We are the Wickeys! Justin and Becca (Dad and Mom), Anna (16), Matt (15), Maddie (13), and Gift (12). We are a church-planting/ministry family. Our home is a household of musicians and creatives. Gift joined our family in 2017 from Uganda. He is the perfect completion to our family puzzle; we couldn’t imagine life without him!
Gift is a joy bringer, who changes the atmosphere of a room with his smile. He has cerebral palsy, a swallowing disorder, oral motor delays, and intellectual disability from a brain injury early in his life. Gift does not speak verbally, but communicates with vocalizing, ASL, gestures, visuals, and a device. Gift is not able to chew, his swallowing muscles are impaired, so each meal must be specially prepared to the perfect consistency so he can eat safely. He is an innovative, and somewhat impulsive dude. Gift needs supervision at all times.
Gift loves tractors and trucks, especially if they are hauling a trailer or boat! He enjoys sorting and arranging his clothes. He loves riding on his outdoor toys, filling and pulling his wagon, and just being outdoors in general! He also adores Curious George and Mr. Bean tv shows.
This past year has been particularly difficult for our family. School, work and ministry were in upheaval for us (just like the rest of the world). Then, in December, all six of us came down with COVID. Three of us had complex symptoms, but we were all (thankfully) able to avoid hospitalization. While we were still quarantined, Justin’s mother took a terrible turn with abdominal cancer. She was placed on home-hospice, and we all became her caregivers as she finished her walk here on earth. We were able to spend 14 days with her before she passed on December 31st. We are certain that 2021 holds much brighter days!
Gift’s before-adoption history is quite complicated, therefore his emotional expression is complicated as well. Gift does best with immediate family unless he is at school. Breaks for us are few and far between. We have not ever had a respite opportunity like this, and are completely blown away by the blessing of the Lucas Project! Words cannot fully express our gratitude. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
Favorite Respite Activities
We have not had the opportunity for respite, other than our teen kids occasionally watching Gift. But, being near water (pool, lake, ocean) tops our list. Dinner out is rare, but we love trying new restaurants. A night away is pure luxury. It’s honestly difficult to answer this, because getting away is so rare.