On June 9th, 1998 we received a phone call from our adoption worker telling us that a baby boy had been born who was deaf-blind, followed with the question, "Would you be interested?". With ignorant bliss that only new parents know, Michael and I eagerly stated that we would.
On June 10, 1998, we ran downtown with an empty car seat and came home with Brandon 'Bear'.
At the time of his adoption, the internet revealed little about his condition of CHARGE syndrome, and it's probably a good thing (Google search wasn't quite what it is now). Multiple surgeries, a few rounds of CPR, feeding tubes, hearing aides, an appendicostomy and two cross-country moves later, we realized that it was time to take the planning of his long-term care seriously. At age 18, it finally hit us that age 22 was just around the corner and with that, he would be done with school. We began looking around at centers, but the fact that he would need to have his diaper changed, be fed through his g-tube, could not communicate his needs, and had the appendicostomy, presented additional challenges for typical day programs.
Our family has been blessed with many incredible caregivers for Brandon. Trudi was Brandon's intervener at Kauri Sue Hamilton School and knew that we were thinking of solutions. Between her experience in day to day education, communication and care, Mike's knowledge of management, customer service, parenting and education, and my nursing and writing background, we combined forces to create the concept of Bear-O Care. Our board consists of educators, parents, and experts in the field of complex disabilities and we strive to mentor our staff members through their education, nurturing the next generation of caregivers. Together we created a place where we would feel comfortable with Brandon going for the rest of his life.
Bear-O Care was founded on our desire as parents and caregivers to provide that place that we have been looking for. Everything from the windows to the swings to the padded flooring has been selected or designed with attendees in mind. Our family welcomes you to Bear-O Care and hopes you will feel at home!
Ruth Braga MSN, RN