Children of Dreams, Children of Hope
Children of Dreams, Children of Hope, may have been a title to a book written by Dr. Raymundo Veras, but this was how I felt. I felt like I was one of the children of dreams. Allowed to dream again for my child’s future. Everyone who attended that week long course were also Children of Hope. Our hope was restored.
Saturday morning I woke up to my alarm clock. I set it fairly early because I wanted to do a little exploring in Philadelphia before I returned my rental car. I got myself ready for the day, packed up my last few things and went downstairs.
My wonderful host and I chatted about the Institute and our experiences there. She had taken the course for well babies a few years before. Then she showed me her amazing playroom that she had set up for her children. IAHP EK bits hanging on the wall. I love the dedication she had to teach her little ones.
Host for Hospital program
After thanking the family for their hospitality, I packed up my rental car and drove out of the driveway for the last time. I cannot say enough good things about the Host for Hospital program. If you are heading down to Philadelphia to take either of the courses offered at the Institute, please check out Host for Hospital. It is an affordable program that connect families from out of town to host with space to share. My entire stay for eight days cost me less than one night would have in a hotel. When you consider the exchange rate that I was paying to convert my Canadian money to American, this made it an even bigger savings.
Every host has something different to offer so I can only share my experience. I was allowed to use a large bedroom (larger then my bedroom at home) with my own personal on-suite bathroom. The family also allowed me to use an extra fridge they had in the back entry way. I felt so spoiled and was treated with such respect. My host also passed on a books she had bought at the IAHP that is no longer available about vaccines. I thought that was so kind of her.
Thanks to my phones GPS, I was easily able to find my way into Philadelphia to the Liberty Bell. I planned to arrive early so I could get into line and get in as soon as the building opened at 9am. But I landed up arriving earlier then I anticipated. So decided to look to get some souvenirs for the family who helped me make this trip even possible. On the way I found a few cute little gift shops with exactly what I was looking for.
Afterwards while I walked to the door to the Liberty Bell Centre, I immediately wished I had more time to explore more of the sights and sounds of the area. It is just beautifully kept and I felt very safe walking around on my own. But I was happy I had a few minutes to see the actual Liberty Bell and get a few photos. Another couple offer to take my phone using my phone in exchange I would take their photo with their phone.
When I made it back to my rental car and decided to clean out the car there instead of at the gas station. I gathered up the empty food wrappers and such and found a garbage and recycling bin to get rid of them. Checked all the compartments and under the seats to make sure I didn’t forget anything. Finally found a safe spot in my luggage to pack up the souvenirs I purchased.
Scary Gas Station
Once I was back in the car and buckled up, I GPS’d a nearby gas station. I did not want to have to pay the ridiculous price the rental company would charge me if I did not return the car with a full tank. As I drove away from the Parkade and started following the directions on the GPS. I soon found that the location I picked was taking me away from the direction of the airport.
Soon I saw a Shell gas station on the right side of the road. Even though it didn’t seem to be the best area of town I decided I may as well just fill up there. Well of course the pay at the pump didn’t work because I had a Canadian credit card. So I went inside, only to find the cashier looked like he had been recently beaten. He had a black so swollen, that his eye could not open. I almost turned around a left. My imagination ran wild wondering if he had been recently stuck up working here. But instead I prepaid, pumped my gas and left as quickly as possible. I was not interested in sticking around and meeting the people who had beaten this poor man.
Off To The Airport
Now with a full tank of gas I was once again following the GPS back to the airport. I brought my car back to the rental company. Of course my bill was through the roof since I had to rent a car on the spot. Lesson learned, do not travel with a temporary license. I will make sure to allow time for my new license to come in the mail. I dragged my bags onto the shuttle and road back to the airport.
When I got to the correct terminal, I found a luggage cart and loaded it up with my large duffle bag I bought the night before, my carry on and back pack. I made my way to the desk for checked bags. I felt like such an amateur traveler. Most travel I had done in my life up to this point was in the form of road trips. Prior to this trip I had only ever been on two trips that required flights. One with my parents to Florida when I was 16. The other was a flight to Calgary with Travis and Wesley when I was 25 to take Wesley to a DAN! Doctor. The first trip I was along for the ride, and the second trip Travis and I were together. It also did not require us to go through customs and my aunt was on the other hand picking us up and bring us back to the airport. So I prayed this was going to be an easy process. Luckily it was. They weighted my bag and it came in at 29 lbs. I scoffed when they told me the weight and wondered how I ever thought I’d get that all in my carry on.
At this point I was starving. It was only 10:30 am, but seeing as this was my last few hours in the USA, I wanted something I couldn’t get back at home. I looked around the food court and decided to try Smashburger. I had seen a mom I follow on Instagram post about it and it always looks so yummy. It was on the pricey side, but super tasty. I really enjoyed that it was not greasy at all.
Afterwards I wandered and looked at the little gift shops in the airport. I was actually a bit surprised to find so many weird types of presidential nominee merchandise throughout my trip. Something I never saw in the Canadian elections. All I could image was a Justin Trudeau chia pet. “But he’s got nice hair” would have a whole new meaning.
