Laelia is on the move!

So I guess it’s time to announce that we received our travel dates to get our son and that we’re taking Laelia with us! We’re going to a country in Eastern Europe where there’s no wheelchair access (and lots of steps everywhere and uneven roads). Bringing a wheelchair is out of the question. We’re considering bringing a small stroller, but have yet to find one small enough to transport easily yet large enough to  accommodate  her KAFOed legs. But just when we were trying to figure out how we’ll go grocery shopping and visit the orphanage every day with a stroller, we discovered the Piggyback Rider. I saw it on a site that was trashing it for not allowing kids to run around. (Most people don’t have a folder in their brain’s filing cabinet for those with orthopedic differences. We’ll excuse them.) I linked to the Piggyback Rider on facebook and not ten minutes later (or more, who remembers) Grandma Geri (Grandma Christina’s mom) emailed to say she would buy it and send it to us!

The Piggyback Rider

Uncle Bolt called right as we were trying it out. Charley was hands-free for the call!

But he wasn’t Laelia-talking-to-Uncle-Bold-really-loud-right-in-his-ear free. ;)

At first Laelia’s hip contractures made her want to lean over like this.

Looping one of my belts between the back of the backpack straps (her dad wore)  and around her hips fixed the problem.

We went on a walk to test it out. After about 15 minutes our shoulders were sore, but it worked great. We can even run with it on and she stays put.

This is how we plan to travel while there. One parent will have a giant bag of stuff in front and Laelia in back. The other parent has all their stuff in back with her walking sticks  bungeed to the backpack and then another backpack  in front. Since we’re both hands-free, if we had to carry a bag we could do that too.

Laelia even got tired and was pretend sleeping here nestled into my neck. I asked if this was comfortable with me walking around still and she nodded into my cheek.

We cannot announce our travel dates publicly but we leave soon. My dad and his wife sold their MG (the car he loved) to cover Laelia’s plane tickets so she could come with us. We are bringing her to show everyone what children with arthrogryposis can do and that they are valuable and loved. There are many who do not believe this, and that’s how the orphanages get filled with AMC kiddos over there.

Taking her with us was a decision that we went back and forth (and back and forth) on. I’m happy to have her so that I can do her physical therapy every day since we have a routine at home that would be hard to train someone else on. I also would have missed her like crazy (selfishly) being gone from her for a month. This will definitely be one crazy summer (working) vacation!

After living there for 3-4 weeks we will come home without our son. There’s a waiting period once court is over. Then I’ll fly back after the waiting period alone to pick him up. During the two weeks I’ll be gone Laelia will need some sitters (since her daddy will have to work) and distractions. Please let me know if you can come over to our place and help my husband out! We’re thinking we’ll need some help in late August sometime, but return dates are up in the air right now.

Laelia is super excited to see her brother! So are we!

2 Responses to “Laelia is on the move!”

  1. Robin Clark says:

    What an ingenious invention! I wish you all safe travels and God be with you every step.

  2. Patricia says:

    See if you can attach the hipbelt from a backpack — that will let you take her weight on your hips rather than your shoulders, and boy howdy will it make a difference to how long you can carry her.

    Google “adjust backpack hipbelt” for the theory — you tighten the hipbelt on your hip bones first, and then the shoulder straps just keep your load — LAELIA — from falling backwards, while the weight goes on your legs instead of your squishy compressible spine and shoulders. Your hipbones will still be sore! You may be able to borrow a hiking friend’s hipbelt, as they’re detachable.

    I’m so sorry your father had to sell his MG. What a sweet dad — and granddad!

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