Until about 1 1/2 years ago, I had heard of the Make-a-Wish Foundation just casually and in name only. I had no idea how truly amazing they are. It was in the days following Spencer's transplant that we first heard anything about Spencer's wish. The transplant nurse approached me and said that Spencer's doctor had referred Spencer to Make-a-Wish. It kind of surprised me! My initial thought was, "Really? I thought that was for the really sick kids!" (Denial, maybe?)
Due to Spencer's immunosuppression, he was homebound for several months after discharge so it took us a while to finally schedule our first get-together with the Wish Granters. Eventually though we were able to have them in our home for what would be the first glimpse of the magic!
Our Wish Granters were so wonderful and sweet! They treated Spencer like a king and were very aware of his four sisters as well. They played a board game with the kids which helped Spencer narrow down his wishes in the following categories:
I WISH TO:
GO: to Disney World
HAVE: a game room
MEET: The Kratt Brothers
BE: I really can't remember what he said here. Probably a cowboy or paleontologist.
Then he narrowed these four down to his top two. His first choice was Disney World, his second choice was a game room.
Several weeks later his Wish Granters came back with the big announcement. "You're going to DisneyWorld!"
The trip was beyond anything I could have possibly imagined! But they weren't done yet. In March, Make-a-Wish threw a party for Spencer in which he was able to go to The Wishing Place along with many of his aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, and raise his star as a wish child.
Here he is entering the building:
First, we were given a tour of the building.
And the outside where we made wishes at the fountain,
and walked around the grounds.
Back inside they took us to the wishing tower where we shared what our wishes for Spencer would be.
After the tour we went into the conference room where our Wish Granters served a delicious dinner and led us in a game of Spencer Bingo! Like I said, they were so sweet!
The main entryway of The Wishing Place is adorned with these beautiful stained-glass stars hanging from the ceiling. Each one representing a wish child.
Spencer was given a green star and special pen so that he could decorate his star however he wanted. He wrote his name on one point, the date of his transplant on another, and drew a picture of a heart on yet another. Then he asked me how to spell "special", and added that word as well.
The final and main event was the star-raising. Spencer really seemed to like this part and couldn't wait to get on with it.
Once we were all gathered our host gave him the go-ahead and he hoisted his star.
It was a bittersweet moment to realize what it means that he has a star hanging there.
We said our goodbyes and Spencer handed out the party favors that we had made.
It was really nice to be able to go the The Wishing Place and see all the pictures on the walls with the stories of each wish child. What a special place! It felt like we were closing the book on that very long, very difficult, very wonderful journey.
Matt and I made this slide-show and shared it at the star-raising party. A quick overview of Spencer's wish trip and what he went through to get there.