A Few Minutes of Peace & Quiet
As excited as I was to get home to my kids, I was not crazy enough to not take advantage of the quiet, child free few hours I had left. I regretted packing my binder full of notes from the course in my checked bag. I really wanted to start planning what I was going to do with Zakari. But in the end, it was for the best I didn’t have access to them. I think it was good to just take this time to relax. Looking through my bag, I picked up and started reading a book I purchased at the Institute’s bookshop. Children of Dreams, Children of Hope by Dr. Raymundo Veras.
Description was taken from the Gentle Revolution website
This is the story of Dr. Raymundo Veras, a brilliant Brazilian surgeon and his journey into the world of brain-Injured children. After Dr. Veras’s son, Zé Carlos was injured in a diving accident, Dr. Veras dedicated his life to fixing his son’s injury. That devotion led him to The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, where he learned from Glenn Doman and the staff, how to fix brain-Injured children. From there he returned to Brazil and began treating many more children. His success with the children the world has called Mongoloid or Down Syndrome led to the first successful methods to treat their problems. This book is the story of Dr. Veras’s second life and the first chance for wellness for many of the world’s hurt children.
I nearly completed this book by the time I got back home to Winnipeg. Even though I do not have a child with Down’s Syndrome, I still found it very informative. No matter what type of brain injury a parent on the Institute program writes about I find them to be amazing to reads. I love learning about how the program worked for them, how they managed, and how the Institutes have changed over the years.
Homeward Bound Part 1
Finally it was time to board my first plane to Toronto. I texted Travis that I was boarding the plane and would let him know when I made it back. I sat back and enjoyed the flight with my book in my lap. Mid flight a flight attendant came around with custom forms to fill out. One of the questions on the form asked if I was carrying and business product samples. Of course I have two Beach Body Shakeology samples I had not drank in my bag. I sat their debating if I that’s what the form meant. Should I declare it? So I did to error on the side of caution. I did not want to cause trouble smuggling back to protein shakes.
Homeward Bound Part 2
Well of course after we landed in Toronto, I went to scan my passport and this form and got hauled into customs. Luckily for me the customs officer was real nice. He asked me if the samples were to try and solicit customers for a business. When I explained they were for personal consumption, he changed my answer to no and welcomed me back to Canada.
The first thing I did when I arrived in Toronto was hit up the Tim Hortons kiosk. Oh man, Dunkin Donuts does not hold a candle to our good old fashion Timmy’s. It was nice to have a piece of home shortly after landing back on Canadian soil. While I enjoyed my Timmy’s I made a few phone calls. I let Travis know that my flight was on time and when should expect to be back in Winnipeg. I called my mom to let her know I had landed safe. The idea of me traveling alone didn’t sit well for her. This is where we are completely different. For me this was an awesome adventure. For her the thought was just down right scary.
Next thing I knew I was boarding my last flight from Toronto to Winnipeg. I was so excited to get home to my kids. I would have to wait one more day to see Wesley as he was at is dad’s for the weekend, but I could see Zakari. This trip was the longest I had ever been away from either of my children. As rewarding and totally worth it as it was, I was glad I was going home.
Somehow I scored the West Jet Plus seat and I had lots of room on the flight to Winnipeg. The man next to me try to spark up a conversation with me, but honestly I was not in a chatty mood. How could I really explain why I was in Philadelphia. I was still processing everything I learned, I was not ready to be challenged if this person turned out to be a skeptic. Luckily I was able to be polite and come off as shy and he left me to my book.
Home Sweet Home
Finally I could see the lights over Winnipeg. We were landing. As soon as we made contact with the ground I called Travis to tell him to be ready to pick me up. He was in the area, and my friend had gone to our house to wait with Zakari. He tends to fall asleep in the car so close to bedtime and they knew I would want to see him.
I stood anxiously at the conveyor belt waiting for my huge duffle bag. Luckily I didn’t have to wait long because my bag was one of the first out. Because it was raining in Winnipeg my bag was soaking wet, but when I looked inside everything dry. I was quite impressed with my last minute Walmart purchase. I loaded my bags on a luggage cart and went out into the rain. Travis looped around the front of the airport and helped me get the bags in the van.
It was so nice to see him and hear about how he made out with the kids for the whole week. I think having mom gone and only him in charge really helped strengthen his relationship with the boys. He made sure the house was cleaner then I left it the week before. I came home to dinner and cuddles with my Zakari.
I made it! My first time traveling alone. A dream come true. Something I had wanted to do since Wesley was little. My only regret is that I didn’t make it happen way sooner.
Children of Dreams, Children of Hope…
What I have seen cannot be unseen…
Did you miss how the beginning of my trip to Philadelphia to take the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course went? You can catch up and read about it in the following posts:
My first few days traveling alone for the first time. Day 1& 2 of My Trip To The IAHP
Ready to learn on our first day. What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Monday
Ready for another day of learning: What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Tuesday
All About the Physical Program: What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Wednesday
Reading and Health: What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Thursday
Closing out our week: What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Friday