MEET THE THOMPSON’S
Our beautiful, quirky and intelligent daughter, was delivered to us a most joyful baby. If you were to use one word to describe Meadow, jubilant would fit her well. That being said, our family has known much pain and experienced many challenges over the past 11 years. Too many nights to count were spent up late talking and crying; lost and uncertain of how to help Meadow. We saw her struggles and felt powerless.
Meadow has a multitude of neurological disorders, or differences as we like to call them. Dyslexia, ADD, generalized anxiety disorder, apraxia, exotropia and convergence insufficiency in her right eye. Most all of these are considered ‘invisible’ disabilities, because you can't see them simply by looking at her. This made it all the more difficult to explain these differences to our friends and family. As a parent, you don't want to have to explain who your child is, you just want others to love and accept them for who they are.
We live in one of the best school districts in the state. When Meadow started school, we became aware that she was unable to keep up with her peers despite having a normal IQ. We met with school advisors and took their lead to be patient and keep at it. We also spent countless hours outside of school seeing specialists and therapists for diagnostic testing. After years of “keeping at it,” our entire family was isolated, confused, and sick with worry about what Meadow's educational future held.
Children like Meadow are often socially immature and have difficulty in making friends. Countless times we witnessed her being excluded from school friend circles and parties, while falling behind in age appropriate milestones and skills. Meadow's anxieties were increasing and her confidence was at rock bottom. Experiencing fear and frustration, crying daily from exhaustion, the sum of her elementary years had taken its toll. Meadow was no longer our happy-go-lucky girl. Soon she would be transitioning into the 5th grade. There was no way as parents, we were open to the idea of letting Meadow continue in the public-school system. We started investigating local private schools, but none were keen on having Meadow as a student. They could not be burdened, nor were equipped, to accommodate and help children like her.
We needed a plan, and we needed it yesterday. Clayton began researching private schools on a national level. He ran across a list that had Fortune Academy nationally ranked as a top school for kids like Meadow, and can you believe it was right here in our own backyard? We called the next morning and scheduled a visit. Meadow spent an entire six-hour day visiting at Fortune. When I picked her up that afternoon she was beaming with pure joy. Her eyes wide, she couldn't get the words out fast enough. Meadow told us verbatim, "I had the very best school day of my life! All the kids at Fortune are like me and no one thought I was weird. The way they learn and are taught was so cool." As a family, we all agreed that this was going to be a great opportunity for her. We've never looked back, it's quite likely the best decision we have ever made as parents.
Now Meadow wakes up each morning with a smile on her face. She counted the days of summer break to when the school year was back in session. She is once again our joyous child. She already has a reputation for bee-bopping around the Fortune Academy halls, beaming from ear to ear. Her entire day and learning curriculum is personalized to her individual needs and she is making significant academic gains. She belongs to clubs and is very active in extracurriculars that build her self-confidence. She even proudly vocalizes her learning differences and advocates for herself to every person she meets and she is making friends!
Literally, for the first time in our lives, we as parents now have a vast support system. Our journey is shared with hundreds of other parents that understand exactly where we have been and the struggles of tomorrow. A personal, family-like tribe, that provides a sense of community we've never experienced before. We’ve traveled a long road to uncover who Meadow Jade truly is. At times we tried to switch course, change or fix her; though we’ve come to realize there was never anything to fix. we embrace her differences and have found a place that too embraces our beautiful, jubilant daughter. We know that there are many other families similar to ours needing a school like Fortune Academy.
We are grateful for people like you who advocate for and support Fortune Academy. Your assistance is our past and future success. We ask that you help sustain this not-for-profit school as an option for more families like ours. The goal is to raise $150,000 before December 31, 2018. Your gift will be used to directly benefit the students, teachers, specialized programming, arts and athletics. Will you make a gift of $200 or more today? No matter the amount, your gift will make a difference. It can truly change a child’s future.