wiggle my legs, my head is also rotating around my neck. I’m creating my own movement to decipher my mom from all the other things in my messy room. (Mom’s still unpacking and I have a lot of stuff) I slowly let the wiggles wind down and make kisses for her with my lips. This I really like to do, mommy and daddy give me so, SO, SOO many kisses every day that I learned how to give them back! Daddy taught me air kisses are sometimes best to keep germs at bay! Mom sits on my bed, and waits. I want her to talk so I can identify her direction with my ears. But she wants me to use my visual skills to find her first. She is nice and helps me by wearing her red Nebraska sweatshirt. I like red and when it is used to highlight, it draws my vision to the target. Then I reach out and fell a face, but then my hand comes to a curly tendril. Now I am certain this person is my mom. I love her curls, especially when she wears them down and lets me feel with my fingers. I share with her my thoughts of the day, show her I know where my nose is, ears, mouth, stick my tongue out and touch it, oh then reach down to my right arm, and she got my toes for me! Then she moves my blanket off and tells me I have to get to the end of the bed, by myself, she isn’t reaching her arms towards me to help. Okay, this is why I got extra sleep, big boy day for mom. After searching the scene, by reaching around feeling with both my hands and feet. It’s clear and open for me to reach my arms forward, lift up my pelvis, and roll onto the top of my toes and over. Now I’m on my belly. I again have to reach my arms out, this time I’m already on my belly and I lift my pelvis, push my knees that are currently frogged out, try to pull them forward and inward, pull with my upper arms, and SUCCESS. I reached MAA! After she gets me fresh for the day, she moves off my bed and now it’s up to me to get on the ground if I want to play with my toys.  

 She is now standing in the doorway, I see her very well through my upper left visual field, and she still has that red sweatshirt on. As I’m leaving my gaze from her my eyes drop down still on my left side and I see the drawing of my red rocket that I got for my 1st birthday from my friend Dev’s mom, Karlee! The red sparkly stuff my mom put around the picture is what caught my eye. Then my grandma Mo gave me a red rocket lamp to put by my picture! These objects are salient features of my room. Remember today I’m being big, so here I go, roll, wiggle, push with my feet while I’m on my back, arching to look over my head. Then I decided to sit up, and do the forward thing onto my belly. This way I see more, but I see a lot sometimes and being on my back blocks out the clutter. Mom walked out of the room to get her coffee. I call her back in, MA, MA, Archer. When she arrives in the doorway, I’m sitting right in front of my red rocket picture. I touch my chest with both hands in quite a stern communicative way.
She knows I’m excited. I look at my red rocket picture and I reach out. Oh, got it my fingers touched, then I glide them over to the red sparkly stuff. I have to look away to capture this picture in my brain. Then I get really excited and look back again, and I just have to giggle because I’m SO BIG and SEE. I’m so proud of myself. Seeing is believing!  She tells me how it is long and has a point at the top. There are legs like fan blades at the bottom. These shoot flames out and lift the rocket off into the sky!! My mom takes me to music class and I get to see my friends. I just started my 3rd semester of music class and you wouldn’t believe it. One of the songs in the collection is about a rocketship that shoots to the moon. Red rockets are just the coolest. I also have a pretty cool mom that works hard to help me explore my world. She is constantly educating herself on how to be a better teacher for me. Having a visual impairment creates my view on the world to look a little different, it is in the eye of the beholder, and in my moms as she brings my the world to me with easy simple adaptations! 

Do you want to know a little more about what my mom did over the last year? It’s gonna have to be in a nutshell because we did a lot of traveling you already know about that by reading about my trips to California. Actually I’m just going to tell you about a class she took, Nevada Partners in Policymaking. She started way back in February. She was gone 4 complete weekends, but these were fun because I got complete daddy time! There was one day in June that she didn’t make it because we the ABC Sparks’ were in great need of some family time, and guess what this is the day we found the house we bought in August! Any who, at that class she was learning how to be a policymaker. Do you know my mom might just create a movement, of course about me! She learned at her class all about how to use People First language (look it up, I’d appreciate it), about the American’s with Disability Act (ADA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), how to write Individual Education Plans (IEPs), how to write bills and contact the local, state, and federal governments, how to create routines and schedules for me, how to be the best advocate possible ALL for me. She graduated from this class and is eager to take action on my educational future. Here is the speech she gave at the ceremony.

“Hello! My name is, Cheyanne Sparks. 
The reason we are all here today is to share about the positive impacts Partners in Policymaking has made for each and every one of us, and for our families, and on our communities. This is a class that created lasting connections. A class where you gain eye-opening respect for every unique individual and each situation. A class that is sure to uplift one’s confidence. And most objectively, a class to ensure ALL are included! Today I’m delighted with this opportunity to briefly share the soulful message of my family ABC Sparks and the impact of learning.

Thank you all for being here today in support of your loved ones.
My husband, Brandon, and I met just over 10 years ago, cliff jumping! Although from that moment on our souls were united. We threw tradition out the window. Not rushing to tie the knot, until 6 years later. In that time we found happiness in adventure, this time allowed for us to learn and create space for one another, in order to grow together as a family
In 2013, we got the news, the process of nurturing our first child had started. Since then, yes expectations have changed, yes our will has been tested, but we have a VISION for our son to be included in all our adventures in this story we call life.

Our blessing, Archer Jay, has a very rare genetic code, the first every reported in the world. There isn’t mounds of research to compare with. And this my friends is the true essence of the blessing, there is no glass ceiling to hold him back. He isn’t following the traditional scales of development, resulting in the label of being delayed, and having multiple disabilities.
Archer turned 2 in January. Still living life in a horizontal plane, we changed our vision for our son, and removed all adaptive equipment from his life that was inhibiting him from moving forward. It is when we stepped out from the turbulence of those helicopter wings that he began to thrive and gain understanding of the world around him each day, progressing towards his future.

Without Archer I would never have been positioned to be enrolled in and now graduating from the Partners in Policymaking class of 2016! The timing of this class was impeccable, as the IEP process begins soon. I plan on utilizing these new skills on the adventure of formally educating our son, and beyond. Partners has informed me of our rights, provided a platform of respect and acceptance, and motivated me to keep spreading our soulful message. Not only did I walk away encouraged after each session, but inspired by the connections made with numerous valuable resources. Partners empowers you to make your voice be heard.

As a family, we the ABC Sparks’ value the experience of learning, and will expand on the education Partners has provided.

As a family, we are inspired by the evolution of growth, and believe that potential is always present.

As a family, we live with our doors OPEN to possibilities.

As a family, we are working on navigating our own journey with freedom of choice and inclusion for all!”


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