Editor: Julie York
March 31, 2005 was one of the happiest days of our lives and a day that would forever change the path we thought WE were taking. God had a unique and special plan for our family, one bigger than we could ever imagine.
The day Jaden was born we knew something was wrong. By the time he was 4 months old, Jaden was in speech, physical, occupational, vision, and water therapies. We had spent multiple nights in the hospital for a multitude of health problems yet doctors could not figure out the cause of the problems. We were told he would only see light, would not hear, would not walk, and would not talk. Through hours and hours of therapy each day, Jaden, although delayed, with glasses, balance issues, and articulation and apraxia problems, is doing ALL of these.
Jaden has been diagnosed with periventricular leukoencephalopathy, apraxia, hyperkenisis with developmental delay (ADHD), visual maturation delay, cerebral palsy with hypotonia, osteoporosis, mild mental retardation, sleep issues, behavior disorder, and a feeding disorder. We still do not have an umbrella diagnosis for Jaden and we do not know what the future holds but we do know that we have a very special little boy who was sent from Heaven.
While life is not easy for Jaden, he is a happy 6 ï¿½ year old boy who loves attention, numbers, weather, Thomas the Train, music, and snuggles. One of the biggest challenges we face as a family is Jadenï¿½s behavior issues. Jaden struggles every minute of the day to control his impulsivity and temperament. He is also very curious yet does not understand what is and isnï¿½t safe. He struggles to keep his hands and voice under control at home and in public. While Jaden loves his siblings to pieces, his impulses often get the best of him. Jaden needs constant supervision through his day to keep him and everyone else safe.
Our faith in God has carried us through this amazing 6 ï¿½ year journey. There have been many stressful times when we were pushed to our limit that we have said, ï¿½How awesome that God gave us Jaden and thought we could handle him.ï¿½ This alone keeps us going. God has truly blessed us with amazing parents, family, friends, and church family. Without any of them, we would not be where we are today. Jadenï¿½s siblings, Kirsten (9) and Jett (3), have an amazing impact not only on Jaden but on our entire family. They are steady in their unconditional love, patience, tolerance, and willingness to help even when Jadenï¿½s behavior is uncontrollable. Their compassion and understanding bring warmth to our hearts every day.
Through Jaden, God has taught us so many things. He has granted us patience we didnï¿½t know we had. He has taught us that things are not always as they appear- that crying child in the grocery store may not be able to control it and the parent is doing the best they can- we are usually the parents being stared at. We have really learned that sleep is VERY overrated! Because of Jaden I was inspired to write this cookbook filled with recipes I have collected over the last 15 years. I have made/tried every one of them in here. (Those of you who know me well know I have not touched a recipe with cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, etc. but if everyone else loved them, they are in here and a few with my adaptations!) I grew up cooking with my Mom and Grandma Tietgen on a daily basis and developed their love of cooking! These recipes are all family friendly and delicious! All proceeds from this cookbook are going to go towards building a safe, supportive, developmentally appropriate space for Jaden as well as a space that can grow with him as he progresses. Any money above and beyond this will go towards purchasing special needs devices that will enhance Jadenï¿½s life as he grows such as an adaptive car seat and an adaptive tricycle. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for purchasing a book and sharing in my love for my family and my love for cooking.
A Little "Slice" of Jaden's Journey is a compilation of over 500 FAMILY FRIENDLY recipes that I have personally collected/created and prepared. All have passed my familyï¿½s "taste testï¿½! All proceeds will benefit Jaden, our 6 year old son, who was born with special needs. His needs include: periventricular leukoencephalopathy, apraxia, hyperkinesis with developmental delay (ADHD), visual maturation delay, cerebral palsy with hypotonia, osteoporosis, mild MR, sleep issues, behavioral disorder, and a feeding disorder.
Jaden needs a safe place at home that is developmentally appropriate and can grow with his progressing needs. Due to Jadenï¿½s special needs, there are many other adaptive devices that would aid in helping Jaden achieve milestones. Some examples of these are an adaptive tricycle, a special needs car seat, safety devices in the home (he has recently learned his way around the kitchen and is tall enough to start the microwave with no concept of its danger), and therapy tools. Thank you so much for any support you provide to Jaden and I hope you have as much fun enjoying these recipes with your family as I do!
PLEASE NOTE: You may pre-order your book NOW! Books are currently at the printer and will be shipped to me by Thanksgiving. I will ship them out to you as soon as I receive them! They are guaranteed for Christmas!
GREAT GIFTS FOR: Christmas, weddings, showers, teachers, graduations, birthdays, hostesses, etc.
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