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Please help me congratulate…


Please help me congratulate this AMAZING son of mine! He has officially passed his Basic EMS test and can now work in his chosen field. Woot, woot!

He is continuing his schooling this summer and will test for his Advanced EMS this fall either here or in California. As planned, he will be departing at the end of July to serve with Americorps FEMA for a year.

I am so, so proud of him. For those of you new to following me, I will give you a brief history of Sea Cadet…

Sea Cadet’s Story

Sea Cadet grew up in a transient home, essentially homeless until he was 12 years old and both of his parents were incarcerated. He along with his 4 siblings were placed in foster care, Sea Cadet and his identical twin brother (History Buff) were placed with me. They were in 7th grade and attending public schools. They had attended at least 6 different schools at that point, and were performing at a 3rd/4th grade level academically.

Sea Cadet had a speech impediment, couldn’t see (he needed glasses) and had an IEP through the special ed department that provided him additional support for a variety of other things. Their goal for him was to ride the public buses alone someday. I was floored when I first heard this after having him in my home for about a month at that time.

The twins had been bullied their whole lives and just passed on through the system. I received special permission to pull Sea Cadet out of public school in order to work with him as a homeschooled student. It was intense and not always pleasant for either of us. But we had an amazing homeschool community who just surrounded him and accepted him and nurtured him and pushed him.

He graduated from high school a year late and dove into this EMS program…and here we are. He’s gotten his drivers license, holds down a job and the boy they described in those initial IEP papers just doesn’t exist anymore.

What’s Next for Sea Cadet

He is a true testimony of what I’ve always believed, sometimes all it takes is for someone to tell you that you can do something.

Sea Cadet has a heart for serving…he is a volunteer firefighter in our local community, participates in the local Police Explorers program and will soon begin work as an EMT before serving a year with Americorp. I don’t know exactly what his future holds, but I can’t see anything but a fantastic adventure ahead and he is ready for it!


EMT, Firefighter – What will He Do Next?


The week before Thanksgiving, Sea Cadet went out in the pouring rain to visit the local fire station. He came back that night excited about the possibility of becoming a volunteer fire fighter.

One week later, he was unanimously voted onto the force and when we returned from Texas, he was fitted for his uniform, given his pager and made official. He’s already been out on several calls this week, one of them at 3am!

firefighter Sea Cadet
There are some days I look at this child and pinch myself. I mean, I can’t take much of the credit for the amazing man he is turning into, but in some small ways I have contributed. And every day he just gets better.

A Short Version of Sea Cadet’s Background

If you have followed me for a while, this will be repeat information, but if not, I wanted to give you a brief history of where Sea Cadet came from.

Sea Cadet (and his identical twin brother, History Buff) were placed with me as foster kids when they were 12 years old. Sea Cadet, in particular, faced several challenges. He suffered from multiple delays and when he arrived at my home with his stuff in black trash bags was performing academically at a 3rd/4th grade level.

He was in speech to help people understand him better, had a dedicated education aid in all his classes with him, couldn’t write and so on. You get the point. In fact, at the first IEP meeting I attended for him, their goal for him was to be able to ride the public buses by himself.

At the end of his eighth grade year, social services gave me special permission to pull him out and homeschool him because there was a real fear that if he went to high school environment at the level he was at, we would lose him to some very negative influences.

And Now Today

He is just 9 months from completing his Advanced EMT certification, he is working part time (and waking himself up to get there on time consistently,) he has a car that he pays for and maintains, he pays his own insurance and cell phone bills and he has saved a nest egg emergency fund for his car maintenance and in anticipation of moving out next fall. And now, he is a volunteer firefighter!

And this is the kid that they set his highest goal as “riding the public bus by himself.” He is just a living example that with patience, the right path and continued flexibility to accommodate someone’s needs…things are not always what they seem.

I am one proud mama. This kid will graduate with no student loan debt. He’s currently acing all his tests. And he continues to take on more on his own initiative. There are just some days that I am overwhelmed with how blessed I have been to have the most amazing kids. And they continue to make me want to do better, make me want to do more, be more for them!