We met at the Oticon dining room for brunch and visited for a bit. After eating, the kids quickly joined in play together. For a short period, we could not find Brody......only to discover him "camping" under the table with his friends.
After some free time, Oticon provided stations where we could talk to the staff about products, insurance assistance, and social media. I had so many questions.....I never made it to all the stations! Each of the staff members were so kind and patient with us, answering each of my questions and helping in my desire to know more about pontos, surgery, and maximal hearing for Brody. They provided each ponto wearer with very generous gifts. Brody was excited to receive blue hearing aids like his friend (actually skins to cover his current pontos). It was during this time that all of my emotions caught up with me. Travis and I were discussing a hearing product with one of the audiologists and I could feel the tears coming. I blinked lots and worked hard to suppress them but I could not stop thinking about all Oticon had done for us. Then it happened. Brody ran up to me and said, "Momma, look!!! Hearing aides!" and the tears came. Oticon gave him a stuffed monkey who also wears a ponto hearing device behind one ear. I could not believe it. There was nothing they had not thought of......(well, except tissues. I really needed tissues at this point. :)
Our time together ended with a few awards for the group's star creators, connectors, and socializers. I was slightly paying attention when I noticed Brody's picture was on the screen. Our little guy was honored with the Star Socializer. The thought of it still makes me smile.
As parents, we were worried about Brody enduring the weekend with so many new experiences and people but instead he shined! He made friends, he chatted with them, he played with them, he learned from them. For all our days together, we as Brody's family have helped him communicate by interpreting his signs and now his speech. This weekend, Brody communicated and made friends all on his own. It was a beautiful and exciting thing to watch.
So as we said our goodbyes, shed a few tears, and hugged our new friends, our hearts were so very full. Full of the reminder that goodness still exists. Full of family time, new memories, and treasured new friends. Full of empowerment to research, speak out, and share. Full of hope for the future. Full of gratitude.
Thanks Lord for making it all possible. We thank you for our friends at Oticon and pray your blessing on them as they continue a good work. Thank you.