Jake is hands down one of the best, sweetest, smartest kids I know!
Jake is the first child in our family. When he was younger he was ALL OVER THE PLACE! Full of energy and curiosity, it was hard to keep up with him! As he has grown, it has been amazing to see the young man he is becoming.
I would have to say that the event that most contributes to making Jake who he is, was the birth of his twin, and only, siblings. Mallory and Dawson were born when Jake was 5. They were born 3 ½ months early. We lived in Idaho at the time, so Jake lived there with Dad, and Mallory as soon as she was released from the hospital at 3 months. I lived in Utah at Primary Children’s Hospital for 8 months, until Dawson was released. I missed all of Jake’s kindergarten year. That was so hard for both of us!
As soon as the twins were born Jake became a big brother to two kids that required a lot of extra help and therapy. He has always been so sweet and treasures both of them so much!
Dawson and Jake had a particularly strong bond. They shared a room and Jake was constantly playing with or reading to him. Dawson ended up in the hospital almost all of his 4 ½ years. He had over 40 surgeries, including 27 brain surgeries. He couldn’t see much, but he could tell who was around by their energy. It was really something to see. Jake and Dawson were best buddies. Dawson didn’t say much, but he had mastered “Bubba”, which is what he called Jake. Jake was the best helper! He helped with therapies, massages and playing with Dawson. He also loved to push him around in his wheelchair and make him laugh by tickling him or making funny sounds.
Two and a half years ago Dawson’s little body was tired. He had lived 4 ½ years, but that was all he could do. He passed away, with Jake by his side, on January 5, 2010. This was obviously a very life changing event for Jake. He misses Dawson so much, but he knows Dawson watches over him all of the time now, and that they will be together again! It has been amazing to see Jake experience things that have changed his life so much. He has the insight and spirituality of a 40 year old. He is such an amazing kid!
Jake’s mission in caring for a sibling with special needs has not ended. Mallory has residual brain damage from her early birth, but she is, with much thanks to Jake, really making miraculous advancements! She is in 1st grade this year. She reads like a 4th grader, but struggles a bit socially. Jake is constantly including her in everything he does. When he has friends over, they know that Jake will make sure she is included in whatever they are doing. They are the best of friends! His patience and love for teaching her things and playing with her speaks a lot about the kid that he is! It is really something amazing to watch!
Jake is very smart! He has an amazing ability to learn and absorb things he is taught. He does have a tendency to worry a bit much about perfection, but it really is him trying to do his very best.
One thing that would be great this year is to really push him on his creativity. He is a creative story teller. We really had a great experience with his 6th grade teacher bringing that out in him. I would love to see that taken even further!
Thank you so much for everything Mrs. Otto! Jake is thrilled to have you as his teacher! He tells me how nice you are and that he really likes it at Lincoln Academy! We look forward to a lot of good changes over the next few years! Please forgive me for coming painfully short of 1 million words! J However, perhaps a couple of pictures will make up the difference!
Thanks for everything!
The picture above was included, along with this one.......